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Childhood & Youth


ChildhoodKhalil Gergi Kanaan was born in Jdeidet El Metn on the 20th January 1937. He was the first child of Gergi Kanaan and Salwa Atiyeh.
His father Gergi (Abou Khalil) was a hardworking and generous man, extending his caring qualities beyond his smaller family to reach his siblings, nephews and nieces. Emm Khalil was a woman with a remarkable personality, who instilled in her children a high level of self-confidence, and strongly encouraged their education regardless of financial sacrifices the family had to make for that purpose.

The young Khalil grew up surrounded by the love and generous support continuously offered by his parents and larger family, and turned up to be a genuinely caring elder brother to his eight younger brothers and sisters: Helène, Emile (Prominent lawyer – Active in public life), Wadih (Businessman), Boulos (Lawyer), Mona (Married to General Jean Nassif), Salim (Engineer-Contractor), Mireille (Married to Salah Nassour) and Antoine (Architect-Developer).


The local school and the church’s courtyard were Khalil’s places of growing and learning, up till his parents moved him to the Apôtres School in Jounieh, along with his brothers, where they completed their High School studies.

EducationIn his teenage years Khalil treated his schooling seriously, providing an inspiring example for his younger siblings, and excelled in all sports. He enjoyed open air activities, loved nature and cared for animals. His friends cherished his social qualities, generosity and endearing presence. He took his boy-scout vows and commitments to heart, developing through this activity ethical and spiritual values, as well as leadership and moral qualities.
(Photo Gallery 1: Youth & Family).

The Military School

His rich boy-scout experiences and his year of military service with the Army, lead him to join the Military School in October 1957. This clear vocation was more than his hesitant parents could hinder. He had found his purpose: to dedicate his life for the higher values of sacrifice, nobility, dignity and faithfulness, serving his country.