x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

UK writer to speak on Gulf economic and cultural ties at NYUAD

A distinguished lecturer and writer from Oxford University will deliver a talk on the economic and cultural ties between Gulf states at New York University Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // A distinguished writer and lecturer on Yemen and the Arab world will be giving a talk at Abu Dhabi’s New York University campus this evening.

Tim Mackintosh-Smith, originally from the UK, has been based in Yemen since graduating from Oxford University in the 1980s and will deliver his lecture “The Marvelous, Mundane Orient of Abu Zayd and Ibn Battutah.”

The talk aims to explore the cultural and economic ties between Gulf states, based on the journeys of legendary explorer Ibn Battutah, of which Mr Mackintosh-Smith has studied extensively.

He published a trilogy of books, Travels with A Tangerine (2001), The Hall of a Thousand Columns (2005) and Landfalls (2010), which retrace the steps of the fourteenth century figure.

Mr Mackintosh-Smith will also introduce a new collaborative project between himself and NYU’s library of Arabic literature, in which he translates the 10th century work of Abu Zayd on India and China (Akhbar al-Sin wa-l-Hind).

“He is one of the great travel writers of the moment and his main interest has always been Ibn Battutah,” said Philip Kennedy, editor of NYU’s Library of Arabic Literature.

“The theme of the talk fits perfectly into a theme that NYU is very interested in, which is exploring Abu Dhabi’s position in the world and looking at the relationship it has with other parts of the gulf.”

Mr Mackintosh-Smith won the 1998 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for his work Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land and presented a BBC documentary series in 2007 called Travels with a Tangerine.

Tonight’s talk will run from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the NYUAD Downtown Campus in Abu Dhabi.

ksinclair@thenational.ae