How Arabs Transformed Western Civilization

How Arabs Transformed Western Civilization

SPEAKER: Jonathan Lyons

EVENT DATE: 02/26/2008
RUNNING TIME: 56 minutes


The African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress is sponsoring a series of lectures on Iraq history and society. Jonathan Lyons, a researcher at the Global Terrorism Research Center at Monash University, Victoria, Australia, discussed his new book, “The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization.”

Speaker Biography: Author and journalist Jonathan Lyons has spent his professional and personal life exploring the shifting boundaries between East and West. After more than 20 years as an editor and foreign correspondent for Reuters, he is now a researcher at the Global Terrorism Research Centre and a PhD candidate in sociology of religion at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. In the late 1980s, Lyons moved to Turkey where he was Reuters’ bureau chief for four and a half years. In 1998, Lyons moved to Tehran and reopened the Reuters bureau, which had been closed by the authorities 13 years earlier. He then worked for five years in Reuters’ Washington office, before taking up his last foreign assignment in Jakarta in 2006 covering radical Islamic movements across Southeast Asia. He has a bachelor’s degree with honors in Russian and history from Wesleyan University and was a Fellow at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute of Soviet Studies. He also studied at the Pushkin Institute of Russian language in Moscow. “The House of Wisdom,” published by Bloomsbury in February 2009, is a riveting history which reveals the science, magic, religion and knowledge of Arab culture. In this fascinating and thoughtful book Jonathan Lyons restores credit to the Arab thinkers of the past, explores and reveals the extent of their learning and describes the intrepid adventures of those who went in search of it and who, in doing so, laid the foundations of what we now call the Renaissance.

How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization