Said, Edward W.


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Said, Edward W.

(1935–  ) author, educator, political activist; born in Jerusalem. A Palestinian, he and his family became refugees during the 1947 partition of Palestine. He came to the U.S.A. and studied at private schools, receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1964. His reading of Joseph Conrad influenced his views on colonialism. He taught English and literature at Columbia University (1963). Intensely involved both in literary scholarship and Palestinian rights, he wrote many books, most notably Orientalism (1978) and Covering Islam (1981). In the former he argued that the West's view of the Middle East and the Islamic world has been distorted by intellectual romantics; in the latter, he argued that the American view of Arabs was conditioned almost totally by a hostile media. He was a member of the Palestine National Council (1977) and a recognized leader in the Palestinian cause.