Royal Asiatic Society

Member Profile

Tim Mackintosh-Smith


A short biography

Tim’s books include a travel trilogy pursuing the fourteenth-century wanderer, Ibn Battutah, around three continents, as well as editions and translations of early Arabic texts. His 2019 volume, Arabs: A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires, written in a period of forced immobility during the Yemeni civil war, examines the past through the lenses of language and migration; it has been described as ʻa book of vast scope and stunning insightʼ.

Among other documentaries, Tim presented and co-wrote the major BBC TV series Travels with a Tangerine. He is a Senior Research Fellow of the Library of Arabic Literature.


Photo by Mohammed Al Sairafi