Edward Said dies
[TamilNet, Friday, 26 September 2003, 00:44 GMT]
Edward W Said, a Columbia University professor, literary critic and leading spokesman in the USA for the Palestinian cause, died last night at a New York hospital due to complications from leukemia he had since early 1990.
Prof. Said was born in 1935 in Jerusalem, then part of British-ruled Palestine, but spent most of his adult life in the United States.
Said was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1991, and was often ill in his later years. It did nothing to diminish his radicalism: in 2000 he threw stones at an Israeli guardhouse, an act for which Columbia declined to censure him.
He was a prominent member of the Palestinian parliament-in-exile for 14 years, until stepping down in 1991. He also wrote passionately about the Palestinian cause, as well as on a variety of other subjects, from English literature, his academic specialty, to music and culture.
"He was a man of intellect and courage who maintained a deep and abiding commitment to his humanity and to the Palestinian cause," said Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, who first met Mr. Said in the 1960s. "He remained unwavering in his commitment to the Palestinian cause for justice and freedom and never ever allowed himself to be intimidated or silenced," Associated Press reported.
On the Arab-Israeli conflict, Mr. Said was consistently critical of Israel for what he regarded as mistreatment of the Palestinians.