Who is Edward Said?

Who is Edward Said?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Edward Said KimEdward Wadie Said (November 1, 1935 – September 25, 2003) was a Palestinian-American philosopher.

Edward Said was born in Jerusalem under British rule. His father is a wealthy Christian Palestinian businessman and American citizen, his mother is of Christian Lebanese and Palestinian descent and was born in Nazareth. Said traveled back and forth between Cairo and Jerusalem until the age of 12, and in 1947 he went to Anglican St. George’s Academy was accepted. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the family became refugees and went to Egypt.

When Said was expelled from school in Egypt for mischief in 1951, he was sent to America by his father to continue his education. Those were the years when the Middle East was increasingly mixed. He completes his university education at Princeton and Harvard. During these years, he goes to Lebanon, where his family left Egypt for his holidays, and studies literature, music and philosophy. He began teaching at Columbia University in New York in 1963. In those years, he was not called Arab or Palestinian, but Middle Eastern, with a more comfortable term for everyone.

Although he felt the strangeness of his situation, he did not take part in any political action until 1967, when he said that he did not react consciously and that he lived out of his traditions. Coinciding with the Arab-Israeli War in 1967, the political mobilization at the university and the Vietnam War were the beginning of the changes. Participates in the Palestinian nationalist movement. He is criticized in the United States for being anti-Semitic. Thinking that he allows the differences between his acquired identity and the culture he was born and removed from, he does something he has never done before and uses his sabbatical right in 1972 by studying Arabic literature in Beirut. Thus, he begins to think and write, both Arab and American, both together and against each other.

In the late 70’s, he is appointed by Anwar Sadat and Yasser Arafat as the Palestinian representative to the peace talks. In exile, he served 14 years in the Palestinian Parliament. In the late 1980s, the PLO leader eventually disagreed with the PLO leader Yasser Arafat, not taking part in the peace talks and accused of being anti-peace. In 1985, Said, who was accused of being a Nazi by the Israel Defense Forces, receives various threats. In 1999, he published his memoirs, which he called “Out of Place”. Speaking well in French besides English and Arabic, Said writes regularly for The Guardian published in London, Le Monde Diplomatique published in France and daily Al-Hayat newspaper published in Arabic.

Said, who had been suffering from leukemia since the early 1990s, died at a hospital in New York on September 25, 2003 at the age of 67.

Please look:

– Orientalism
– American orientalism
– Demonization of Islam in media and popular culture

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Is it an Open Education Philosophy Textbook?