Born in Beirut in 1949, Amin Maalouf has lived in France since 1976. After studying sociology and economics, Maalouf joined the Lebanese daily Al-Nahar, for which he travelled the world covering numerous events, from the fall of the Ethiopian monarchy to the last battle of Saigon. Forced to emigrate by the war in Lebanon, he settled in Paris, where he resumed journalism, and from where he started to travel again. He became editor of the international edition of Al-Nahar, then editor-in-chief of the weekly Jeune Afrique, before giving up all his posts to dedicate himself to literary writing.
His books, written in French, are translated into more than 40 languages. A selection of these includes: The Crusades through Arab Eyes; Leo Africanus; Samarkand; The Rock of Tanios (winner of the Prix Goncourt); Origins: a Memoir, among other works.
Maalouf has been awarded honorary doctorates from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), the University of Tarragona Rovira i Virgili (Spain) and the University of Evora (Portugal). He is a member of the Académie française and will be a visiting fellow at Princeton Transregional Institute in Spring 2014.
Nadav Samin is a TRI Fellow and concurrently a Social Science Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow for Transregional Research (Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections). He received his PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 2013. The focus of his work is the history of the Arabian Peninsula, and specifically the influence of oral culture on the genealogical politics of modern Saudi Arabia. His dissertation traced the process of genealogical documentation in central Arabia from the Wahhabi period to the present day. As a TRI Fellow, Nadav will begin work on his second project, a comparative history of Arabia’s coastal communities, with an emphasis on the history of Asian migration to the Hijaz, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Nadav has authored several articles on Arabian history and culture, and has taught at Hunter College and New York University. He holds degrees from New York University and Johns Hopkins University.
Emmanuel Szurek is a TRI post-doctoral fellow and is working on revising his doctoral dissertation (EHESS, Paris 2013) into a published book. Titled "Governing with Words: a Linguistic History of Nationalist Turkey," Szurek shows how the Turkish language is a political artifact that owes much of its alphabetical, lexical and grammatical shape to the comprehensive undertaking conducted during the Kemalist period under the label of "language revolution." The particular issues Szurek is interested in are the intellectual elaboration of this standardized and nationalized language by Turkish linguists and its imposition, through political means, on the citizens of the Republic of Turkey.