A Tribute to Edward Said


It is with heartbreaking sorrow that the Palestinian National Initiative announce the tragic death of Edward Said who passed away yesterday after eleven years fighting leukemia. At this time our thoughts and love are with his family. We wish them strength and courage and assurance that Edward will be a man forever remembered not only for his incredible achievements but for his remarkable qualities as a friend. Though words may do little at such a time to assuage the pain and grief something must be said to pay homage to a man and a life we should truly celebrate.

A man with great courage and clear conviction Edward Said was a shining light in a confused world. As a true intellectual giant, Said inspired all fields with his accomplishments. The passion which infused his intellectual abilities presented him as a man with clear visions to be greatly admired, trusted and respected.

Though his beliefs and commitments presented him with many challenges his statements and many testimonies of outrage at the hypocrisies, contradictions, and indignities so rife in the world gave him the integrity and honesty for which he was renowned.

A prolific writer Said addressed all issues of culture, colonialism, imperialism, language and literature. As a Palestinian exile much of his political writing came from personal memories yet he remained objective and grounded not only affirming the Palestinian presence but also pointing toward a future where peace is possible. Among spokespeople for the Palestinian cause surely there was none so articulate, so inspiring, so admired.

For the Palestinian National Initiative, a movement striving for democracy in Palestine itself co-founded by Dr. Said, the death of this unique and most prominent leader, a man of values and integrity who truly believed in freedom and justice is a great loss. The Mubardara remain determined to follow in his foot steps, and remain committed to his vision, conveying all his hopes and values not just of a free Palestine, and free Palestinians but of freedom for all, the world over.

The sense of loss felt by the death of such a great intellect, gentleman and friend is immeasurable. His eminent work of decades and all that he stood for will remain forever a monument for justice, and human rights. As a man of courage, graciousness, hope and dedication, his memory will remain forever in our hearts.

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTHI is Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative.

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