Omar El Ounsi, son of Dr. Abdul Rahman El Ounsi, the prominent General Practitioner for the Beirut Municipality, who carried the task of inspecting the bodies of his friends the Martyrs fallen during the Independence Day of Lebanon on May 6th, 1916.
Omar El Ounsi carried his Grandfather's name (The Poet Omar) was born in 1901 in Tallet Al-Khayat Beirut.
A hill overlooking Beirut and the sea. His birth place was a great inspiration in his work, the old brick houses, the sand, the cactus trees are themes that return over and again in his paintings.
The steps in Omar El Ounsi's life have left their marks on his works, each era becoming a stage in his works.
1901-1922: In Beirut, he grew his talent and learned from his teacher Khalil Saliby and greatest inspiration.
1922 -1927: Omar traveled to Jordan, by invitation from his cousin El Bach-Mohamad El Ounsi where "King Abdallah the First" asked him to teach The Crown Prince Al-Amir Talal, the English language. There he started painting the desert, Camels, Tents, Gazelles, the Prince of the Royal Family and the Bedouins.
1927 -1930: Omar left to Paris and studied at Institute Julien, where he met Youssef El-Houwayek (Sculpturer) who was to become his best friend. During that period he painted Portraits, Nudes and Sceneries. In Paris he met his first wife "Ema" who died shortly leaving no children.
1930 - 1933: Following the death of "Ema", he traveled to "Al Suwayda" (Syria) for a period of meditation. The he painted the harshness of nature still deeply moved by the tragic death of his wife.
1933 -1369: Omar returned to Beirut the Capital where he found stability through his family, and his relationship with Al-Houwayek, and the comfort with his second French wife (Marie Bouer). Marie his great supporter who gave him stability and inner peace. During their days together Omar was able to concentrate on his art (painting the Lebanese nature) and nothing else (Kesserwan, Mayrouba, Ain Zahalta, Bekaa, Ramlet El Baida, Tallet El Khayat).
Omar El Ounsi was honored by the Government, Municipality of Beirut by Medailes, and was awarded by the great Poet Said Akel prize. In addition he is a Member of Sursock Museum.
1969: Omar died leaving his prints from Watercolor, Oil, Pastelle, Crayon, among his family and Lebanese people who appreciate lightness of his colors.
Omar's WILL was that "The paintings he will leave should be taken care of by his family and colleagues as if they are his children".
May Mansour El Ounsi