Edward Said painting. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO - 30 July 2017: Edward Said was a Palestinian American political activist, social critic, scholar and comparative literature professor at Columbia University. He vouched for Palestinian independence and criticized colonialism.
With over 40 published books, Said's book, Orientalism published in 1978, was a trigger that was meant to shift the West's perception and beliefs of the Arab World. Said was the child of a Palestinian father and an Egyptian mother who started out his life in Jerusalem in 1935 in what is now considered Palestinian occupied territory. He then moved with his family to Cairo in 1947 before leaving to the states for good in 1951.
After studying at one of the best colleges in the region, Victoria College in Alexandria, with students who later became the leaders and representatives of their countries, he moved to Northfield Mount Hermon School, in Massachusetts an elite boarding school where he excelled his high school diploma. He then received the best quality of higher education at a series of Ivy League School; Princeton University where he received his Bachelor's Degree of Arts and Harvard University, where he received both his Master's degree and his Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature.
As a product of cross-culturism, Said's literature reflects the discourse of a young man in an alien country drowning in the feeling of homesickness. His books, Orientalism and The Question of Palestine both set the "pillars for his career as the avenging voice of Palestinians against Israel."
Dying at the age of 67 in September of 2003, Said's publications, despite being criticized, are taught in over 800 courses in American universities, more than 10 years after his death. This proves his impact on both, the West and the Middle East, that will continue to perpetuate after his death as "arguably the most influential intellectual of our time," as the Guardian worded.