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The 2012 Edward W Said London Lecture


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The A.M Qattan Foundation is delighted to present this year’s Edward W Said London Lecture:

Mina’s Banner: Edward Said and the Egyptian Revolution

Ahdaf Soueif, with opening remarks by Omar Al-Qattan and introduction by Professor Jacqueline Rose

Thursday 24th May, 2012, 6.30pm

BP Lecture Theatre, British Museum, London WC1B 3DG


“Everything is fragmented and fluid and unstable and hopeful and dangerous,” wrote Soueif from Cairo in February. “We have insights and connections and blank spaces and questions. ‘Mina’s Banner’ is the phrase I need to use now – but what will it mean by the time we reach May?”

Soueif was born and brought up in Cairo. When the Egyptian Revolution erupted on January 25th 2011 she, along with thousands of others, called Tahrir Square home for eighteen days. She reported for the world’s media and did – like everyone else – whatever she could. As the events in Egypt unfolded, Soueif has continued to write and comment on her people’s struggles. With the upcoming Egyptian presidential elections, this presentation provides a timely opportunity to consider the Egyptian revolution within the framework of Edward W Said’s work, examining the relationship between culture and politics. ‘Mina’ is Mina Danial, the young Coptic activist killed by the military in Cairo on October 9, 2011, in the Maspero massacre. ‘Mina’s Banner’ is a term Soueif is currently developing, and which she will expand upon during the presentation.

Literary critic, writer, activist, and spokesperson for the Palestinian cause, Edward Said (1943-2003) was one of the most influential intellectuals of his time. Now in its third year, this lecture series expands, and aims to promote, his sprit through the continued examination of the links between culture and politics in the Middle East and across the world.

Ahdaf Soueif is the author of the bestselling novels The Map of Love (shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and In the Eye of the Sun, as well as  Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground, a collection of essays positioned at the intersection of culture and politics, and I Think of You, a collection of short stories. She writes regularly for the Guardian in the UK and al-Shorouk in Egypt, and is the founder of the Palestine Festival of Literature, PalFest.