Eqbal Ahmad: Legacy of Resistance
The main theme of Noam Chomsky’s lecture which began the tribute to Eqbal Ahmad event, was confronting empire. He talked about the “international community” as essentially the U.S. and its allies, Bush’s “messianic mission” and the “unusual historic event we are witnessing” the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Palestinians enabled by Washington. By Israeli attacks, he says he means “Israeli and U.S. attacks, since the U.S. is supplying Israel with weapons as well as diplomatic and ideological support.” His talk was followed by an informative panel discussion.
Noam Chomsky, legendary MIT professor and among the world’s leading intellectuals, is joined by Pakistani journalist and filmmaker Beena Sarwar, scholars Margaret Cerullo, Emran Qureshi, and Stuart Schaar, in a celebration of the great Pakistani activist/thinker Eqbal Ahmad and the publication of The Selected Writings of Eqbal Ahmad. Ahmad, a charismatic and brilliant strategist, died in Islamabad in 1999. He was called by his close friend Edward Said, “the shrewdest and most original anti-imperialist analyst of the postwar world.” Chomsky opens the event with a great talk on the Middle East. A panel discussion follows on Ahmad’s work and its significance with a particular focus on Palestine, Lebanon, Iran and Pakistan.
Moderated by Jack Trumpbour of the Harvard Trade Union Program.
Recorded at Ames Hall, Harvard Law School as part of its Labor and Worklife Program.
Noam Chomsky, by any measure, has led a most extraordinary life. In one index he is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Aristotle, Shakespeare, Marx, Plato and Freud. His contributions to modern linguistics are legendary. In addition to his pioneering work in that field, he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. Chris Hedges says he is “America’s greatest intellectual” who “makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.” The New Statesman calls him “the conscience of the American people.” He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Haury Chair in the Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. At 95, he continues to inform and inspire people all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, his latest are Consequences of Capitalism, Chronicles of Dissent and Notes on Resistance.