Skip to content Skip to navigation

Qalam wa Kalima: A Centennial Celebration of Al-Rabita Al-Qalamiyya

Sat, 10/17/2020 - 2:00pm

Tickets: $100 per person

Purchase tickets

This year marks the centennial of Al-Rabita Al-Qalamiyya (The Pen League), the literary society established in New York City in 1920 by a group of Arab writers and poets—Kahlil Gibran, Ameen Rihani, Elia Abu Madi and others—who immigrated to the United States at the turn of the 20th century.

Join AANM as we commemorate this special anniversary with an exclusive virtual fundraiser, paying tribute to the enduring legacy of the Pen League’s members, whose essays and poems contained some of the earliest expressions of Arab American cultural identity and whose experimental poetry left an indelible mark on the development of modern Arabic literature.

As one of the leading Arab American cultural institutions and the only museum in the country dedicated to sharing the Arab American experience, AANM looks forward to celebrating Al-Rabita Al-Qalamiyya’s centennial with our friends and supporters. The event will showcase the works of these Arab American literary giants through readings by contemporary Arab and Arab American poets and writers (below), and will launch our new online exhibition featuring works by and archival material from AANM’s collection related to the Pen League members.

Celebrate 100 years of Arab American cultural contributions and help support AANM’s efforts to preserve and promote Arab American cultural heritage! All proceeds from tickets sales for Qalam wa Kalima will benefit the Museum’s ongoing mission to document, preserve and share the Arab American experience.

Al-Rabita Al-Qalamiyya (The Pen League) was an important literary organization of Arab immigrant writers formed in 1916 in New York City, and then re-formed in 1920 by Kahlil Gibran. Al-Rabita members, including Ameen Rihani, Elia Abu-Madi, Mikhail Naimy and Kahlil Gibran, produced poetry, fiction, and essays that are still read widely in Arabic and English across the globe. The period that saw the most activity by the members of Al-Rabita, about 1915 to 1940, helped to define Arab American cultural production, and gave the burgeoning ethnic community—by that point spread across the United States—a sense of collective identity. The early works of these writers were often published in the United States by one of the many Arab American publishers who had been publishing English and Arabic language books, journals and newspapers since the 1890s.