Born in Beirut in 1949, Amin Maalouf has lived in France since 1976.
After studying sociology and economics, he joined the Arabic-language daily An-Nahar, and travels the world to cover numerous events, from the fall of the Ethiopian monarchy in the last battle of Saigon.
The Lebanese war having forced to emigrate, he moved to Paris, where he resumed his work as a journalist, and starting to travel from Mozambique to Iran, and Argentina to the Balkans. He became director of the international edition of An-Nahar, then editor-in-chief of the weekly Jeune Afrique, before giving up any function to devote himself to literature.
Written in French, his work is now translated into more than forty languages. It includes novels, essays, and opera librettos, including: The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (1983), Leo Africanus (1986), Samarkand (1988), The Gardens of Light (1991), first century after Beatrice (1992), the Rock of Tanios (1993 Goncourt Prize), the ports of the Levant (1996), in the Name of Identity (1998), Journey Baldassare (2000), L'Amour de loin (2001) Origins (2004), Adriana Mater (2006), the Disruption of the world (2009).
Amin Maalouf chaired in 2007-2008 at the request of the European Commission, a study group on multilingualism, which produced a report entitled A rewarding challenge. How the multiplicity of languages could strengthen Europe. He holds an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), University of Tarragona (Spain) and the University of Evora (Portugal).