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Search for Moral Authority

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Image Credit: Ramachandra Babu/©Gulf News

When I was younger, and Said was still alive, I always wondered what his impressions of certain events were. His non-conformist political style — let alone his literary genius — did more than convey information and offer sound analyses. It also offered guidance and moral direction. After he promised me an interview, he wrote a short email about having to undergo ‘very painful’ chemotherapy and asked to postpone. I never heard from him after that. He passed away. I had way too many questions that until this day remain unanswered.

Professor Said, and many such giants, are missed most during this current upheaval, where intellectuals seem negligible, if at all relevant. There is no disrespect intended here, for this is not about the actual skill of articulation, but alternatively it concerns the depth of that expression, the identity and credibility of the intellectual, his very definition of self and relationship with those in power.

Sure, there were those scholarly minds who joined Egyptian youth as they took to the streets in 2011, but did so timidly. Some appeared to be members of a bygone generation, desperate for validation. Others were simply present, without owning the moment or knowing how to truly define it or define their relationship to it ..

– Read more: Search for Moral Authority – Ramzy Baroud, Gulf News