MAKAREM was born in Aitat (google
ref. 33 47 24.63 N, 35 33 20.27 E) in the district of Aley,
Lebanon, on April 14, 1931. The town of Aitat overlooks Beirut and
is 20 kilometers away from it and is 650 meters above sea level. Dr. Sami
MAKAREM's mansion in Aitat goes back to the 17th century.
He transformed a large part of it to a cultural center after he bought
it from the Talhouk family.
His father Sheikh
Nassib MAKAREM www.nassibmakarem.org,
is the author of artistic masterworks covering various types of Arab
calligraphy, either in large tableaus or in miniatures pieces of silver
and marble ranging from the size of an egg to that of a grain of rice
or wheat. He wrote on a piece of marble of the size of an egg ten
thousand words, and was able to write on a piece of silver of the
size of a grain of rice 30 verses of poetry amounting to 287 words.
He also drew on pieces of marble and silver that are the size of a
grain of rice the ruins of Baalbek and drew the first 3 cars manufactured
by Henry Ford as well as wrote beside each drawing a quote by Henry
Ford himself. Also, on a piece of marble the size of a grain of rice,
he wrote the French National Anthem, the Marseillaise. These are a
few of many other works of the same genre that Sheikh
Nassib MAKAREM accomplished.
His mother Wassila Sleiman FARAJ, is a native of Abay, one of the
villages of Aley district. She was known, like her husband, for her
piety and refined art and produced needlework for which she obtained
many awards, decorations and certificates that were added to her husband's
awards, decorations and certificates.
MAKAREM is the father of two daughters, Sahar and Rand and
two sons, Nassib and Samir. He is married with Leila Adel MAKAREM.
He had one brother - the late Saïd - who was a teacher and was
considered an authority in the Arabic language.
MAKAREM completed his primary and intermediate education at
the "Lycée Français de Beyrouth - Mission Laïque
Française", and his secondary studies at the Lebanon College
of Souk El Gharb. Sami
MAKAREM then studied at the American University of Beirut
(AUB) where he obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Literature and Philosophy
in 1954 and his Master's Degree in Arabic Literature in 1957. Meanwhile,
he taught Arabic Literature at the Lebanon College of Souk El Gharb
then at Al Sirat College in Aley. Then, he left for the University
of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he obtained in 1963 his
PhD. in Middle Eastern Studies, specializing in Islamic Batini Studies.
In addition, he taught Arabic at the same university.
MAKAREM went back to Lebanon in July 1963, to teach Islamic
Thought at the Lebanese University. In 1964, he was appointed assistant
professor at the American University of Beirut (AUB), teaching Arabic
Literature and Islamic Thought.
In 1970, he was promoted to the rank of associate professor at the
American University of Beirut (AUB), and then he was promoted to the
rank of full professor to teach Arabic Literature, Islamic Thought
and Sufism. In addition, he held twice the position of Head of the
Department of Arabic Literature and Near Eastern Languages: from 1975
until 1978 and from 1993 until 1996. He acted as a part time professor
at the Lebanese University from 1977 until 1981. Also, he was director
of the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at the American University
in Beirut, from 1975 until 1978.
The death of his father, Sheikh
Nassib MAKAREM on June 4, 1971 left sad impressions on Sami
MAKAREM. He lost a loving wise father, and a creative artist.
His relationship with his father was very close. It exceeded any father
and son relationships. The loss of his father induced him to discover
the artist in himself.
In addition to his academic contributions in the fields of Islamic
studies, Sufism, Islamic history, and his artistic contribution Sami
Makarem is a poet. Three works of poetry have been published by him:
Mir'at 'ala Jabal Qaf (A mirror on Mount Qaf) (1996), Daw' fi Madinat
ad-Dabab (A Light over the city of Mist) (1999), and Qasa'ed Hubb
'ala shati' Mir'at (Love poems on the shores of a Mirror) (2004).
His books exceed 30 books in number, in addition to a great number
of articles in different specialized periodicals, and hundreds of
art works. Dr. Sami Makarem passed away at the age of 82 years old on 21.08.2012