Born in Jerusalem and raised in Cairo the late Palestinian-Christian Professor Edward W. Said was one of the most influential public intellectuals of the 20th century. A tireless advocate for the Palestinian people he was critical of U.S., Israeli, Arab, and Palestinian National Authority policies. Considered a founder of the new field of post-colonial theory and studies Said remains a seminal figure within the academe and Middle Eastern studies.
He died at age 67 of cancer. He will be sorely missed.
"...One could commence by saying quite simply that if Edward's personality had been the human and moral pattern or example, there would be no "Middle East" problem to begin with...
"His feeling for the injustice done to Palestine was, in the best sense of this overused term, a visceral one. He simply could not reconcile himself to the dispossession of a people or to the lies and evasions that were used to cover up this offense. He was by no means simple-minded or one-sided about this: In a public dialogue with Salman Rushdie 15 years ago, he described the Palestinians as 'victims of the victims,' an ironic formulation that hasn't been improved upon."
-Christopher Hitchens in Slate (September 26, 2003)
"Memory, Inequality, and Power: Palestine and the Universality of Human Rights" (February 19, 2003 @ Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California-Berkeley)