Reading Edward Said’s Orientalism has been an eye-opening experience for me. After spending time in a Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, I was able to see the text and life of the author laid out in plain view.
In this excerpt, Said speaks about the power dynamics between the Orient and Occident, and how the Orient has been “Orientalized” by Westerners. He speaks of the idea of Europe as being superior to non-Europeans, and how this has created a hegemony of European ideas about the Orient.
This excerpt is a powerful reminder of the need to question our sources of information when it comes to topics such as Terrorism, Terrorists, Muslims, Islam, Saddam Hussein, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, or Afghanistan. We must be aware of our own biases and be careful not to assume that our views are more accurate than those of people living in these countries.
It is important that we take the time to understand this excerpt and share it with others. We must be open to different perspectives and strive to create a more balanced view of the world.