Sami 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, 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.
      Sami 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.
      Sami 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.
      Sami 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

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