Francis Marrash (1836–1873) was a Syrian writer and poet of the Nahda
movement—the Arabic renaissance—and a physician. Most of his works
revolve around science, history and religion, analysed under an
epistemological light. He travelled through the Middle East and France
in his youth, and after some medical training and a year of practice in
his native Aleppo, during which he wrote several works, he enrolled in a
medical school in Paris. Declining health and growing blindness forced
his return to Aleppo, where he produced more literary works until his
early death. Middle Eastern historian Matti Moosa considered Marrash to
be the first truly cosmopolitan Arab intellectual and writer of modern
times. Marrash adhered to the principles of the French Revolution and
defended them in his own works, implicitly criticising Ottoman rule in
the Middle East. He was also influential in introducing French
romanticism in the Arab world, especially through his use of poetic
prose and prose poetry, of which his writings were the first examples in
modern Arabic literature. He has had a lasting influence on contemporary
Arab thought and on the Mahjari poets.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Marrash>
Today's selected anniversaries:
War of the Portuguese Succession: The army of the pretender to
the Portuguese throne, António, Prior of Crato, was routed in the
Battle of Alcântara, ending his short-lived reign.
The Thirty-Three Orientals, a revolutionary group led by Juan
Antonio Lavalleja, declared Uruguayan independence from the Empire of
Polish forces under Józef Piłsudski successfully forced the
Russians to withdraw from Warsaw at the Battle of Warsaw, the decisive
battle of the Polish–Soviet War.
Second World War: Japanese forces attacked the Australian base
at Milne Bay on the eastern tip of New Guinea.
The Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune
and provided definitive proof of the existence of the planet's rings
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(organic chemistry) A glycoprotein with anticoagulant properties, found
in the saliva of vampire bats.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Is there any good reason why we cannot extend our multi-
cultural generosity to include another dimension? That of time. The
past, too, is another country. Its ghosts may look strange and
frightening and slightly misshapen in body and mind, but all the more
reason then, to welcome them to our shores.