This groundbreaking biography tells the story of the mysterious Levantine prince Fakhr ad-Din, bringing to life this remarkable man’s beliefs and ambitions, uniquely illuminating the elusive interface between Eastern and Western culture. The year is 1613: the Ottoman Empire is at its height, sprawling from Hungary to Iraq, Morocco to Yemen. One man dares to challenge it: the Prince of a curious Druze sect in Mount Lebanon, Fakhr ad-Din. Yielding before a mighty army sent to conquer him, he—astonishingly—takes refuge with the Medici in Florence at the height of the Renaissance. Fakhr ad-Din took along with him a diverse party of Moslem, Christian, and Jewish Levantines on their first visit to the “Lands of the Christians.” During his five-year stay in Italy, he fights to persuade Popes, Grand-Dukes and Viceroys to support a grand plan: a new Crusade to wrest the Holy Land from the Ottomans, giving Jerusalem back to Christendom and himself a crown.
The evening will be introduced by Michel Moushabeck, founder of Interlink Publishing, followed by a reading from the book by its author Ted Gorton, interwoven with songs and instrumental pieces to accompany the Emir’s journey in the 17th century from the Levant to Tuscany and back.
Ted Gorton taught Arabic at St Andrews University and was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He spent many years in the Middle East and has written numerous articles in scholarly journals. He is the author of Lebanon: Through Writers’ Eyes.
Michel S. Moushabeck is a writer, editor, publisher, and musician. He is the founder of Interlink Publishing, a Massachusetts-based independent publishing house specializing in fiction-in-translation, history, and cultural guides. He is the author of several books including Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa (The Armchair Traveller, London, 2011), and A Brief Introduction to Arabic Music (Saqi Books, London, 2014).
Music performed by Yara Salahiddeen and Merit Ariane Stephanos (vocals), Ahmad AlSalhi (violin), Stavroula Constanti (ney), Nilufar Habibian (qanun), Rachel Beckles Willson (oud), and Michel Moushabeck (percussion).
In collaboration with Interlink Publishing.