John McHugo

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John McHugo is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at St Andrews University and a board member of the Council for Arab British Understanding as well as the British Egyptian Society. He is also chair of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine.

McHugo’s writing has featured in History Today, The World Today and on the BBC News website. His publications include A Concise History of the Arabs and Syria: A Recent History. He was shortlisted for the Salon Transmission Prize in 2014.

McHugo studied Arabic at Oxford and earned an MA in Islamic History from the American University in Cairo (AUC). He submitted his M.Litt. dissertation on Poverty and Renunciation in the Sufism of the 10th – 12th centuries AD before switching to a career in law, which gave him the opportunity to work extensively in the Middle East, particularly in Oman, Bahrain and Egypt.

The invasion of Iraq moved McHugo to write about the history of the Arab world and this resulted in his book, A Concise History of the Arabs, published in 2013.

He lives in London with his wife, Middle East travel writer Diana Darke.