Pen Lebanon was founded in 2012 by prominent Lebanese writers and journalists. Among these names Iman Humaydan, Hassan Daoud, Abbass Beydoun, Yussef Bazzi, Chaza Charafeddine, Hala Kawsarani; Hazem Saghieh, Mohammad Abi Samra, Alawiyah Sobh, Marie Tawk, and many others. Pen Lebanon focused mainly on the youth through its activities in schools and cultural clubs. It aimed at narrowing the gap between the youth and literature by encouraging them to read and to express themselves. Encounters that bring writers and secondary students together took place in many places in Lebanon mainly in public schools in remote areas of the country. Our partner in this project was the American University in Beirut, Writers Unlimited in Netherlands, and Pen International. In order to achieve and implement its projects Pen Lebanon depends upon the membership fees and on its partners as well as on the volonteer work of its members. There are no staff members in Pen Lebanon and no office base. Our archives are on our Facebook page and our mails. WE organoze meetings in cafes and in our homes.
However, in 1948 Camille Aboussouan, writer and ambassador has founded Pen Liban , then a member in pen International, which was a Francophone Pen center. During the civil wars in Lebanon ( 1975-1990) Pen Liban was not active and later it was put into dormant.
In 2012, one of the members of the old Pen Liban, Hyam Yared, poet and novelist, made contacts with many Lebanese writers and journalists to found a new Pen. A new Pen center was founded with a new registration number and a new legal identity. It includes Lebanese writers who write Arabic, French as well as English. Pen Lebanon is a reflection of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the country.
Since its establishment, Pen Lebanon became an active member of Pen International.
The center has been presided by Hyam Yared (poet and novelist) from 2012 till 2015.
At present it is presided by Iman Humaydan (novelist and researcher). Elections for a new board will take place in January 2020.
Pen Lebanon is an affiliated and active member in Pen International based in London. Thus it follows the general chart of Pen International that calls for freedom of expression of thinking of imagination and fights against repression and censorship. WE chose to work with public schools mainly in the remote areas inorder to support the new generation and to encourage it to love reading and love writing literary texts.
Since two years and beside readings in public schools, Pen Lebanon expanded its activities and became a founding member in Salon de Livre in France maghreb de Livres. IN February 2019, Pen Lebanon invited 2 Lebanese writers to participate in the book fair: Tracy Chahwan and Dr. Ahmad Beydoun. Pen Lebanon covered the financial and logistic expenses of both writers.
By many ways, mainly exchange in experience ,. ideas and openness
To be an active part of the whole and to give and take experiences and ideas on cultural developemnt.