On May 19th, 2020, the Lebanese poet Salah Stétié passed away in Paris, reported L’Orient Le Jour. The great wordsmith was 91 years old when his spirit decided to wander.
Salah Stétié was a graduate of Saint Joseph University in Beirut. He later pursued a degree in Orientalism at the Sorbonne in Paris. He got attached to the city of love and considered himself just as much a Parisian as he did a Lebanese.
Although his native language was Arabic, he decided to write in French. His father, Mahmoud Stétié, was also a poet, and you could say Salah continued the legacy with his passion for letters.
After the influence Paris put on him, he began to publish his words. His works are translated to most European languages and, of course, to Arabic.
In 1995, he was awarded the Grand Prix de la Francophonie, an award presented by the French Academy to people who contribute to the development of the French language throughout the world.
According to L’Orient Le Jour, he was the founder of their weekly cultural section. In addition, Stétié was a diplomat long stationed in Paris and delegate of Lebanon to UNSECO.
Late in his career, he was also appointed the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beirut and then ambassador to The Hague, before eventually retiring.
Before and after oblivion, there is a long twilight which is life.
Salah Stétié parted ways with the earth, and it’s a great loss for Lebanon, France, and the entire cultural community.