A line from a poem by the poet Khalil Gibran was a fitting ode to Salma Hayek on her return to her ancestral homeland of Lebanon.
A poster with the poem “The children of my Lebanon, those who migrate with nothing but courage in their hearts and strength in their arms but who return with wealth in their hands and a wreath of glory upon their heads” welcomed the actress on her visit to the Gibran Museum.
The 48-year-old Mexican-American actress is visiting the country to launch the animated feature-film The Prophet.
— Konbini (@konbini) March 6, 2015
Hayek co-produced the film, which revolves around the friendship of a young girl and an imprisoned poet. The actress voiced the character of Kamila, while renowned actors Liam Neeson and John Krasinki lent their voices to bring the characters Mustafa and Halim to life.
The film is an adaptation of Gibran’s beloved book The Prophet, which showcased 26 philosophical essays written in poetic English prose. The book has never been out of print since it was first published in 1923 and has been translated into more than 40 languages.
The Ugly Betty actress was accompanied by the film’s director, Roger Allers, who also directed two of Disney’s most popular animations – Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.
Allers was particularly moved by the visit after “living with the spirit of Gibran for the last three years.” He added that “it has been a very intimate experience and now to come to his home is very moving.”
— Dr. Yaacoub Hallak (@YNHallak) April 26, 2015
The visit to Gibran’s quaint mountain hometown of Bcharre was also deeply personal for Hayek, whose grandfather was Lebanese. Looking sophisticated in a colorful floral top and black peplum skirt, the Frida producer was warmly received by Lebanese Member of Parliament Sethrida Geagea.
When asked about the renowned Lebanese sculptor, painter and poet’s defining work, Hayek said that The Prophet is “about the courage to speak up, to believe you are worth being listened to.”