Orientalism can be discussed and analyzed as the corporate institution for dealing with the Orient—dealing with it by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it: in short, Orientalism as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient.— Edward Said
The most pioneering Edward Said quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
You cannot continue to victimize someone else just because you yourself were a victim once—there has to be a limit
What we must eliminate are systems of representation that carry with them the authority which has become repressive because it doesn't permit or make room for interventions on the part of those represented.
Humanism is the only - I would go so far as saying the final- resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history.
Ideas, cultures, and histories cannot seriously be understood or studied without their force, or more precisely their configurations of power, also being studied.
The history of other cultures is non-existent until it erupts in confrontation with the United States.
Power, after all, is not just military strength.
It is the social power that comes from democracy, the cultural power that comes from freedom of expression and research, the personal power that entitles every Arab citizen to feel that he or she is in fact a citizen, and not just a sheep in some great shepherd's flock.
Beginning is not only a kind of action.
It is also a frame of mind, a kind of work, an attitude, a consciousness.
Part of the main plan of imperialism.
.. is that we will give you your history, we will write it for you, we will re-order the past...What's more truly frightening is the defacement, the mutilation, and ultimately the eradication of history in order to create... an order that is favorable to the United States.
I am for peace. And I am for a negotiated peace. But this accord is not a just peace.
Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of us is completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.
I have been unable to live an uncommitted or suspended life.
I have not hesitated to declare my affiliation with an extremely unpopular cause.
What is quite worrisome is the absence of analysis and reflection.
Take the word "terrorism." It has become synonymous now with anti-Americanism, which, in turn, has become synonymous with being critical of the United States, which, in turn, has become synonymous with being unpatriotic. That's an unacceptable series of equations.
I don't remember when exactly I read my first comic book, but I do remember exactly how liberated and subversive I felt as a result.
Look at situations as contingent, not as inevitable, look at them as the result of a series of historical choices made by men and women, as facts of society made by human beings, and not as natural or god-given, therefore unchangeable, permanent, irreversible.
It [9/11 event] was aimed at symbols: the World Trade Center, the heart of American capitalism, and the Pentagon, the headquarters of the American military establishment. But it was not meant to be argued with. It wasn't part of any negotiation. No message was intended with it. It spoke for itself, which is unusual.
The United States that has been involved first in the Gulf War and then in the tremendously damaging sanctions against Iraqi civilians. The United States that is the supporter of Israel against the Palestinians.
I emphasize in it [my Orientalism] accortdingly that neither the term Orient nor the concept of the West has any ontological stability; each is made up of human effort, partly affirmation, partly identification of the Other.
It's very hard, for example, to justify the thirty-four-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. It's very hard to justify 140 Israeli settlements and roughly 400,000 settlers.
Osama bin Laden, who is a Saudi, feels himself to be a patriot because the U.
S. has forces in Saudi Arabia, which is sacred because it is the land of the prophet Mohammed.
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
Most Arabs and Muslims feel that the United States hasn't really been paying much attention to their desires. They think it has been pursuing its policies for its own sake and not according to many of the principles that it claims are its own - democracy, self-determination, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, international law.
It was thought that to rally Islam against godless communism would be doing the Soviet Union a very bad turn indeed, and that, in fact, transpired.
[Roots of terrorism] come out of a long dialectic of U.
S. involvement in the affairs of the Islamic world, the oil-producing world, the Arab world, the Middle East - those areas that are considered to be essential to U.S. interests and security.
The just response to this terrible event [9/11] should be to go immediately to the world community, the United Nations. The rule of international law should be marshaled, but it's probably too late because the United States has never done that; it's always gone it alone.
These actions were taken with the support and financing of the United States.
How can you say this is part of U.S. adherence to international law and U.N. resolutions? The result is a kind of schizophrenic picture of the United States.
Ironically, many of people, including Osama bin Laden and the mujahedeen, were, in fact, nourished by the United States in the early eighties in its efforts to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan.
The people who perpetrated the terror of the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings are something different because these people were obviously not desperate and poor refugee dwellers. They were middle class, educated enough to speak English, to be able to go to flight school, to come to America, to live in Florida.
There's been essentially the same analysis over and over again and very little allowance made for different views and interpretations and reflections.
If you live in the [Middle East] area, you see [U.
S actions] as part of a continuing drive for dominance, and with it a kind of obduracy, a stubborn opposition to the wishes and desires and aspirations of the people there.
It was thought that to rally Islam against godless communism would be doing the Soviet Union a very bad turn indeed, and that, in fact, transpired. In 1985, a group of mujahedeen came to Washington and was greeted by President [Ronald] Reagan, who called them "freedom fighters."
Uninformed and yet open to appeals for justice as they are, Americans are capable of reacting as they did to the ANC campaign against apartheid, which finally changed the balance of forces inside South Africa.
Speaking as a New Yorker, I found it a shocking and terrifying event [9/11], particularly the scale of it. At bottom, it was an implacable desire to do harm to innocent people. It was aimed at symbols: the World Trade Center, the heart of American capitalism, and the Pentagon, the headquarters of the American military establishment.
Density, complexity, and historical-semantic value that is so strong as to make politics possible... Gramsci's insight is to have recognised that subordination, fracturing, diffusion, reproducing, as much as producing, creating, forcing, guiding, are necessary aspects of elaboration.
Until the June 1967 war I was completely caught up in the life of a young professor of English. Beginning in 1968, I started to think, write, and travel as someone who felt himself to be directly involved in the renaissance of Palestinian life and politics.
And in this relentlessly unfolding series of interactions, the U.
S. has played a very distinctive role, which most Americans have been either shielded from or simply unaware of.
This [terrorists attacks on 9/11] was part of nothing.
It was a leap into another realm - the realm of crazy abstractions and mythological generalities, involving people who have hijacked Islam for their own purposes. It's important not to fall into that trap and to try to respond with a metaphysical retaliation of some sort.
The definition of terrorism has to be more precise, so that we are able to discriminate between, for example, what it is that the Palestinians are doing to fight the Israeli military occupation and terrorism of the sort that resulted in the World Trade Center bombing.
It's very hard, for example, to justify the thirty-four-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. It's very hard to justify 140 Israeli settlements and roughly 400,000 settlers. These actions were taken with the support and financing of the United States.
It [9/11 event] transcended the political and moved into the metaphysical.
There was a kind of cosmic, demonic quality of mind at work here, which refused to have any interest in dialogue and political organization and persuasion.
Refuse to allow yourself to become a vegetable that simply absorbs information, pre-packaged, pre-ideologized , because no message.. is anything but an ideological package that has gone through a kind of processing.
Much as I have no wish to hurt anyone's feelings, my first obligation has not been to be nice but to be true to my perhaps peculiar memories, experiences and feelings.
All the words that George Bush used in public during the early stages of the crisis - "wanted, dead or alive," "a crusade," etc. - suggest not so much an orderly and considered progress towards bringing the man to justice according to international norms, but rather something apocalyptic, something of the order of the criminal atrocity itself. That will make matters a lot, lot worse, because there are always consequences.
The Arab rulers are basically unpopular.
They are supported by the United States against the wishes of their people. In all of this rather heady mixture of violence and policies that are remarkably unpopular right down to the last iota, it's not hard for demagogues, especially people who claim to speak in the name of religion, in this case Islam, to raise a crusade against the United States and say that we must somehow bring America down.
[Mujahedeen], by the way, don't represent Islam in any formal sense.
They're not imams or sheiks. They are self-appointed warriors for Islam.
This [9/11 event] was bloody-minded destruction for no other reason than to do it. Note that there was no claim for these attacks. There were no demands. There were no statements. It was a silent piece of terror. This was part of nothing.
I have never known what is Arabic or English, or which one was really mine beyond any doubt. What I do know, however, is that the two have always been together in my life, one resonating in the other, sometimes ironically, sometimes nostalgically, most often each correcting, and commenting on, the other. Each can seem like my absolutely first language, but neither is.
But I do not know whether the photograph can, or does, say things as they really are. Something has been lost. But the representation is all we have.
It [9/11] transcended the political and moved into the metaphysical.
There was a kind of cosmic, demonic quality of mind at work here, which refused to have any interest in dialogue and political organization and persuasion. This was bloody-minded destruction for no other reason than to do it.
In the Islamic world, the U.S. is seen in two quite different ways. One view recognizes what an extraordinary country the U.S. is.