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i'm sad about this one.

such a prolific writer. i loved his shit. his vocabulary was ferocious- i learned at least 50 new vocab words by reading his shit. i got to see him speak a few times. he was real sick.


palestine freedom.


much respect due.

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tearz: spreading knowledge.


Edward Said, Leading Advocate of Palestinians, Dies at 67


Edward Said, a polymath scholar and literary critic at Columbia University who was the most prominent advocate in the United States of the cause of Palestinian independence, died in New York City today. He was 67.


The cause of death was leukemia, which Mr. Said had been battling for several years.


Mr. Said, who was born in Jerusalem during the British mandate in Palestine and emigrated to the United States when he was a teenager, spent a long and productive career as a professor of comparative literature at Columbia and was the author of several widely discussed books.


He was an exemplar of American multiculturalism, at home both in Arabic and English, but, as he once put it, "a man who lived two quite separate lives," one as an American university professor, the other as a fierce critic of American and Israeli policies and an equally fierce proponent of the Palestinian cause.


Though a defender of Islamic civilization, Mr. Said was an Episcopalian married to a Quaker. He was also an excellent pianist who for several years was the music critic for The Nation.


From 1977 to 1991, he was as an unaffiliated member of the Palestine National Conference, a parliament-in-exile. Most of the conference's members belong to one or another of the main Palestinian organizations, most importantly the Palestine Liberation Organization led by Yasir Arafat, but some were members of smaller organizations believed responsible for terrorist operations against Israelis and Americans, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.


"The situation of the Palestinian is that of a victim," Mr. Said told Dinitia Smith in New York magazine in 1989, making the kind of statement that put him at the center of the roiling debate about the Middle East.


"They're the dispossessed, and what they do by way of violence and terrorism is understandable," he said. " But what the Israelis do, in killing Palestinians on a much larger scale, is a continuation of the horrific and unjust dispossession of the Palestinian people."


He added: "'I totally repudiate terrorism in all its forms. Not just Palestinian terrorism — I'm also against Israeli terrorism, the bombing of refugee camps."


Mr. Said was a widely recognized figure in New York, a frequent participant in debates on the Middle East, and an outspoken advocate of a Palestinian homeland. For many years he was an ardent supporter of Mr. Arafat, whom he called "the leader of a genuinely national and popular movement, with a clearly legitimate goal of self-determination for his people."


But Mr. Said became a bitter critic of Mr. Arafat after the 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the P.L.O., believing that the agreement gave the Palestinians too little territory and too little control over it.


In the years after Oslo, he argued that separate Palestinian and Jewish states would always be unworkable and, while he recognized that emotions on both sides were against it, he advocated a single binational state as the best ultimate solution.


"I see no other way than to begin now to speak about sharing the land that has thrust us together, and sharing it in a truly democratic way, with equal rights for each citizen," he wrote in a 1999 essay in The New York Times. "There can be no reconciliation unless both peoples, two communities of suffering, resolve that their existence is a secular fact, and that it has to be dealt with as such."


Among the criticisms leveled against Mr. Said by Jews and others was his failure to condemn specific acts of terrorism by Palestinian groups, including some that served alongside him on the Palestine National Council.


One such person, for example, was Abu Abbas, a member of the P.L.O. executive committee who is believed responsible for the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of a wheelchair-bound American passenger, Leon Klinghoffer.


In his interview with New York, Mr. Said called Abu Abbas "a degenerate," but he then argued that important Israeli leaders, like former prime ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, had been terrorists responsible for the killing of women and children.

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if anyone's interested, "out of place" is the last book i read by said, but it's a great place to start to learn about him. beyond his politics, he was a brilliant mind, a true erudite. it's a beautiful book.

i was just talking about him the other day and wondering how his health was...

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