César Chelala in The Times of Israel:
The 2019 Memorial Lecture at Columbia University in New York honoring Edward W. Said, “Out of Place: Refugees, Immigrants, and Storytelling” couldn’t have come at a more appropriate moment. And the main speaker for that event, Viet Thanh Nguyen, was the right person for the job. Viet Thanh Nguyen, the author of the novel The Sympathizer, shares with Said two qualities: his political concerns, and the widespread recognition for his work. He also shares with Said a feeling of displacement; him as a refugee, Said as an immigrant.
Edward Said was perhaps one of the most profound analysts of the Palestinian situation, and one of the most vocal critics of the Israeli government policies towards them. To his credit, he is equally critical of both.
Following the Six-Day War (5-10 June 1967,) Said worked hard to dispel the stereotyped misrepresentations of Arabs in the U.S. media, which had no bases in the political and historical realities of the Middle East. In that war, the combined armies of Egypt (known at the time as the United Arab Republic,) Jordan and Syria were crippled by Israel, which had in the United States a most powerful ally.