Prominent Lebanese historian Kamal Salibi, who taught at the American University of Beirut for more than half a century, died in Beirut on Thursday aged 82, the university announced.
Born a Protestant on May 2, 1929 in multi-confessional Lebanon, Salibi gained a reputation as the leading historian on his country, penning “The Modern History of Lebanon” and “A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered.”
An avid pianist, Salibi earned a BA in history and political science from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and a PhD from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where he worked under the supervision of Bernard Lewis and focused on Christian Maronite historians in mediaeval Lebanon.
In 1985, Salibi wrote his controversial “The Bible Came from Arabia,” in which he argued that the place names of the First Testament pointed to southwest Arabia rather than Palestine.
At the time of his death, Salibi was emeritus professor of history at AUB, where he taught since 1954, and honorary president of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, based in Amman.
His many works have been translated into German, Arabic, Russian and French.