32 Facts About Edward Said


Edward Wadie Said was a Palestinian American professor of literature at Columbia University, a public intellectual, and a founder of the academic field of postcolonial studies.


Edward Said advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state to ensure equal political and human rights for the Palestinians in Israel, including the right of return to the homeland.


Edward Said defined his oppositional relation with the status quo as the remit of the public intellectual who has "to sift, to judge, to criticize, to choose, so that choice and agency return to the individual" man and woman.


Edward Said was an accomplished pianist, and, with Barenboim, co-authored the book Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society, a compilation of their conversations and public discussions about music held at New York's Carnegie Hall.


Edward Wadie Said was born on 1 November 1935, to Hilda Said and Wadie Said, a businessman in Jerusalem, then part of the British mandate of Palestine.


Wadie Said was a Palestinian who joined the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I This war-time military service earned American citizenship for Said's father and his family.


Edward's mother Hilda Said was of Palestinian and Lebanese parentage, born and raised in Nazareth, Ottoman Empire.

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In 1919, in partnership with a cousin, Wadie Edward Said established a stationery business in Cairo.


Edward Said lived his boyhood between the worlds of Cairo and Jerusalem; in 1947, he attended St George's School, Jerusalem, a British-style school whose teaching staff consisted of stern Anglicans.


In 1951, Victoria College expelled Edward Said, who had proved a troublesome boy, despite his academic achievements.


Edward Said then attended Northfield Mount Hermon School, Massachusetts, a socially elite, college-prep boarding-school where he lived a difficult year of social alienation.


In 1963, Edward Said joined Columbia University as a member of the English and Comparative Literature faculties, where he taught and worked until 2003.


Edward Said worked as a visiting professor at Yale University, and lectured at more than 200 other universities in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.


Editorially, Edward Said served as president of the Modern Language Association, as editor of the Arab Studies Quarterly in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, on the executive board of International PEN, and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Royal Society of Literature, the Council of Foreign Relations, and the American Philosophical Society.


In 1993, Edward Said presented the BBC's annual Reith Lectures, a six-lecture series titled Representation of the Intellectual, wherein he examined the role of the public intellectual in contemporary society, which the BBC published in 2011.


Edward Said's first published book, Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography, was an expansion of the doctoral dissertation he presented to earn the PhD degree.


In Beginnings: Intention and Method, Edward Said analyzed the theoretical bases of literary criticism by drawing on the insights of Vico, Valery, Nietzsche, de Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Husserl, and Foucault.


Lewis responded with a harsh critique of Orientalism accusing Edward Said of politicizing the scientific study of the Middle East ; neglecting to critique the scholarly findings of the Orientalists; and giving "free rein" to his biases.


Edward Said retorted that in The Muslim Discovery of Europe, Lewis responded to his thesis with the claim that the Western quest for knowledge about other societies was unique in its display of disinterested curiosity, which Muslims did not reciprocate towards Europe.


From 1977 until 1991, Edward Said was an independent member of the Palestinian National Council.


In 1993, Edward Said quit his membership in the Palestinian National Council, to protest the internal politics that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords, which he thought had unacceptable terms, and because the terms had been rejected by the Madrid Conference of 1991.


Especially troublesome to Edward Said was his belief that Yasir Arafat had betrayed the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their houses and properties in the Green Line territories of pre-1967 Israel, and that Arafat ignored the growing political threat of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories that had been established since the conquest of Palestine in 1967.


In 1998, Edward Said made In Search of Palestine, a BBC documentary film about Palestine, past and present.


Nevertheless, Edward Said endured political repercussions, such as the cancellation of an invitation to give a lecture to the Freud Society, in Austria, in February 2001.


In Culture and Resistance: Conversations with Edward Said, Said likened his political situation to the situation that Noam Chomsky has endured as a public intellectual:.

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In 2003, Haidar Abdel-Shafi, Ibrahim Dakak, Mustafa Barghouti, and Edward Said established Al-Mubadara, headed by Mustafa Barghouti, a third-party reformist, democratic party meant to be an alternative to the usual two-party politics of Palestine.


Edward Said's founding of the group, as well as his other international political activities concerning Palestine, were noticed by the US government, and Edward Said came under FBI surveillance, which became more intensive after 1972.


Besides honors, memberships, and postings to prestigious organizations worldwide, Edward Said was awarded some twenty honorary university degrees in the course of his professional life as an academic, critic, and Man of Letters.


On 24 September 2003, after enduring a 12-year sickness with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Edward Said died, at 67 years of age, in New York City.


Edward Said was survived by his wife, Mariam C Said, his son, Wadie Said, and his daughter, Najla Said.


Edward Said is buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Broumana, Jabal Lubnan, Lebanon.


Edward Said's headstone indicates he died on 25 September 2003.