Posted by: Dawud Israel | November 2, 2010

5 Reasons to Read Edward Said

Alright so let’s kick off the Edward Said week with the following…

1) Living as Muslim in the West, or as an immigrant or just in times where Islam is unusual, so its only natural for you to relate immensely with  Edward Said’s life as an exile. Being “homeless,” it is as if we Muslims are exiles, from the shariah and from how we once were. How do people deal with that? Said felt that being without a homeland, and being homeless meant that there was also a joy in the fact that you are at home, everywhere.

2) Understanding the past, present and future of the Palestinian situation. Edward Said is brutally honest about the history of his people, what it means and has mulled over it arguably more than any other intellectual. His insights are not to be found elsewhere.

3) His commitment and inspiration to Palestine and the peace process, despite his own personal battle with leukemia and the constant failures he met with and the endless attacks on himself as a terrorist, etc. That is modern-day inspiration.

4) Said’s interdisciplinary approach combines and borrows from many different ideas- history, art, literature, etc. This is particularly potent and powerful in dissecting the anatomy of Orientalism.

5) Said shows how one can grow and develop as a person through literature and how it grows with you. Often whatever story we deal with and struggle with, often someone in literature has experienced many of the same questions and emotions- in literature you get a balance of psychology, morality and growth.

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