Tarif Khalidi | American University of Beirut

Home Page Image


                                                Curriculum Vitae


ADDRESS: Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies, American University of Beirut

PLACE AND DATE OF BIRTH: Jerusalem, Palestine. January 24, 1938


Haileybury College, Hertford             `S' Level, 1956, Latin, Greek and Ancient History

University College, Oxford                 B.A. Modern History, 1960; M.A., 1963

University of Chicago                          Ph.D. Islamic Studies, 1970


Instructor, Cultural Studies, American University of Beirut                             1960-66

Assistant Professor, History Dept, A.U.B.                                                         1970-76

Associate Professor, History Dept, A.U.B.                                                        1976-84

Visiting Assoc Prof, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor                                  1978

Professor, History Dept, A.U.B.                                                                         1984-96

Senior Research Associate, St.Antony's College, Oxford                                  1985-6

Visiting Overseas Scholar, St.John's College, Cambridge                                 1991-2

Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic, Cambridge                                   1996-2002

Professorial Fellow, King's College, Cambridge                                            1996-2002

Director, Centre of Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge                                1996-2000

Shaykh Zayid bin Sultan Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, A.U.B.  2002----



1. Islamic Historiography: The Histories of Mas`udi  (Albany: SUNY Press, 1975).

2. Studies in the History of Arabic Islamic Culture (in Arabic; Beirut: Dar al-Tali`a, 1977)

3. A Study in the Meaning and Method of History   (in Arabic; Beirut: Dar al-Tali`a, 1982)

4. Editor,  Land Tenure and Social Transformation in the Middle East  ( Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1984)

5. Classical Arab Islam   (Princeton: Darwin Press, 1985)

6. Arabic Historical Thought in the Classical Period   (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)

7.  The Muslim Jesus; Sayings and stories in Islamic Literature  ( Cambridge, Mass.:

Harvard University Press, 2001).

8. The Qur’an: A New Translation (London: Penguin Classics, 2008).

9. (Co-editor) Al-Jahiz: A Muslim Humanist for our Time (Wurzburg/Beirut: Ergon Verlag, 2009).

10. Images of Muhammad: Narratives of the Prophet in Islam Across the Centuries (New York: Doubleday, 2009).


1. " A Mosquito's Wing: Jahiz on the Progress of Knowledge" in R. Droubie, ed. Arabic  and Islamic Garland: The Tibawi Festschrift  (London: The Islamic Centre, 1977)

2. " Shaykh Ahmad `Arif al-Zayn and Al-`Irfan  " in M. Buheiry, ed. Intellectual Life in the Arab East :1890-1939  ( Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1981).

3. " Some Classical Islamic Views of the City" in W.Qadi, ed.  Studia Arabica et Islamica: Festschrift for Ihsan Abbas   (Beirut: American University of Beirut,1981).

4. " Christian Theology and Muslim Kalam  " (in Arabic) in  E.Khuri, ed. Al-Masihiyyun al-`Arab ( "The Christian Arabs") (Beirut: Mu'assasat al-Dirasat al-`Arabiyya, 1981) 

5. "Patterns of Tribal Settlement and Land Tenure in Early Medieval Palestine" in T.Khalidi, ed. Land Tenure and Social Transformation in the Middle East   (Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1984)

6. "Islamic Historiography and Geography" in T.Mostyn and A.Hourani, eds. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the Middle East and North Africa   (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988)

7. " Space, Holiness and Time: Palestine in the Classical Arab Centuries" in D.Hopwood,ed. Studies in Arab History: The Antonius Lectures 1978-87   (London: Macmillan, 1990)

8. "Religion and Citizenship in Islam" in J.S. Nielsen, ed. Religion and Citizenship in Europe and the Arab World (London: Grey Seal Books, 1992)

9. "The Role of Jesus in intra-Muslim Polemics in the First Two Islamic Centuries" in S.K.Samir and J.S. Nielsen, eds. Christian Arabic Apologetics during the Abbasid Period  ( Leiden: Brill, 1994).

10. Articles :"Baladhuri",  "Ibn al-`Ibri", "Ibn Ishaq",  "Ibn Khallikan", "Ibn Miskawayhi",  "Ya`qubi"  in D.R. Woolf, ed. A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing  (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1998).

11. "Unveiled: `Anbara Salam in England, 1925-27",  in The Arabs and Britain: Changes and Exchanges  (Cairo: The British Council, 1999).

12."The Arab World" in The Great World War 1914- 45 : Vol.2. The Peoples' Experience,  edited by John Bourne, Peter Liddle and Ian Whitehead. (London: HarperCollins, 2001).

13. "The Battle of the Camel" in A. Neuwirth and A. Pflitsch eds. , Crisis and Memory in Islamic Societies   (Beirut/Wurzburg: Ergon Verlag, 2001)

14. "Learning from Muslim History " in Michael Ipgrave,ed. The Road Ahead: A Christian-Muslim Dialogue (London: Church House Publishing, 2002).

15. “The Poetry of the Khawarij: Violence and Salvation”  in  Thomas Scheffler ed. Religion between Violence and Reconciliation (Beirut/Wurzburg: Ergon Verlag, 2002).

16. “Searching for Common Principles: a Plea and Some Remarks on the Islamic Tradition” in Jorn Rusen, ed. Western Historical Thinking (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2002).

17.  "Islam, Self and Neighbors ca.1000 A.D." in James Heitzman and Wolfgang Schenkluhn eds. The World in the Year 1000 (Lanham MD: University Press of America, 2004)

 18. “Foreword” to Sebastian Guenther ed. Ideas, Images and  Methods of Portrayal: Insights into Classical Arabic Literature and Islam (Leiden: Brill, 2005).

19. “ Opening Remarks”, in `Isam Nassar and Salim Tamari eds. Social History of Bilad al-Sham; Biographical  and Autobiographical Literature (in Arabic). (Beirut: Institute  for Palestine Studies, 2007).


1. "Islamic Biographical Dictionaries: A Preliminary Assessment", Muslim World,  vol.63, Jan. 1973.

2. "Mas`udi's Lost Works", Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol.94, Jan. 1974.

3. "`Abd al-Rahman al-Nasir", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1974 ed.

4. "`Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1974 ed.

5. "Mu`tazilite Historiography", Journal of Near Eastern Studies,  vol.36, no 1, Jan. 1976.

6. "Islam as a civilisation and Islam as a religion" (in Arabic), Qadaya `Arabiyya, vol.7, no 8, 1980.

7. "Palestinian  Historiography: 1900-1948",  Journal of Palestine Studies,  vol. 9, no 3, Aug. 1980.

8. "The Concept of Progress in Classical Islam",  Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol 40, no 4, Oct. 1981.

9. (trans) "The Boasts of Blacks over Whites by al-Jahiz",  Islamic Quarterly,  vol. 25, 1981.

10. "The Arab Jesus", Theological Review of the Near East School of Theology, vol.

10/1-2, April-Nov, 1989.

11. "Islamic Views of the West in the Middle Ages", Studies in Interreligious Dialogue (The Netherlands), 5/1995/1.

12. "Reflections on Periodisation in Arabic Historiography", The Medieval History Journal, vol.1, number 1 (Jan-June, 1998).

13. Article “ Arabs” , Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, ed. J.D.McAuliffe , Leiden: Brill, 2002.

14. (with S.S.Agha) “Poetry and Identity in the Umayyad Age”, Al-Abhath, vol.50-51, (2002-2003).

15. “Jesus, Islam and World Dialogue”, Concilium,  39/ 4(October 2003).

16. (with Maher Jarrar) “Death and the Badi` in Early `Abbasid Poetry: The Elegy for al-Numayri by `Abdullah ibn al-Mu`tazz”, Al-Abhath, vol. 54 (2006).

17. "A World Historian and his Vision: at-Tabari, the Qur’an and History”, Al-Abhath, vol.55-56 (2007-2008).


  1. I have just completed a translation into English of A`lam al-Nubuwwah a tenth century work of Isma`ili polemics by Abu Hatim al-Razi which is built around a fascinating and wide-ranging debate between him and the more famous Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al-Razi, (the Rhazes of the medieval West) on prophecy and other controversial issues. A contract for publishing it has been signed with the University of Utah, Islamic Translation Series. Publication expected in late,2009.
  2. I have completed (July 2008) an article on `Umar al-Z`inni, a Lebanese chansonnier, to be published in the proceedings of the international conference on “Poetry and History”, held at AUB in January 2008, and edited by Professors Ramzi Baalbaki, Salih Agha and myself.
  3.  I am working (August, 2009) on an English anthology of Arabic literature, classical and modern. I expect to finish the anthology in about two years.