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The MBI Al Jaber Foundation Co-hosts Book Launch of ‘Arabs’, by Tim Mackintosh-Smith

The MBI Al Jaber Foundation was recently invited by the British-Yemeni Society (B-YS) and the International Association for the Study of Arabia (IASA) to co-host the UK book launch of ‘Arabs: A 3,000 Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires’, the most recent work of British historian, Tim Mackintosh-Smith. The event took place on 11th February, 2020 in the Djam Lecture Theatre at SOAS. The venue, with a capacity of nearly 140 seats, was almost filled.

Tim Mackintosh-Smith UK book launch of ‘Arabs: A 3,000 Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires’

Tim Mackintosh-Smith is a well-known author and traveller who has lived in Sana’a, Yemen since 1984. As the presentation was conducted in the form of an interview, Tim was asked questions about the contents of his newly published book by Ian Black, a visiting senior fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre. Tim responded by talking about how he recounts his travels or, as he calls them, “untravels”, i.e., experiences that do not simply give the reader a linear story about what he has seen. Rather, these journeys bring memories to his mind and, in light of this experience, he is able to make sense of how the Arab people’s past merges with their present enjoying new vitality. On the more historical side, Tim also very interestingly discussed the role that Classical Arabic played as the unifying factor for Arab peoples, and how its spreading and subsequent use in the Qur’an was the very basis for Arabic-speaking communities growing into what would become one of the great civilisations of the Mediterranean region. This phenomenon, Tim reinforced, has even had contemporary expressions, such as the al-Nahda movement which focused on the revamp and rejuvenation of the Arabic language. Having lived in Sana’a for a long time, the author also remarked on the centrality of Yemen and the contributions made by its ancient civilisations to the development of an Arab identity in broad cultural and linguistic terms.

A very-well received book, ‘Arabs’ spans 3000 years of history and focuses more than previous publications on pre-Islamic Arabia. Tim Mackintosh-Smith dedicated this work to a ‘unified Yemen’, for this country, according to the author, has attained its highest achievements during periods when it was unified.

The MBI Al Jaber Foundation is grateful to both the B-YS and IASA for their invitation to co-host this book launch and looks forward to welcoming more people to its forthcoming events.

For further information, please contact:
Director of Public Relations
[email protected]



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