Hazhir Teimourian was born in 1940 in Kurdish western Iran and studied classical Persian and Arabic before being sent to London to study science. There he fell under the influence of the philosopher Bertrand Russell and drifted into broadcasting in the World Service of the BBC. In 1980, he was called to The Times as a commentator on Middle Eastern politics and history and remained with the newspaper for 16 years. At times of the most intense turmoil in the Middle East, it felt as if he lived in television studios as ‘presenter’s friend’ and became a familiar face throughout the English-speaking world. To this day, he needs a radio studio at home to cope with the demand.
Teimourian’s biography of Omar Khayyām, the eleventh century poet, thinker and astronomer, was praised by the press and has been translated into several other languages. He lives in Sussex with his wife Christabel King and has two grown-up children.