Ibrahim al-Yaziji

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Ibrahim al-Yaziji

Ibrahim al-Yaziji (Arabic ابراهيم اليازجي, Ibrahim al-Yāzijī; 1847–1906) was an Arab philologist, poet and journalist. He belonged to the Greek Catholic population of the Mutasarrifate of Mount Lebanon.[1][2]


Yaziji's family is originally from Homs and moved before he was born in Beirut.

He was editor of several newspapers and magazines such as Nagah, Tabib, Diya', and was instructed by Jesuits to translate the Bible into Arabic. The translation, from 1876 to 1880, was published and said to be linguistically richer than the first translation of the Protestants. It was the second Bible translation in the Arabic language. The first translation was approved by the American Protestant missionaries under the leadership of the missionary Cornelius Van Dyke, a professor at the American University of Beirut along with two Christian Lebanese writers and philologists Butrus al-Bustani and Nasif al-Yaziji, Ibrahim al-Yaziji's father. Their Bible translation appeared in 1866.

One of Yaziji's most significant innovations was the creation of a greatly simplified Arab font. By reducing Arabic character forms from 300 to 60 he simplified the symbols so that they more closely resembled Latin characters. It was a process that contributed to the creation of the Arabic typewriter.

The Bible translations of Bustāni, Nasif al-Yaziji and Ibrahim al-Yaziji were the first in modern Arabic language.


  • Raif Georges Khoury: Importance et rôle des traductions arabes au XIX siècle comme moteur de la Renaissance arabe moderne. In : Les problématiques de la traduction arabe hier et aujourd’hui. Textes réunis par Naoum Abi-Rached. Strasbourg 2004. 47-95.
  • Raif Georges Khoury: Quelques remarques sur le rôle des libanais dans la renaissance arabe moderne. In : Romanciers Arabes du Liban. Hrg. Edgard Weber. Toulouse 2002. 7-48.



  • Salibi, Kamal S. (2003). A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered. I. B. Tauris & Co.