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Tony Shalhoub, Hiba Abid, and Randa Jarrar: The Prophet at 100 and Arab American Writing in New York

Tony Shalhoub, Hiba Abid, and Randa Jarrar: The Prophet at 100 and Arab American Writing in New York

Date(s) - 11/08/2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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On the centenary of Kahlil Gibran’s best-selling work of mystical prose-poetry, actors and writers perform readings and discuss the elusive legacy of his most famous book.

In-person registration for this event has sold out, but livestream tickets are still available. A limited number of standby tickets will be available on the night of the event.

The Prophet book cover

Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, a proto-New Age collection of arcane and oracular poetic essays has sold over 100 million copies in its 100-year lifespan and has made Gibran the third best-selling poet after William Shakespeare and Laozi. Gibran, a writer and artist who lived and worked primarily in the downtown Manhattan neighborhood then known as Little Syria, has derived a mixed reputation from his mysterious volume of musings on subjects like love, law, beauty, and faith. He has been beloved by various counter-cultural and spiritual movements over the decades, but among scholars he is viewed alternatively as a “crucial modern innovator” or “horrifically retrograde.” An evening of readings, lecture, and conversation will look into The Prophet and Gibran’s reputation, as well as the history of Arab and Arab-American writers in New York.

This event will also feature a one-night-only display of rare materials from the Library’s holdings.

To join the event in-person | Please register for an In-Person Ticket. Doors will open 30 minutes before the program begins. For LIVE from NYPL events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment; we will do our best to accommodate everyone. Booked seats that have not been claimed will be released shortly before start time, and seats may become available then. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

To join the livestream | A livestream of this event will be available on this NYPL event page. To receive an email reminder shortly in advance of the event, please be sure to register! If you encounter any issues, please join us on NYPL’s YouTube channel.


Hiba Abid is an art historian, codicologist of Arabic manuscripts, and is currently the Curator for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at The New York Public Library. Hiba taught courses on Islamic manuscripts and material culture at New York University’s Department of Art History and Institute of Fine Arts. She has also worked as an Associate Researcher at the National Library of France, and curated exhibitions at the Louvre Museum, the Musée des Augustins, and Le 32bis: Center for Contemporary Art in Tunis. She studied Art history and archeology at the Sorbonne and received her PhD in Islamic Art history, codicology and philology from the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris.

Randa Jarrar is the author of the memoir Love Is An Ex-Country, the novel A Map of Home, and the collection of stories Him, Me, Muhammad Ali. She is a filmmaker and actor who has appeared in independent films and on the A24 TV shows Ramy and #1 Happy Family USA. She is a recipient of a Creative Capital Award and an American Book Award, as well as awards and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, PEN, and others. She lives in Los Angeles.

Tony Shalhoub was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His father emigrated from Lebanon to the United States as an orphan at age eight. Shalhoub’s mother was also Lebanese. Tony spent most of his early acting career in the theater, after graduating from Yale Drama School in 1980. From 1980-1984 Tony was part of the company with the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, before moving to New York. He met his wife Brooke Adams in 1990 while working together in The Heidi Chronicles. In 2018, he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for The Band’s Visit; in years prior to this, Tony has been nominated on five other occasions.

Tony is perhaps best known for his work as the obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk in the hit television series Monk, for which he won a Golden Globe Award, three Primetime Emmy Awards as well as two Screen Actors Guild Awards for his work. More recently, Tony is often known for his role as Abe Weissman in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. For his performance, he has won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series. Other notable TV credits include Antonio Scarpacci in Wings, Stark Raving Mad, and Nurse Jackie.

Currently, Tony can be seen as Roger Enrico in Eva Longoria’s Flamin’ Hot. Some of Shalhoub’s other film credits include The Assignment, Pain & Gain, the Men in Blackfranchise, Galaxy Quest, The Seige, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Big Night, Barton Fink as well as voicing the character of Luigi in the Cars franchise and Master Splinter in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.


Be sure to visit the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures, the Library’s first-ever permanent exhibition highlighting our world-renowned research collections. To register and learn more about the exhibition, click here.

Don’t have a New York Public Library card? Get one here!

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.



  • Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue.
  • You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template.
  • This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs.


  • Captions and a transcript will be provided.
  • Media used over the course of the conversation will be accompanied by alt text and/or audio description.
  • You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template.
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