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This is Said’s last major speech on Palestine, the war on Iraq and the Bush administration. On September 25, 2003, a message made its way around the world. Edward Said, Palestinian American, world famous professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and fearless defender of the Palestinian cause had died of leukemia in New York City, far from the city of Jerusalem where he was born in 1935.
In 1948 Said and his family were forced to leave Palestine for Cairo when the newly founded state of Israel took their ancestral home. Later Said came to the US, studied at Princeton and Harvard and went on to teach at Yale and Columbia. He was not only a renowned academic but also an eloquent spokesperson for Palestinian rights and sovereignty.
Recorded by Jeffrey Blankfort
Said was recorded at UC Berkeley in February of 2003 – his last public address before his death seven months later.
Said leaves behind a treasure of writings including his most influential book, Orientalism (1978), an examination of the way the West perceives the Islamic world; as well as books inspired by his passionate advocacy of the Palestinian cause, including The Question of Palestine, (1979), Covering Islam (1981), After the Last Sky (1986), Blaming the Victims (1988), and Culture and Imperialism (1993).