About me

John McHugo is an international lawyer and Arabic linguist, with over forty years’ experience of the region. He earned a BA in Oriental Studies from Oxford University, an MA in Arabic Studies from the American University in Cairo and an MLitt in medieval Sufi thought from Oxford University. He has worked as a lawyer in several Arab countries, notably Egypt, Bahrain and Oman. A board member of the Council for Arab British Understanding and of the British Egyptian Society, John McHugo is also chair of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine. He lives in London.


A Concise History of the Arabs

The key to understanding the Arab world – today and in the future – lies in unlocking its past.

I unfold centuries of political, social and intellectual development, from the Roman Empire right up to the present day. Taking the reader beyond the headlines, the reader is presented with a series of turning points in Arab history: the mission of the Prophet Muhammad, the expansion of Islam, the conflicts of the medieval and modern ages, the struggles against foreign domination, the rise of Islamism, and the end of the rule of dictators.

This concise history reveals how the Arab world has come to assume its present form and illuminates the choices that lie ahead in the wake of the Arab Spring.