Tim Mackintosh-Smith

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Tim Mackintosh-Smith (born 17 July 1961) is a British, Yemen-based, Oxford-educated[1] Arabist, writer, traveller and lecturer. He has written many books on the Middle East, won several awards and has presented a major BBC television series.


Mackintosh-Smith was educated at Clifton College, a boarding independent school for boys in the suburb of Clifton in the port city of Bristol in South West England, between the years 1971-78,[2] followed by a musical scholarship to the University of Oxford, where he read Classical Arabic.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Mackintosh-Smith lives in an ancient tower house off the "Market of the Cows" in the old city of San'a, Yemen. He is the author of the Yemen: Travels in Dictionaryland (1997) and Yemen: The Unknown Arabia (2000). He is one of the foremost scholars of the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battutah. Mackintosh-Smith has published a trilogy recounting his journeys in "the footnotes" of Ibn Battutah; Travels with A Tangerine (2001), The Hall of a Thousand Columns (2005) and Landfalls (2010). He has additionally written widely on subjects as broad as alabaster, the collection of frankincense, the stories of M.R. James and the history of umbrellas.

Macintosh-Smith presented a major BBC documentary series Travels with a Tangerine (2007)[4] recounting his experiences tracing Ibn Battutah's fourteenth-century travels in the present day. He was featured in a documentary film The English Sheik and the Yemeni Gentleman.

Mackintosh-Smith has won several awards: Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land, won the 1998 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. The Daily Telegraph has described him as "the sage of Sana'a." [1]


  1. ^ a b Barnaby Rogerson (30 October 2010). "Tim Mackintosh-Smith's Yemen". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Old Cliftonians Old Cliftonians magazine 2005 Publisher: Clifton College Published: 2005. Retrieved: 7 December, 2012.
  3. ^ Tim Mackintosh-Smith's Yemen Publisher: The Daily Telegraph. Published: 30 October, 2010. Retrieved: 7 December, 2012.
  4. ^ Travels with a Tangerine, BBC

External links[edit]