Film: In Search of Palestine - Edward Said’s Return Home

Watching this film, I got mixed feelings. Should I consider it refreshing to watch Edward Said narrating this exceptional film? Should I feel nostaligic seeing Ibrahim Abul Lughod, a man who was a close family friend and used to bring me gifts when I was about 6 years old, alive and talking in this film? Or should I consider it depressing to know that the current reality hasn’t changed at all during the last 14 years?

“In Search of Palestine - Edward Said’s Return Home” is a film presented by Edward Said, and produced by the BBC in 1998. As the film description reads, it captures the interconnection between Said’s personal recollection and the shared memory of the Palestinian people. The film discusses the Oslo accords, ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, settlements expansion, growing apartheid system, segregation within the Israeli state, and other aspects of occupation; all of this is in the 50 minute program. What has changed since then? This two-state solution the PA is seeking, to me, is the Oslo Accords reincarnated. It might not have the same disastrous impact, but it would be disastrous nonetheless. More rounds of negotiations, seasonal rounds of violence, daily settlement expansion; all of this makes me wonder where we’ll be heading to next.




Because almost nothing so far has changed but can be changed, it's essential that Edward Said's steadfast advocacy and insistence on justice for Palestinians be strongly continued by all of us who honor and have been inspired by his legacy.


We were seeing each other practically everyday. Edward spent that year between having finished Prionceton, before going to Harvard, running the 13 stores across the Middle East of the Standard Stationary , built by his father Wadih Said. I knew all the sisters, Gracy , Jeanny, Rosemarie, his mother Hilda and his dad, Wahih "Bill" Said..
Edward was a giant. Infinitely talented in sports, music, languages, business, He towered above all of us , A brilliant and complex mind that I felt would lead to great things. Time would tell most eloquently how right my prediction were. He wnt to Harvard for a Masters degree and a phD, with a Woodrow Wilson scholarship that was awarded 3 times, a first in the history of that prestigeous award ! During his tenure as Professor of Compared Litterature at Columbia University he wrote books, published articles, was a guest speaker at different forums, spoke on Television, involved himself with the movement of Yasser Arafat, becoming the de fact spokesman of the Palestinian cause, and dared Arab statesmen to live and take a more responsible attitude with their own subjects as well as facing theArab world with it's pathetic failures ewgarding the Palestinian question. he draesas a Palestinian Arab confront the Arab nations about the suffering of the Jewish people during the Nazi period, and consistently searched with Israelis of good will, solutions to bridge differences between the positions of the Israelis and the Palestinians, in the hope that the 2 peoples could co-exist and prosper together on the same land and soil. One of his most remarkable achievements were the Barenboim -Said Foundation, bringing members of an Israeli-Arab orchestra to rehearse and perform together world wide under the baton of Daniel Baremboim, who co-authored a book about music with Edward Said. His memory lives with his writings and achievements. One book, "Orientalism" translated in more than 20 languages, is a showcase of Edward Said's true stature.

Jalal Abukhater

Jalal Abukhater's picture

Jalal Abukhater is a Jerusalemite, he is a graduate MA(hons) International Relations and Politics from the University of Dundee, Scotland.