Both emphasize the rights and freedoms of all.
“The Universal Declaration said that we are all born equal, and that is exactly what Gibran wrote,” observed Shirin Yaseen, associate spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General.
The Universal Declaration opens with the provision that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and must act towards each other in a spirit of brotherhood.
“Gibran insists that we should all treat each other like brothers,” Ms. Yassen stressed.
The Lebanese poet, whose works have been translated into over 100 languages, vividly expressed the spirit of equality in the first person by writing: “I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of the same religion, and that is the spirit.
The UN headquarters in New York attracted artists, diplomats and members of the local community to a celebration marking the centenary. In April, an exhibition, Kahlil Gibran returns to New York after 100 yearspresented paintings, notebooks, manuscripts and the first edition of The Prophet.
“We are in the United Nations because Kahlil Gibran believed in peace, human rights, diversity and dialogue among civilizations,” explained Joseph Geagea, director of the Gibran Museum in Lebanon. “He believed that as human beings there were no differences between us; we must walk on the same level to reach the same point: a better future for all.
Ms Yassen said family, women, love and nature were all very important aspects of the poet’s work.
“It left an impression for successive generations,” she said. “Gibran spoke of people without any discrimination based on their race, religion or color, and these are things that are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is the importance of this person’s work and his importance to the United Nations.