Said was a moral inspiration, not least because of his refusal to be bowed or intimidated by systems of power. These systems included Arab regimes, as well as imperial America and colonial Israel.
Time and again as one reads through Said’s collected newspaper columns (which you can do in books such as “Peace and its Discontents”, “The End of the Peace Process” and his final collection “From Oslo to Iraq and the Roadmap”) a constant theme is denunciation of the brutal and corrupt dictatorships that rule in the Arab world. He ridiculed and denounced subservient Arab intellectuals and journalists, the court stenographers of oil sheikhs and dictators.
In that respect, Said pre-empted 2011’s popular Arab uprisings by decades (although I am personally convinced that he would, like me, have disliked the Western imposed label “Arab spring”).