“Edward Said wished to be buried in Arab soil and had chosen Lebanon” as his final resting ground, Lebanese writer Elias Khoury said on Thursday. He was a close friend of Said. 

After a cremation in the United States, Said’s ashes will be brought to Lebanon at the end of October for burial in the Protestant cemetery in the town of Brummana, the home of his wife’s family, located northwest of Beirut.

Born in west Jerusalem in 1935, Said spent his childhood in Cairo before settling in the United States. He often vacationed with his family in the Lebanese mountain village of Dhur al-Shoueir.

During the 70s he spent a year in Lebanon to further his studies of Arab culture and the Arabic language.

After the Hizb Allah resistance group ousted Israeli forces from Lebanon in May 2000 following a 22-year occupation, Said visited the Lebanese-Israeli border in 2001 where he threw a symbolic rock into Israel.

The intellectual was a tireless defender of the Palestinian cause.

A public ceremony in memory of the writer is being planned in Beirut, said Khoury, one of its organisers and editor of the cultural section of al-Nahar newspaper. The daily has produced a special tribute to the author.