No Place Like Home Edward Said's States is an excerpt from his book After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives. It's a story about Palestine, once a country, but now spread out into a million pieces of the people that once called it home. The pieces being more of memories of a time when Palestinians could be who they are, not a scattered and forgotten people. They all face a new struggle, a struggle to find their identity. "Identity- who we are, where we come from, what we are- is difficult to maintain in exile. Most other people take their identity for granted. Not the Palestinian, who is required to show proofs of identity more or less constantly." (Page 546) Said, being Palestinian himself, tells us this story in what was called a
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It gives the reader an idea that he won’t be doing the expected when it comes to describing the pictures, but tells us that he’ll be doing it unconventionally, like a conversation. He really wants us to understand the struggles and loss that the Palestinian’s faced. The first time I read this story, I wasn’t much of a fan when it came to Said’s writing style. But the farther I got into it and really started to think about all of the things the Palestinians faced, I’ve come to the conclusion that any other choice wouldn’t have done his story justice.
After describing pictures of everyday scenes, like food vendors and kids riding bikes in the streets, he tells us his frustration with how looking at these pictures reminds him of so much, but yet seems so far away. “But what a distance now actually separates me from the concreteness of that life. How easily traveled the photographs make it seem, and how possible to suspend the barriers keeping me from the scenes they portray.” (Page 547) This also helps us open our minds as readers to bring us to his state of mind when looking at the pictures from his point of view.
Said continues to talk about how Palestinian rituals, stories and ways of life are not allowed or looked down upon wherever they were relocated too. He then goes on describing his concerns of passing on generations of knowledge and traditions that Said and generations before him