A.Y. May

Edward Said and the Contours of Palestinian Identity

For Palestinians born in the Diaspora, Said’s writings stand at the centre of their attempts at making sense of the world and of their place in it as a dispossessed people. I am one such Palestinian. I discovered Said’s work as an undergraduate student at McGill University in the mid-nineties. Majoring in Political Science and Women’s Studies, my intellectual growth as a human being, a Palestinian, a Canadian, a writer, a committed peace activist, and a staunchly secular feminist, were all deeply impacted by his work. This summer I had a chance to attend a 4-hour-long unedited documentary interview with Edward Said at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. A.Y. May reports.