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Event Details

Event Date

4 May 2019 12:00pm - 2:00pm


Leamington Spa Baptist Church
Chandos Street
Leamington Spa CV32 4RN
United Kingdom

Charting Syria's path to destruction: what next for the Syrian people?

Guest Speaker:  Mr John McHugo
Historian, Arabic linguist and international lawyer

The local UN Association are delighted to announce that Mr John McHugo has accepted an invitation to come and address our Branch meeting. The focus of his address will be on:
The eclipse of so-called Islamic State is as good a point as any to pause for reflection on the Syrian catastrophe. But Islamic State is a symptom, not the cause, of Syria's dysfunctionality and tragedy. In this talk, John McHugo will chart the path that led to today's desperate situation, and explore what options lie ahead for Syria's traumatised people, as well as considering the fate of the so-called foreign fighters and Jihadi brides who once flocked to establish a pseudo-caliphate. 

Since taking early retirement in 2006, John McHugo has written Syria: A Recent History (updated 2017) as well as A Concise History of the Arabs (updated 2016) and A Concise History of Sunnis and Shi'is (2018). He has also written about international law aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict and on the interpretation of treaties.  His BA was in Arabic from Oxford, and he followed this with four years post-grad in Islamic studies (two of them in Cairo) before qualifying as a solicitor and pursuing a legal career which took him to Oman, Bahrain, Egypt and many other Arab countries. He was part of Bahrain's legal team in disputes with Qatar at the International Court of Justice in 1994, and was listed as Counsel. He believes passionately that an understanding of both history and international law is vital in order to solve the problems of today's Middle East. He first visited Syria in 1974 and was a regular visitor there in the years leading up to the breakdown of the country in 2011. Since then he has returned to the country on a number of occasions in 2012 as well as subsequently in 2014 and in 2018.

There will be  Ploughman`s Lunch and coffee/tea (£3.50 per head) from 12:00 pm till 2:15 pm and the meeting starts at 12:30 prompt.   
Please do come along and bring a friend!
Please keep this date in your diary



Mr Gian Clare