Said is best known for describing and critiquing "Orientalism"; what he perceived as a constellation of false assumptions underlying Western attitudes toward the East.
In Orientalism (1978), Said decried the "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo-Islamic peoples and their culture".  He argued that a long tradition of false and romanticized images of Asia and the Middle East in Western culture had served as an implicit justification for Europe's and America's colonial and imperial ambitions.
Critiquing Said, Christopher Hitchens, who writes for Vanity Fair, wrote that he denied any possibility "that direct Western engagement in the region is legitimate" and that Said's analysis cast "every instance of European curiosity about the East [as] part of a grand design to exploit and remake what Westerners saw as a passive, rich, but ultimately contemptible 'Oriental' sphere". 
The British historian Bernard Lewis is another important critic who took issue with Said's work. The two authors exchanged a famous polemic in the pages of the New York Review of Books following the publication of Orientalism. Lewis' article, "The question of orientalism" was followed in the next issue by "Orientalism: an exchange".
Edward Wadie Said (إدوارد سعيد) (November 1, 1935 – September 24, 2003) was a well-known literary theorist, critic and outspoken Palestinian activist. According to Columbia News (Columbia University), he was "one of the most influential scholars in the world," and "was undoubtedly one of the greatest minds of the 20th century."
Said was born in Jerusalem (then in the British...