BOOK: "GEBRAN TUENI... A LIFE IN COMICS"
"I dedicate these comic strips to my son Gebran to be introduced one day to the various facets of his grandfather who would have instilled in him the love of others, and shared with him his strong belief in his dreams that did not waver despite all difficulties and challenges he faced in his life. I dedicate it also to my sister Michelle so that she would be able later to introduce her children to Gebran's patriotism and his belief in youth; and to my younger sisters Gabriella and Nadia so that the memory of their hero father will be always kept alive in their minds. Finally, I dedicate it to all the Lebanese youth so that they will learn from Gebran the meaning of courage, sacrifice and patriotism."
This is how Nayla Tueni introduced the book "Gebran Tueni... a Life in Comics" , 47 pages, through which Nayla Tueni wanted to tell the story of her father to her son Gebran and her sisters Nadia and Gabriella. She also dedicates it to her sister Michelle so that she would be able later to introduce her children to Gebran's patriotism, and to the new generations who do not know Gebran Tueni.
The book tells the story of the most important phases of Gebran's life: his birth, his studies, the death of his sister Nayla from illness, his career in journalism, his marriage to Myrna Michel El-Murr with whom he fathered two girls, Nayla and Michelle, then his second marriage to Siham Asseily with whom he had twin daughters Gabriella and Nadia, the death of his brother Makram in a car accident in Paris, and finally his political career and martyrdom.
The book has three chapters: "The rebel child", "Birth of a leader", and "Till the last drop of ink". The reader will have a clear idea about Gebran Tueni who refused to yield and believed in the Lebanese youth and their role in the political and social life.
The book, a first of its kind in Lebanon and the Arab world, has seen the light thanks to a team composed of Ralph Doumit, illustrator, Colette Chibani, text supervisor, who verified the content that is mostly inspired by the memories of Laure Gharib, Nadia Tueni's friend, in addition to Sophie Armache, Ghadi Ghosn and Christelle Halal.
Nayla Tueni who was behind the idea of the book wanted to attract people from all ages, even the elderly, as the text is simple with illustrations of Gebran known for his love for children and all people who surrounded him. The book is in form and substance in harmony with Gebran's personality. The sentences are short, and the photos, documents and manuscripts were chosen to reflect a real world away from fantasy.
As for the writing style, "it is journalistic rather than literary, as the text tells the story of a shining star in Lebanon's sky," as described by Laure Ghorayeb. “The book includes the outlines of the dreams of Gebran, the young, the journalist and the politician, with the expressions that became his trademark," according to Colette Chibani.
Ralph Doumit commented that "it was difficult to sum up the life of a man like Gebran Tueni and to be objective in telling his story." He added that it was one of the most important comics he worked on. As for his use of dark colors, he said that he chose them with the work team because they symbolize the ancient past as the story talks about many past phases. He said that the drawing he chose for Gebran was "the most appropriate because he did not want to present a replica of him."