Tim Judah

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Tim Judah in 2012 Tim Judah-mc.rs.jpg
Tim Judah in 2012

Tim Judah (born 31 March 1962) is a British writer, reporter and political analyst for The Economist . Judah has written several books on the geopolitics of the Balkans, mainly focusing on Serbia and Kosovo.


Early life

Tim Judah was born in London in 1962 and was raised in a family of Baghdadi Jewish descent whose tradition maintains they first came to Iraq from the ancient Kingdom of Judah at the time of the Babylonian Exile. [1] His ancestors include Solomon Ma’tuk. [2]

The Judah family was later established in Calcutta as part of the Baghdadi Jewish community before migrating to Britain. [3] [4] [5] [6]

Judah attended Charterhouse school followed by the London School of Economics. [7] He also studied at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. [8]

Based abroad as a foreign correspondent, Judah lived in Bucharest from 1990 to 1991 where he covered the fall of communism for The Times and The Economist . [9] He was based in Belgrade to cover the conflicts surrounding the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. [10] He returned to London in 1995 but continues to travel frequently to the Balkans. [11]

Judah is married to writer and publisher Rosie Whitehouse and has five children, one of whom is the journalist Ben Judah. [12]


Tim Judah began his career at the African service of the BBC World Service. [13]

He has reported from many flashpoints around the world, including the states of the former Yugoslavia, El Salvador, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Niger, Darfur, Uganda, North Korea, Georgia, Armenia, Haiti and Ukraine. [14] [15] [16]

In 1997, based on his reporting of the Yugoslav Wars Judah criticized "academics imbued with a two dimensional view of the world" such as Francis Fukuyama for discussing the revolutions of 1989 as heralding the end of history. [17]

Judah has been described by The Guardian newspaper as "a distinguished foreign correspondent." [18] [19] As a writer his style combines reportage, interviews and history and his main focus, as a journalist, has been on conflict in Africa and Eastern Europe, in particular the Balkans. [20] [21] [22]

He has written three books on the Balkans region, including The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia published by Yale University Press in 1997 and Kosovo: War And Revenge with the same publisher in 2002. [23] Regarding the Kosovo-Serbia question, Judah writes in his The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia in the section '"Kosovo: Land of Revenge" that the reincorporation of Kosovo to Serbia in 1944 was "the equivalent of reincorporating a cancer into the Serbian body politic". [24]

He was an eyewitness to many of the battles of the Yugoslav Wars including the siege of Dubrovnik and the battle of Vukovar. [25]

Judah is considered an authority on Balkan politics. [26] As a senior visiting fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics in 2009, he developed the concept of the Yugosphere. [27] [28] He has described the Yugosphere as "a way of describing the renewal of thousands of broken bonds across the former state," a social and political phenomenon with a certain political application. [29]

In the Balkans itself, he is president of the board of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and a member of the board of the Kosovar Stability Initiative. [30]

Elsewhere in Eastern Europe, Judah has reported on the Euromaidan Revolution and the War in Donbass. His most recent book In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine was published in December 2015. [31]

Judah's work on Africa has included a BBC Radio 4 documentary on Mouridism. [32] His work has also touched on African sporting achievements with his 2008 book Bikila: Ethiopia’s Barefoot Runner shortlisted for the best new sportswriter category in the 2009 British Sports Book Awards. [33] [34]

Judah has also worked in 2013 as a regular columnist for Bloomberg. [35]

He has celebrated the Jewish festival of Passover in both Baghdad during the American invasion of 2003 and Donetsk during the Russian invasion of 2014. [36] [37]


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  1. Bataween (11 April 2006). "Passover pilgrimage to Ezekiel's tomb in Iraq". Point of No Return. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  2. "Ma'tuk, Sulayman ben David". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  3. Seierstad, Asne (24 April 2009). A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal. Basic Books. ISBN   9780786736829.
  4. "Passover in Baghdad". Granta Magazine. 1 July 2003. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  5. "Ben Judah: The last of our synagogues". The Jewish Chronicle. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  6. Bataween (28 July 2017). "Point of No Return: Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries: Why don't Jews remember their Sephardi heroes?". Point of No Return. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  7. Tim Judah [@timjudah1] (7 December 2015). "Waiting to discuss Ukraine 🇺🇦 at LSE (studied IR here) in the Old Theatre...#LSEukraine .@LSEIRDept .LSEpublicevents" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  8. "Belgrade Security Forum :: Tim Judah". Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  9. "Tim Judah". Pulitzer Center. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  10. "Tim Judah". Pulitzer Center. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  11. "Tim Judah". Pulitzer Center. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  12. "Snowden, Syria, Vladimir Putin's 'Cold Peace' with the West | CBC News".
  13. Telegraph, Alex Harris webmaster@jewishtelegraph.com - Jewish. "A JEWISH TELEGRAPH NEWSPAPER". www.jewishtelegraph.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  14. "Tim Judah".
  15. "OUR TEAM". The Judah Edition. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  16. "Tim Judah: Biography". 19 April 2006. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  17. Judah, Tim (1997). "The Serbs: The Sweet and Rotten Smell of History". Daedalus. 126 (3): 23–45. JSTOR   20027440.
  18. Adams, Tim (24 January 2016). "This Is London: Life and Death in the World City by Ben Judah – review". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  19. "Financial Times Magazine interviews Cara Fellows : Cara". www.cara.ngo. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  20. "Tim Judah".
  21. "The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, by Tim Judah (Yale University Press, £8.99 in UK)". The Irish Times .
  22. "Tim Judah's 'Wartime' offers historical context, stories from the conflict in Ukraine". Chicago Tribune .
  23. Chotiner, Isaac (18 October 2016). "How Putin Won Crimea, and Lost Ukraine". Slate. ISSN   1091-2339 . Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  24. Judah, Tim (2008). The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia. Yale University Press. ISBN   978-0-300-14784-1 . Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  25. "THE SERBS". The Judah Edition. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  26. Stephen, Chris (2 December 2017). "Security clampdown at The Hague amid fears of further suicides". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  27. Yugosphere PDF
  28. "Tim Judah - Georgina Capel Associates ltd". Georgina Capel Associates ltd. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  29. "THE YUGOSPHERE". The Judah Edition. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  30. "Tim Judah - Board members - IKS". www.iksweb.org. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017.
  31. "In Wartime by Tim Judah: 9780451495495 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books".
  32. Judah, Tim (4 August 2011). "Islam's mystical entrepreneurs". BBC News. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  33. "Tim Judah". Pulitzer Center. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  34. "They are made a spectacle unto the world | The Spectator". The Spectator. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  35. Judah, Tim (July 2013). "Articles by Tim Judah - Bloomberg View". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  36. Judah, Tim. "Ukraine: The Phony War?". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  37. Bataween (11 April 2006). "Passover pilgrimage to Ezekiel's tomb in Iraq". Point of No Return. Retrieved 6 August 2018.