Who is Nasif Yazıcı?June 26, 2021
Nasif Yazici (born March 25, 1800, Kefr Shima – died February 8, 1871, Beirut, Lebanon) was a Lebanese scholar who played an important role in reviving Arab literary traditions.
He was from a Christian family who held government posts in the Ottoman administration. Previously (17th century) his family lived in Homs and Tripoli. His grandfather, who entered the state service under the Ottoman rule, was known with the title of “Printer”. After his family settled in Lebanon, Nasif received a deep education. He learned about Christianity from the monk Mathieu. He memorized the Qur’an and memorized Mütenebbi’s Divan. He served as a clerk in the Deir Karfaka diocese (1816-1818), Emir of Lebanon II until 1840. He worked in the service of Bashir Shihab. The French poet Alphonse de Lamartine, who met him during this time, included Nasif in his memoirs.
When Emir Bashir was exiled to Malta in 1840, he moved to Beirut and continued his literary studies. For a while, he helped US missionaries in preparing Arabic textbooks for local missionary schools. Drawing on his deep admiration for Arabic and classical Arabic literature, he sought to remove the “corruptions” that had been ingrained in the language for centuries and to return to the methods of classical scholars. He collected his poems in the type of Makame in his work called Mecmuatü’l-Bahreyn. His works, which include his views on eloquence, grammar and poetry, not only stimulated interest in classical literature, but also significantly influenced contemporary Arab culture.
In the early years of the nationalist movement that spread among Christian Arabs, he was in favor of reviving Arab culture before independence. He believed that the liberation of the Arabs from Ottoman rule could only be achieved through the revival of Arab culture. He wrote books on Arabic grammar, logic, rhetoric and rhythm to be taught in American missionary schools. After his death, these works became the main works in Arabic language teaching.
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM)