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Books

The Arabs before Islam: a rich, exotic history

30 March 2019

9:00 AM

30 March 2019

9:00 AM

In his first book, published in 1977, Tim Mackintosh-Smith described mentioning the idea of travelling to Yemen while studying Arabic at Oxford because he had heard that Yemenis spoke the purest form of Arabic. ‘They all say that, you
stupid boy,’ his tutor replied, suggesting he go ‘somewhere respectable’ instead.

The student went to Yemen all the same, and has been there ever since, living through sweet and also turbulent times, including civil war and the ongoing Saudi-stirred nightmare that has taken at least 60,000 lives through combat and some 85,000 from famine.

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