Dr. Constantine Zurayk: Knowledge at the Service of Life > An Engaged Public Intellectual > المعرفة لتكييف الحياة

Dr. Zurayk always saw his mission as a scholar and a teacher conjoined with his mission as a citizen and a public servant, and as an intellectual at the service of his people: he never differentiated between teaching, research and public service: Zurayk did not have a narrow understanding of education, but believed in education as an inspiration, as a “contagion”, an emulation. He saw education as a means to unleash humanity’s creativity and positive forces, to foster its imagination and will to seek truth, progress and a better life, and to engage in collective work through an embedded understanding of  local culture,  rooted history, and an appreciation of the need to contribute  to a global human dialogue. Zurayk was relentless in his efforts at inspiring the seeking of truth and of a better life.

 

 

In a speech addressed to graduating students at Souk -el Gharb High School, on June 27, 1938, Zurayk writes:

 

 

وأخيراً يصل العلم الصحيح الى غايته عندما يتمازج هذا التطور الروحي وذاك الاتجاه العقلي، فتتوحد شخصية المرء وتصدُر عنها عقيدة ثابتة أو فكرة متسلطة تهيب بالمرء الى تطبيق نظرياته في مجتمعه والى إخراج علمه الى حيز العمل. فتكمل المعرفة، وتؤدي وظيفتها الحقيقية، وينهدم اقوى حاجز بين العلم والحياة…  هذه هي العناصر التي يتألف منها العلم الصحيح، والصفات التي يتصف بها المتعلم الكامل: نظرة صحيحة جامعة الى الحياة، صفات عقلية وروحية متمكنة من النفس، عقيدة متسلطة متحفزة تقرن العلم بالعمل، وتستخدم المعرفة لتكييف الحياة.

A talk delivered by Zurayk at AUB, entitled:  “Mashrou' al Qura”; "the Villages project", April 2nd, 1935
A talk delivered by Zurayk at AUB, entitled: “Mission of History Teacher in the Arabic World”, December 17, 1942
Constantine Zurayk Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

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