Summary of The Shadow of the West — a film by Edward Said

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The video discusses the history of conflict between the East and West, and how this has affected the Palestinians. The video also discusses how the recent ties between the Arabs and the West have not helped the Palestinians, as they are still outnumbered and outorganized.

  • 00:00:00 Edward Said discusses the history of the relationship between Europe and the Middle East, highlighting how Islam was Europe's only powerful cultural and human challenge where Europe was not surrounded by water. Europe conquered the oceans, the Americas, India, and other parts of the world long before it was able to subdue the Muslims. This led to the age of European empire ending after the Second World War. However, all Arab countries eventually gained independence, with the exception of Palestine, where British rule and American support encouraged the creation of a Jewish National Home. The land is still theirs for the Palestinian Arabs, who are either dispossessed or living under Israeli rule. This conflict is what keeps alive for Arabs the sense of living under the shadow of the West.
  • 00:05:00 The video discusses the history of Jerusalem, and how it has been divided among various groups of people. The video also discusses the effects of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and how it affects the lives of its inhabitants.
  • 00:10:00 Edward Said discusses the contradictions and challenges faced by Palestinians in America, where they are often seen as neither biblical nor Israeli. He points out that this has been the case historically, starting with the Crusades.
  • 00:15:00 The Shadow of the West is a documentary film by Edward Said about the history of the Holy Land and the Crusades. Said discusses the power of the idea of a holy land and how it has been used to move armies and entire nations throughout history. Today, farmers in the shadow of Beaufort live with the threat of war and artillery fire, as the Israelis have maintained a presence in Lebanon since 1982.
  • 00:20:00 The video discusses the significance of Beaufort, Lebanon, which was captured by Israel in 1982. The narrator, a man from Philadelphia, talks about how he believes that the Palestinians have the same right to live in Beaufort as he does. He references the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, during which thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians were killed or made homeless. He also talks about how younger Palestinians are locked up in the area.
  • 00:25:00 The video discusses the history of the West's interactions with the Orient, focusing on the period from Napoleon's arrival in the region in 1798 to the end of World War I. One of the most famous Europeans to involve himself in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks was T.E. Lawrence (also known as Lawrence of Arabia), who helped secure the Arabian heartland for the British and French.
  • 00:30:00 In 1917, Arthur James Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, issued a Declaration promising a Jewish homeland in Palestine, despite the objections of the native inhabitants. The Zionist movement, founded in Europe in the late 1800s, had become a reality by the time of the war of 1948. The creation of Israel led to the displacement of 800,000 people and the Palestinian problem in its full-dress contemporary form was born. The video paints a picture of how the Zionist movement was able to gain support in Europe by portraying the Arab as a backwards people who were unimportant and not deserving of their own homeland.
  • 00:35:00 The video recalls the experiences of Palestinian refugees who were forced to live in makeshift shelters in Lebanon after Israel bombed their villages in 1982. The video also discusses the displacement of Palestinians and their experiences living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
  • 00:40:00 The video discusses the conflict between Israel and Palestine and how the idea of a state for the Palestinians is becoming more important to them as the situation between the two countries becomes more difficult.
  • 00:45:00 This video is about how the Palestinians have been living in the shadow of the West for centuries, due to their lack of power and resources. The video also discusses how the recent ties between the Arabs and the West have not helped the Palestinians, as they are still outnumbered and outorganized.
  • 00:50:00 This video by Edward Said discusses the tensions between East and West, and how the former's history is often one of conflict and division. Said suggests that it may be too soon to expect such a reconciliatory history to develop, but he remains hopeful.

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