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Edward W. Said quotes (showing 1-30 of 130)

“You cannot continue to victimize someone else just because you yourself were a victim once—there has to be a limit”
Edward W. Said
“Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires, that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate."

(Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2003)”
Edward W. Said
“All knowledge that is about human society, and not about the natural world, is historical knowledge, and therefore rests upon judgment and interpretation. This is not to say that facts or data are nonexistent, but that facts get their importance from what is made of them in interpretation… for interpretations depend very much on who the interpreter is, who he or she is addressing, what his or her purpose is, at what historical moment the interpretation takes place.”
Edward W. Said
“الأرض كلها فندق.. وبيتي القدس”
Edward W. Said
“My argument is that history is made by men and women, just as it can also be unmade and rewritten, always with various silence and elisions, always with shapes imposed and disfigurements tolerated.”
Edward W. Said
“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.”
Edward W. Said
“We can not fight for our rights and our history as well as future until we are armed with weapons of criticism and dedicated consciousness.”
Edward W. Said
“It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar.”
Edward W. Said
“المثقفين "تلك الشخصيات التي لا يمكن التكهّن بأدائها العلني؛ أو إخضاع تصرفها لشعار ما, أو خط حزبي تقليدي, أو عقيدة جازمة ثابتة. وما سعيت إلى اقتراحه هو وجوب بقاء المثقف أميناً لمعايير الحق الخاصة بالبؤس الإنساني والاضطهاد, رغم انتسابه الحزبي, وخلفيته القومية, وولاءاته الفطرية. ولا شيء يشوه الأداء العلني للمثقف أكثر من تغيير الآراء تتبعاً للظروف, وإلتزام الصمت الحذر, والتبجح الوطني, والردّة المتأخرة التي تصور نفسها بأسلوب مسرحي" ص14 - صَور المثقف”
Edward W. Said, Representations of the Intellectual
“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.”
Edward W. Said, Palestine
“No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind. Imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale. But its worst and most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about. Survival in fact is about the connections between things; in Eliot’s phrase, reality cannot be deprived of the “other echoes [that] inhabit the garden.” It is more rewarding - and more difficult - to think concretely and sympathetically, contrapuntally, about others than only about “us.” But this also means not trying to rule others, not trying to classify them or put them in hierarchies, above all, not constantly reiterating how “our” culture or country is number one (or not number one, for that matter).”
Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism
“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.”
Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism
“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.”
Edward W. Said, Out of Place
“Despite the variety and the differences, and however much we proclaim the contrary, what the media produce is neither spontaneous nor completely “free:” “news” does not just happen, pictures and ideas do not merely spring from reality into our eyes and minds, truth is not directly available, we do not have unrestrained variety at our disposal.

For like all modes of communication, television, radio, and newspapers observe certain rules and conventions to get things across intelligibly, and it is these, often more than the reality being conveyed, that shape the material delivered by the media. ”
Edward W. Said
“إحدى مهام المثقف هي بذل الجهد لتهشيم الآراء المقولبة والمقولات التصغيرية, التي تحدُّ كثيراً من الفكر الإنساني والإتصال الفكري.

ص12-13 كتاب صُوَر المثقف”
Edward W. Said, Representations of the Intellectual
“العزف فيه نوع من الندرة نظراً لسرعة زواله، يكون ثم ينتهي ثم يجب عليك أن تحمله معك في رأسك”
Edward W. Said
“The Orient and Islam have a kind of extrareal, phenomenologically reduced status that puts them out of reach of everyone except the Western expert. From the beginning of Western speculation about the Orient, the one thing th orient could not do was to represent itself. Evidence of the Orient was credible only after it had passed through and been made firm by the refining fire of the Orientalist’s work.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home: its essential sadness can never be surmounted. And while it is true that literature and history contain heroic, romantic, glorious, even triumphant episodes in an exile’s life, these are no more than efforts meant to overcome the crippling sorrow of estrangement.”
Edward W. Said, Reflections on Exile and Other Essays
“لا يوجد في الأدب نظير حقيقي للعازف، يمكن للكتاب أن يقرأ أمام جمهور لكن هدف عملهم المنطقي انتاج الصمت- القراءة الصامتة - والآن في حالة موسيقي عازف فإن فكرة الأداء بحدّ ذاته هو الهدف مما يفعله في الحياة”
Edward W. Said
“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.”
Edward W. Said
“Appeals to the past are among the commonest of strategies in interpretations of the present.”
Edward W. Said
“I take criticism so seriously as to believe that, even in the midst of a battle in which one is unmistakably on one side against another, there should be criticism, because there must be critical consciousness if there are to be issues, problems, values, even lives to be fought for... Criticism must think of itself as life-enhancing and constitutively opposed to every form of tyranny, domination, and abuse; its social goals are noncoercive knowledge produced in the interests of human freedom.”
Edward W. Said
“إنّ شعار "لا تستسلم أبدًا" قد يعني أيضّا أنك "آفة اجتماعية" تعرقل نشاطَ الآخرين وتؤخّر البرنامج وربما تبيح للمشاهدين النافدي الصبر فرصةَ التهويش على السبّاح المؤذي في بطئه والمستهتر في عناده”
Edward W. Said
“كلما ازداد تعدي أوروبا على الشرق في القرن التاسع عشر ازدادت ثقة الجمهور [الغربي] بالإستشراق. لكنه إذا كانت هذه الزيادة في الثقة قد تزامنت مع نقصان الإصالة، فلا ينبغي لنا أن ندهش كثيراً، لأن أسلوب الإستشراق منذ البداية كان يقوم على إعادة البناء والتكرار”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“... the connection between imperial politics and culture is astonishingly direct. American attitudes to American "greatness", to hierarchies of race, to the perils of "other" revolutions (the American revolution being considered unique and somehow unrepeatable anywhere else in the world) have remained constant, have dictated, have obscured, the realities of empire, while apologists for overseas American interests have insisted on American innocence, doing good, fighting for freedom.”
Edward W. Said
“In short, Israel is the measure of our failings and our incompetence. We have waited for a great leader for years, but none came; we have waited for a mighty military victory, but we were defeated roundly; we have waited for outside powers (the US or,in its time, the Soviet Union), but none came to our aid. The one thing we have not tried in all seriousness is to rely on OURSELVES: until we do that with a full commitment to success there is no chance that we can advance towards self-determination and freedom from aggression.-1998”
Edward W. Said
“فلم يكن القصد من وصف شخص ما بأنه شرقي، على نحو ما دأب عليه المستشرقون، ينحصر في الإشارة إلى أن لغة هذا الشخص وجغرافية بلاده وتاريخه من موضوعات الدراسة العلمية، بل كثيراً ما كان ذلك التعبير يرمي إلى الحط من شأن الشخص ويعني أنه ينتمي إلى سلالة دنيا من البشر، وإن كان ذلك لاينفي أن كلمة "الشرق" كانت ترتبط في أذهان بعض المبدعين مثل نيرفال وسيجالين ارتباطاً رائعاً وخلاباً بالغرابة، والبهاء، والغموض، والوعد، ولكن الكلمة كانت بمثابة تعميم تاريخي مغرق في شموله.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism
“We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)”
Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism
“Liberation as an intellectual mission, born in the resistance and opposition to the confinements and ravages of imperialism, has now shifted from the settled, established, and domesticated dynamics of culture to its unhoused, decentred, and exilic energies, energies whose incarnation today is the migrant, and whose conciousness is that of the intellectual and artist in exile, the political figure between domains, between forms, between homes, and between languages. From this perspective then all things are indeed counter, original, spare, strange. From this perspective also, one can see 'the complete consort dancing together' contrapuntally.”
Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism
“Consider that in 1800 Western powers claimed 55 percent but actually held approximately 35 percent of the earth's surface, and that by 1874 the proportion was 67 percent, a rate of increase of 83,000 square miles per year. By 1914, the annual rate had risen to an astonishing 240,000 square miles [per year], and Europe held a grand total of roughly 85 percent of the earth as colonies, protectorates, dependencies, dominions, and commonwealths. No other associated set of colonies in history was as large, none so totally dominated, none so unequal in power to the Western metropolis." Culture and Imperialism, pg. 8”
Edward W. Said

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