Conversations with Edward Said

Published by Seagull, April 2006

In one of his last interviews, Edward Said speaks with Tariq Ali about his dislocated existence, his initiation into politics, his involvement with the Palestinian cause, his approach to the study of culture, and his pervasive love of literature and music. Intimate, personal, thought-provoking, and absorbing, these conversations capture Said—as political activist, cultural historian, professor of literature, and music aficionado—and confirm his position as one of the most passionate and thoughtful intellectuals of our time.

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Also published by Seagull: The Assassination, A Banker for All Seasons, The Leopard and the Fox

From the archive

  • ‘This is the real outrage’

    February 13, 2006

    ‘This is the real outrage’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, February 13, 2006

    Amid the cartoon furore, Danish imams ignore the tragedies suffered by Muslims across the world

    The latest round of culture wars does neither side any good. The western civilisational fundamentalists insist on seeing Muslims as the other—different, alien and morally evil. Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons in bad faith. Their aim was not to engage in debate but to provoke, and they succeeded. The same newspaper declined to print caricatures of Jesus. I am an atheist and do not know the meaning of the “religious pain” that is felt by believers of every cast when what they believe in is insulted. I am not insulted by billions of Christians, Muslims and Jews believing there is a God and praying to this nonexistent deity on a  …

  • Tariq Ali’s speech at the National Demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

    August 13, 2014

    Here is a video of Tariq Ali’s speech at the largest UK demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

  • ‘Operation Enduring Disaster’

    November 16, 2008

    ‘Operation Enduring Disaster’ by Tariq Ali for TomDispatch, November 16, 2008

    Afghanistan has been almost continuously at war for 30 years, longer than both World Wars and the American war in Vietnam combined. Each occupation of the country has mimicked its predecessor. A tiny interval between wars saw the imposition of a malignant social order, the Taliban, with the help of the Pakistani military and the late Benazir Bhutto, the prime minister who approved the Taliban takeover in Kabul.

    Over the last two years, the U.S./NATO occupation of that country has run into serious military problems. Given a severe global economic crisis and the election of a new American president—a man separated in style, intellect, and temperament from his predecessor–the possibility of a serious discussion about an exit strategy from the Afghan disaster hovers on the horizon. The  …