John McHugo

John McHugo

Arab Spring


 John McHugo brings over 40 years’ experience of the region to this book. He graduated in Arabic at Oxford in 1973 then won a research scholarship in Islamic History at the American University in Cairo which was followed by an M.litt. dissertation at Oxford on early Sufism.

 Through his subsequent career as an international lawyer he has worked in Egypt, Bahrain and Oman and visited many other Arab countries. His work has taken him to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and given him an in-depth knowledge of the Arab-Israeli and Iraq conflicts as well as boundary issues in the Arab world. His analysis of UN Security Council Resolution 242 has been much acclaimed. He has also gained an in depth understanding of investment, economic and religious issues in Arab countries. 

John has been trapped in Cairo and Bahrain because of wars, has experienced life in Cairo and Damascus under the dictatorships of Mubarak and Assad at first hand, and co-authored the only translation of Yemeni commercial laws into English. A board member of CAABU (the Council for Arab British Understanding) and of the British Egyptian Society, he is also chair of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine. He has also been an honorary visiting fellow at the Scottish Centre for International Law at Edinburgh University, chairman of the Middle East Association (a trade association for British companies doing business in the Middle East), a board member of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Egyptian-British Business Council.

Praise for his book:


Charles Tripp, Professor of Politics  with reference to the Middle East at SOAS and author of "The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East", has written 

"John McHugo has succeeded not only in writing a lucid and highly readable history of the Arab peoples up to the present day. He has also managed to show, with compassion, a good deal of humour and unerring historical judgement, the power of the ideas and the forces that have shaped what we now think of as the Arab world. In doing so, he has provided a way of understanding this complex and ongoing story that will enlighten all who read it, whether in the Middle  East or beyond.'

Demands from Salon:


Please explain thousands of years of history for us in 26 minutes.