Justin Marozzi

In just eight years Selim I became ‘God’s Shadow on Earth’

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Faber must take a rather dim view of British readers’ historical awareness these days. This is a biography of one…

In Afghanistan, Trump and the Taleban want the same thing – Americans out

24 August 2019 9:00 am

‘Incoming! Incoming! Incoming!’ As morning alarms go, this one leaves a lot to be desired. Normally I wake up to…

Is one of history’s most rousing speeches apocryphal?

15 June 2019 9:00 am

As rousing death-and-glory speeches go, it is one of the best. With a besieging Roman army only hours from storming…

The day Turkish democracy died

25 May 2019 9:00 am

‘It’s official. Turkey is a banana republic!’ My friend Mustapha, a serial entrepreneur, sends me a flurry of doom-laden WhatsApp…

Bring me my arrow of desire: the original Italian film poster for Pasolini’s 1974 Il Fiore delle Mille e Una Notte

How film fell for caliphs and slave girls

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Most of Hollywood’s Arabian Nights fantasies are, of course, unadulterated tosh. The Middle East, wrote the American film critic William…

Why do we love The Archers, when all the characters are loathsome?

23 March 2019 9:00 am

OK, Archers fans out there. All five million of you. Ask yourselves a straightforward question. Why on earth do you…

Levison Wood. Credit Simon Buxton

Boys’ Own adventures in the war-torn Middle East

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Ask most people whether they fancy a four-month, 5,000-mile trek across the Middle East and they might conclude you need…

Bactrian camels in the Khongoryn Els sand dunes of the Gobi Desert

The Empty Quarter is a great refuge for lonely hearts

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Here’s a treat for desert lovers. William Atkins, author of the widely admired book The Moor, has wisely exchanged the…

Who knew that Arabic has more than 30 words for wine?

31 March 2018 9:00 am

You know you’re in good hands when the dedication reads: ‘To the writers, drinkers and freethinkers of the Arab and…

Did the fabled Phoenicians ever actually exist?

13 January 2018 9:00 am

So the Phoenicians never existed. Herodotus, that unreliable old fibber, made it all up in the Histories. Is this really…

Originals: Jack Dempsey, left, in his 1919 title fight

Boxer shorts

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Chaps, be honest. Have you achieved nether-region nirvana? Twenty years ago I had reached the summit of underwear style and…

T.E. Lawrence: from young romantic to shame-shattered veteran

16 April 2016 9:00 am

T.E. Lawrence is seen as a ‘metaphor for imperialism, violence and betrayal’ in the Middle East. But woeful Arab leadership has also been to blame for the region’s problems, says Justin Marozzi

Left: The main gate to the mighty citadel has withstood centuries of invasion. Now much scarred, it presides over a bombed-out city, including the wrecked medieval souq (above), until recently the world’s largest and most vibrant covered historic market and Unesco world heritage site

Syria's Stalingrad: how Aleppo slipped from tolerance to terrorism

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Justin Marozzi on the bitter irony of Aleppo’s ancient motto

Paradise — with a strong undercurrent of violence

Sri Lanka: emerald paradise with a dark interior

29 October 2015 9:00 am

For a genre that is frequently dismissed as dead, travel writing is proving a remarkably stubborn survivor. If anything, this…

Let's fight terror - by holidaying in gorgeous, welcoming Tunisia

4 July 2015 9:00 am

It needs – and deserves – British visitors more than ever

Justin Marozzi’s diary: Lunch with Saddam’s hangman, and a democratic revolution in Kensington

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Lunch with the man who hanged Saddam. My irrepressible old Baghdad friend Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Ealing neurologist turned Iraqi national security…

An Armenian orphan in 1915. Hundreds of thousands of Christian women and children who survived the genocide suffered forced conversion to Islam

At last: a calm, definitive account of the Armenian genocide

18 April 2015 9:00 am

The atrocities suffered by an estimated one million Armenians in 1915 have been largely ignored by historians and officially denied by the Turks. It’s a centenary we can’t afford to neglect, says Justin Marozzi

An unholy cross between Big Ben and Las Vegas, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower stands on an estimated 400 sites of cultural and historical importance

Mecca: from shrine to shopping mall

6 December 2014 9:00 am

The Saudis, official custodians of Islam’s holiest place, have bulldozed its historical sites, perverted its religion and turned Mecca into one vast shopping mall, says Justin Marozzi

The shameful truth: Britain lets in far too few refugees

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Britain’s appalling record on refugees is a moral failure, and national disgrace

Is it boring being the god of the sea?

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Writing to a god seems a presumptuous thing. Who are we, feeble mortal creatures whose lives pass in the blink…

I’ve spent years in war zones. And the most terrifying moment of my life just happened in Norfolk

11 October 2014 9:00 am

I’ve spent years in conflict zones. But the scariest thing that’s happened to me involved two bull terriers on a Norfolk beach

More derring dos and don’ts from Paddy Leigh Fermor

4 October 2014 9:00 am

Recent years have seen the slim but splendid Patrick Leigh Fermor oeuvre swell considerably. In 2008 came In Tearing Haste,…

Close-up of Genghis towering 40 metres over his home pastures near the Mongol capital, Ulaanbaatar – the world’s biggest equestrian statue

Genghis Khan was tolerant, kind to women – and a record-breaking mass-murderer

12 July 2014 9:00 am

Genghis Khan, unlike most Mongols in history, is a household name, regularly misappropriated as a right-wing totem. If we recall…

In defence of Herodotus

14 December 2013 9:00 am

How many writers would give their eye teeth to have a book reissued 2,500 years after their death? It certainly…

The Broken Road, by Patrick Leigh Fermor - review

7 September 2013 9:00 am

Sound the trumpets. Let rip the Byzantine chorus of clattering bells and gongs, the thunder of cannons, drums and flashing…