Edward Said After The Last Sky Summary

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Edward Said is the author of the essay After the Last Sky which speaks on the lives of Palestinians throughout history. It helps that he was born a Palestinian Arab. He knows first hand the struggles of living as a Palestinian which makes it easier for him to help us understand their struggle. This essay stands out to the reader for one huge reason; it has a great usage of pictures. They also help us to understand Said’s explanations on Palestinian injustice. In this essay, Said uses pictures to explain the lives of Palestinians and just how they are represented throughout the world. The first picture included within this essay shows newly wedded Palestinians, but Said doesn’t immediately tell the nationality of this couple within his description…show more content…
There is a caption on this page that tells us that this rug serves as a memory of the earlier, more comfortable, times that the Palestinians lived in. This brings me to Said’s point of Palestine being no more than a Legend, something that is no more, or just a memory. This rug is a symbolization of a whole culture. A vast nation of people are held within this one rug as just a memory. What’s even more interesting is how the picture was taken. Said goes on to speak about how the people were being polite to the photographer who took the picture, but then he goes on to speak of the Palestinians being polite because they may not have had a choice. Said writes, “There was the embarrassment of people uncertain why they were being looked at and recorded. Powerless to stop it.” (p. 14) He implies that these people may not have wanted a picture taken of them, but they’re already powerless. They have to comply because of the people who put them where they are. The Palestinians have been violated enough. On page 12, readers are informed that in Arab countries, they are given special cards which mark them as ‘Palestinian Refugees’, which means that they are still alienated even when they are somewhat respected for having an upstanding career. They are still forced to do things that make them uncomfortable. Even though the photographer may have wanted to know more about…show more content…
In 1967, in the Middle East, a war broke out and Palestinian nationalism rose to its highest point. On page 19, Said recalls feeling like the Palestinians could actually have a promising future. In the end, they lost the battle, and somehow throughout the war, the Palestinians became the monsters. After being kicked out of their homes and bullied, they were still controlled as barbarians. This is obviously outrageous and makes little to no sense even though we see this type of thinking everyday. The Middle East equals chaos in a westerner's eyes. The Middle Easterns seem to be crazy, barbaric, and evil just based on the actions of some who are born in the Middle East. These are basically just stereotypes not based on any true facts about their whole nation. This seems to be a problem that the Palestinians deal with frequently. Every Palestinian has been put into one category and stripped of their identity. This is why their nation is lost and is nothing but a thought. It’s now just a memory or a legend as Said says. Now that some people are starting to realize or find the lost culture that the Palestinians were forced to lose, the Palestinians seem to be gaining some sympathy as well as empathy. Either way, sympathy nor does empathy get their culture

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