Dr. Elias Baaklini was born in 1888 in Chbaniye. He grew up like most of the village’s children but was distinguished from them since his early childhood by his calmness and perspicacity which drew his father’s attention to him and made him decide to provide his son with all means of education.
He started his elementary education in his hometown, Chbaniye, by his father. Then at Baabdat school, then the student Elias pursued his studies at the Jesuit Institute in Beirut at the age of fourteen years old.
He graduated with his final degree after three years at Saint Joseph University (USJ) from 1904 until 1906.
He entered the French Medical Institute in 1907 and stayed there four years, after which he obtained his degree in medicine.
The medical student felt an inclination towards the specialization of surgery, so he entered the Sacred Heart Hospital of France as assistant of the French surgeon, Dr. Coutoir, and received his specialization under the supervision of this famous surgeon.
He practiced the art of surgery at the said hospital from 1911 until the end of 1913.
During his study of medicine, he met his wife who lived at a place nearby while he was still a student at the medical institute.
He asked for her hand in marriage from her parents and married her when he obtained the medical degree on September 29, 1912.
Dr. Baaklini continued his work actively at his house and at the French hospital at the same time.
He remained the assistant of Dr. Coutoir at the French hospital until the start of World War I in 1914.
He went to Jerusalem on January 20, 1915, and continued his travel to Sinai desert, passing through Beersheba.
He had to work day and night so he stayed there until he was asked again by Jamal Bacha to head to Nazareth in 1915.
He stayed in Nazareth until the end of May 1916.
In addition, he also assisted Fr. Geitawi in establishing the Lebanese Hospital.
When the said hospital was constructed, he inaugurated it with a great speech in 1928, and worked there until 1931 where he restricted his work to the French Hospital.
Dr. Baaklini was not only prominent in the art of surgery, but also in politics. He ran once for parliament during the mandate.
Dr. Baaklini was in the Constitution Party since its creation and was the very heartbeat of it, and supported its president and members with devotion and sacrifice for over twenty years with nothing in return.
In this partisan aspect, he is strict in his stances, pure constitutional and a genuine Lebanese.
Dr. Baaklini’s works were not limited to serving his country through medicine and surgery, but exceeded them to vital and construction works.
After the end of World War II and the evacuation of the foreign troops from the country, the Red Cross Foundation which was is the custody of foreigners moved to the hands of the Lebanese people and gained a Lebanese character, so the national name was added to it and it became known as the Lebanese Red Cross.
He accepted this honor and was soon at the head of this foundation because of his known just service and love for charity.
Not long after, many graduates of the Lebanese Red Cross Institute were shining in this art and offered significant service to this country.
Soon after, in 1943, he formed the Lebanese National Conference with major Lebanese Christian and Muslim figures, and occupied the position of its secretary.
When French authorities arrested the members of the Lebanese cabinet, he was roaming around the capital, raising donations and supplying the needs of Bchamoun cabinet by Lebanese youth who volunteered for this purpose.
Dr. Elias Baaklini is a unique figure who grew and was nurtured in this lofty mountain, so by his rigidity and genuine Lebanese nature, he was like an oak tree deeply rooted in this good land.
His fame filled the country and exceeded the Arab eastern area. The words of the poet: “These are my fathers, bring me people like them, once you gather us together”, suit him perfectly.