Professor Tarif Khalidi was born in Jerusalem in 1938. He received degrees from University College, Oxford and the University of Chicago, before teaching at the American University of Beirut as a professor in the Department of History from 1970 to 1996. In 1985 he accepted a one-year position as senior research associate at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, and from 1991 to 1992 was a visiting overseas scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge.
In 1996, he left Beirut to become the Sir Thomas Adams’ Professor of Arabic at Cambridge University, the oldest chair of Arabic in the English-speaking world. He was appointed Director of the Centre for Middle East and Islamic Studies and a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. In 2002, Professor Khalidi returned to the American University of Beirut, taking on the Sheikh Zayed Chair in Islamic and Arabic Studies, the first chair to be filled at the University since the civil war.
He has published several books, including Images of Muhammad (Random House, 2009), The Muslim Jesus (Harvard University Press, 2001), Arabic Historical Thought in the Classical Period (Cambridge University Press, 1995), and Classical Arab Islam (Darwin Press, 1996). He has also published a recent translation of the Qur’an (Penguin, 2008) and edited a collection of essays, Land Tenure and Social Transformation in the Middle East (Syracuse University Press, 1985).