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Chekri Ganem (1861-1929) is a Lebanese writer who fervently advocated for the independence of his home country. In 1910 in Paris, where he had taken refuge at the turn of the century, he wrote Antar, a play in verse inspired by the 12th-century Arab epic of the same name. In Ganem’s version, the chivalric saga became an embodiment of Arab nationalism. The play enjoyed great success when it was turned into an opera, composed by Gabriel Dupont; it premiered in 1921 at the Théâtre de l’Odéon in Paris, then played at all the leading French theatres.

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