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To say this may seem quite different from saying that all academic knowledge about India and Egypt is somehow tinged and impressed with, violated by, the gross political fact—and yet that is what I am saying in this study of Orientalism. In such imperial circumstances, the Orientalist scholars of the West wrote the history of the Orient—and so constructed the modern, cultural identities of Asia—from the perspective that the West is the cultural standard to emulate, the norm from which the "exotic and inscrutable" Orientals deviate.

The thesis of Orientalism concluded that the West's knowledge of the Orient depicts the cultures of the Eastern world as an irrational, weak, and feminized non—European Other , which is the opposite of the West's representations of Western cultures as a rational, strong, and masculine polity. That such an artificial binary-relation originates from the European psychological need to create a " difference " of inequality, between the West and the East, which inequality originates from the immutable cultural essences innate to the peoples of the Oriental world. Orientalism provoked much professional and personal criticism for Said among academics.

Some unfortunate consequences I think that there has been a tendency in the Middle East [studies] field to adopt the word Orientalism as a generalized swear-word, essentially referring to people who take the "wrong" position on the Arab—Israeli dispute, or to people who are judged "too conservative. So, Orientalism , for many people, is a word that substitutes for thought, and enables people to dismiss certain scholars and their works. I think that is too bad. In Orientalism , Said described Bernard Lewis , the Anglo—American Orientalist, as "a perfect exemplification [of an] Establishment Orientalist [whose work] purports to be objective, liberal scholarship, but is, in reality, very close to being propaganda against his subject material.

Lewis responded with a harsh critique of Orientalism accusing Said of politicizing the scientific study of the Middle East and Arabic studies in particular ; neglecting to critique the scholarly findings of the Orientalists; and giving "free rein" to his biases. Said retorted that in The Muslim Discovery of Europe , Lewis responded to his thesis with the claim that the Western quest for knowledge about other societies was unique in its display of disinterested curiosity, which Muslims did not reciprocate towards Europe.

Lewis was saying that "knowledge about Europe [was] the only acceptable criterion for true knowledge.

Short Papers: Said's reaction to Huntington's essay

In the academy, Orientalism became a foundational text of the field of Post-colonial studies , for what the British intellectual Terry Eagleton said is the book's "central truth Said's friends and foes acknowledged the transformative influence of Orientalism upon scholarship in the humanities; critics said that the thesis is an intellectually limiting influence upon scholars, whilst supporters said that the thesis is intellectually liberating.

As such, the investigation and analysis Said applied in Orientalism proved especially practical in literary criticism and cultural studies , [9] such as the post-colonial histories of India by Gyan Prakash , [62] Nicholas Dirks [63] and Ronald Inden , [64] modern Cambodia by Simon Springer, [65] and the literary theories of Homi K. In The Impact of "Biblical Orientalism" in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Palestine , the historian Lorenzo Kamel, presented the concept of "Biblical Orientalism" with an historical analysis of the simplifications of the complex, local Palestinian reality, which occurred from the s until the early 20th century.

The post-colonial discourse presented in Orientalism , also influenced post-colonial theology and post-colonial biblical criticism, by which method the analytical reader approaches a scripture from the perspective of a colonial reader. In , consequent to the Six-Day War 5—10 June the academic Edward Said became a public intellectual when he acted politically to counter the stereotyped misrepresentations factual, historical, cultural with which the U. To address, explain, and correct such Orientalism, Said published "The Arab Portrayed" , a descriptive essay about images of "the Arab" that are meant to evade specific discussion of the historical and cultural realities of the peoples Jews, Christians, Muslims who are the Middle East, featured in journalism print, photograph, television and some types of scholarship specialist journals.

In the essay "Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims" , Said argued in favour of the political legitimacy and philosophic authenticity of the Zionist claims and right to a Jewish homeland; and for the inherent right of national self-determination of the Palestinian people. In , Said quit his membership to the Palestinian National Council, to protest the internal politics that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, , which he thought had unacceptable terms, and because the terms had been rejected by the Madrid Conference of Said disliked the Oslo Accords for not producing an independent State of Palestine, and because they were politically inferior to a plan that Yasir Arafat had rejected—a plan Said had presented to Arafat on behalf of the U.

In the mids, Said wrote the Foreword to the history book Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years , by Israel Shahak , about Jewish fundamentalism, which presents the cultural proposition that Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians is rooted in a Judaic requirement of permission for Jews to commit crimes, including murder, against Gentiles non-Jews.

In his Foreword, Said said that Jewish History, Jewish Religion is "nothing less than a concise history of classic and modern Judaism , insofar as these are relevant to the understanding of modern Israel"; and praised the historian Shahak for describing contemporary Israel as a nation subsumed in a "Judeo—Nazi" cultural ambiance that allowed the dehumanization of the Palestinian Other : [79]. In all my works, I remained fundamentally critical of a gloating and uncritical nationalism.

My view of Palestine. In the company of his son, Wadie, Said revisited the places of his boyhood, and confronted injustices meted out to ordinary Palestinians in the contemporary West Bank. Despite the social and cultural prestige usual to BBC cinema products in the U. On 3 July , whilst touring the Middle East with his son, Wadie, Edward Said was photographed throwing a stone across the Blue Line Lebanese—Israel border , which image elicited much political criticism about his action demonstrating an inherent, personal sympathy with terrorism; and, in Commentary magazine, the journalist Edward Alexander labelled Said as "The Professor of Terror", for aggression against Israel.

Edward Said - An Introduction to Orientalism

The guardhouse was at least half a mile away. Despite having denied that he aimed the stone at an Israeli guardhouse , the Beirut newspaper As-Safir The Ambassador reported that a Lebanese local resident reported that Prof. Said was at less than ten metres ca. Nevertheless, Said endured political repercussions, such as the cancellation of an invitation to give a lecture to the Freud Society, in Austria, in February He's a well-known, great linguist. He's been celebrated and honored for that, but he's also vilified as an anti—Semite and as a Hitler worshiper. For anyone to deny the horrendous experience of anti—Semitism and the Holocaust is unacceptable.

We don't want anybody's history of suffering to go unrecorded and unacknowledged.

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On the other hand, there's a great difference, between acknowledging Jewish oppression and using that as a cover for the oppression of another people. In the revised edition of Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World , Said criticized the Orientalist bias of the Western news media's reportage about the Middle East and Islam, especially the tendency to editorialize "speculations about the latest conspiracy to blow up buildings, sabotage commercial airliners, and poison water supplies.

In the event, despite being sick with leukemia, as a public intellectual, Said continued criticising the U. I think this is a dream that has very little basis in reality.

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The knowledge they have of the Middle East, to judge from the people who advise them, is, to say the least, out of date and widely speculative. I don't think the planning for the post—Saddam, post-war period in Iraq is very sophisticated, and there's very little of it. Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman and U. Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith testified in Congress, about a month ago, and seemed to have no figures, and no ideas [about] what structures they were going to deploy; they had no idea about the use of [the Iraqi] institutions that exist, although they want to de—Ba'thise the higher echelons, and keep the rest.

The same is true about their views of the [Iraqi] army. They certainly have no use for the Iraqi opposition that they've been spending many millions of dollars on; and, to the best of my ability to judge, they are going to improvise; of course, the model is Afghanistan. I think they hope that the U.

Mustafa Barghouti, a third-party reformist, democratic party meant to be an alternative to the usual two-party politics of Palestine. As a political party, the ideology of Al-Mubadara is specifically an alternative to the extremist politics of the social-democratic Fatah and the Islamist Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement. Said's founding of the group, as well as his other international political activities concerning Palestine, were noticed by the U. Besides having been a public intellectual, Edward Said was an accomplished pianist, worked as the music critic for The Nation magazine, and wrote four books about music: Musical Elaborations ; Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society , with Daniel Barenboim as co-author; On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain ; and Music at the Limits in which final book he spoke of finding musical reflections of his literary and historical ideas in bold compositions and strong performances.

Elsewhere in the musical world, the composer Mohammed Fairouz acknowledged the deep influence of Edward Said upon his works; compositionally, Fairouz's First Symphony thematically alludes to the essay "Homage to a Belly-Dancer" , about Tahia Carioca, the Egyptian terpsichorean, actress, and political militant; and a piano sonata titled Reflections on Exile , which thematically refers to the emotions inherent to being an exile.

In , Edward W. They also established The Barenboim—Said Foundation in Seville , to develop education-through-music projects. Besides honors, memberships, and postings to prestigious organizations worldwide, Edward Said was awarded some twenty honorary university degrees in the course of his professional life as an academic, critic, and Man of Letters. He twice received the Lionel Trilling Book Award ; the first occasion was the inaugural bestowing of said literary award in , for Beginnings: Intention and Method He was the first U.

source url On 24 September , after enduring a twelve-year sickness with chronic lymphocytic leukemia , Edward W. Said died, at 67 years of age, in New York City.

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Said , his son, Wadie Said, and his daughter, Najla Said. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Edward Said. Jerusalem , Mandatory Palestine. New York City , United States. Homi K. Main article: Orientalism book. Biography portal Palestine portal. The study will be narrowed down to the United States. In order to discuss the meaning of Orientalism, it is necessary to consider the key facts about the concept of Orientalism.

Orientalism as a concept can be characterized as influential Western ideology. At the same time, it can be characterized as an academic discipline studied in educational institutions as a field of academic study, or it can be represented as a literary motif.

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Moreover, the concept of Orientalism has direct relation to the depiction of prejudiced interpretations Kontje The concept of Orientalism can be viewed as a controversial concept, which has been defined differently. Researchers suggest that the ideology of Orientalism may set certain limits to European way of thinking regarding the nature of the Orient. As a result, the ideology of Orientalism may exist as a set of ideas that fill social activities. Generally speaking, Orientalism as the field of study is based on the application of the Christian traditions of West.

The value of Orientalism is concluded in its artistic and artful techniques which make art and literature communicate important ideas. For example, the exhibition of Chinese ceramics from the Han Dynasty, such as houses and camels, reflects the values of historical period and the role of Confucianism in the establishment of Empire. In visual arts and literature of China, the ideas of Orientalism symbolize Chinese cultural traditions and beliefs. Today Orientalism is part of human life. It affects practically all aspects of human activity. The history of Orientalism is long and interesting.

At the end of the th century, after the discovery of America, which provided the sea route to India, there was an increase in the development of economic relations between East and West. That period was marked by the development of the philosophy Orientalism as a new philosophical thought. Additionally, in the early th century the concept of Orientalism was applied to visual art. They were focused on the representation of the Orient in their impressive art works, revealing the themes of the established Middle Eastern traditions and customs. Historians believe that the amazing works of many Orientalists not only embraced truly oriental expression, but also inspired them to develop the themes of the Orient in their further works.

Various Indian, Chinese and Japanese traditions, values and beliefs were reflected in paintings, textiles, and ceramics, furniture, and architecture styles. Furthermore, the effects of Orientalism on society had absolutely different forms. These differences depended on the cultures which were influenced by Orientalism. Said writes,. Thus, the history of Orientalism highlights the role of cultural relationship between the West and the East. Visit our website www. Visit our website wwww. It will help many people in understanding. When Edward Said's "Orientalism" was first published in it drew heavy attention and controversy due to its attack on not only the ground assumptions of the academic field of oriental studies, but on the whole manner in which East and West are portrayed.

Said's Orientalism deals with the Western structuring of the orient as "other". Said analyses central Western texts in order to account for the way the conception of The East was crystallized. This conception, according to Said, prepared the ground for the political and cultural occupation of the non-Western regions by the West. Another intellectual influence found in Orientalism is the concept of hegemony derived from the philosophy of Antonio Gramsci. Using this terminology Said shows how Orientalism served as a system of representations which served to consolidate the West's authority and supremacy over the East, and not just to reflect or describe it.


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Like Foucault, Said ties images, ideas and texts to actual practices of government and subjection employed in order to control millions of people in the non-white world. One of the main implications of Said's work is that even and maybe especially scholarly research about the orient naively called Oreintalism before Said is in fact deeply political in being an essential part of the imperialist mechanism of control and exploitation.

The main importance of Said's Orientalism is in pointing out the even though colonialism is allegedly over, the systems of thinking, talking and representing which form the basis of colonial power relations still persist. Said's book became a central text of post colonialism since it seeks to expose the fundamental principles and structures of colonialism embedded within different systems of knowledge and representation. Labels: book summary , Edward Said , Orientalism , postcolonialism.

Mustafa Bouazar October 20, at AM.