Dr. Dahesh

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Dr. Dahesh
Born Salim Moussa Achi
June 1, 1909
Jerusalem, Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, Ottoman Empire
Died April 9, 1984
New York City, United States
Nationality Lebanese

Dr. Dahesh (in Arabic الدكتور داهش) (b. in Jerusalem in 1909 – died in New York City in 1984) was the name-title and pen name of Salim Moussa Achi (in Arabic سليم موسى عشّي) founder of Daheshism.


Salim Moussa Achi was born in Jerusalem, Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem on June 1, 1909, to Assyrian Christian parents Moussa Elias Achi and Shmouneh Hanna Achi (née Hannouch)[1]. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Beirut, Lebanon.[2]

He was a Lebanese humanist, author, philosopher, and purported worker of miracles.[3] By the age of 21, he had adopted the name Dahesh, Arabic for "inspiring wonder".

Dr. Dahesh established Daheshism as a religion in 1942. The spiritual message of Daheshism can be summarized in a belief in the existence and immortality of the spirit, reincarnation, the unity of religions and the spiritual causality and just reward (karma). His publishing career included essays, poetry, short stories, novels, and an autobiography, and exceeded 150 works.[4]

Dahesh was imprisoned on September 9, 1944[5] and later on stripped of his Lebanese nationality and exiled from Lebanon in 1944 during the reign of Lebanese President Bechara El Khoury. In 1953, Lebanon, the newly elected President Camille Chamoun restored his citizenship.

Dr. Dahesh died in April 9, 1984, in New York City.

Art legacy[edit]

Dahesh began collecting works of art around 1930 and continued to do so for the rest of his life. Today, his art collection belongs to New York City's Dahesh Museum of Art.[6]

He also formed the Dahesh Library, the largest private library in the Arab world, known for its literary, scientific, and artistic holdings, and for its periodical collections. The Dahesh Heritage Center, also includes the offices of the Daheshist Publishing Company, on Broadway, New York.


  1. ^ Süryani Beyt Zebdeden, 2000, Hanna Murad Hannouche.
  2. ^ Astarte, issue 5, September 2, 1947, by Pierre Rufayel.
  3. ^ OneFineArt: Biography of Dr. Dahesh
  4. ^ Dahesh Heritage & The Daheshist Publishing Co.
  5. ^ Letter from Dahesh to Noon, his Attorner at Law
  6. ^ Dahesh Museum of Art website

Further reading[edit]

  • For a comprehensive review, please refer to Lutfi Radwan, the former Chief Editor of the Egyptian Magazine "Al Moussawar" and his book "The Miracles & Wonders of Dr. Dahesh", 1997, ISBN 0-935359-44-3, The Daheshist Publishing Co., NY.
  • And other works by Dr. Iskandar Shaheen's book:, "Dr. Dahesh: A Man of Mystery", 2001, ISBN 1-931126-01-1, both published by The Daheshist Publishing Co., NY.

External links[edit]