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The Trade Union Bill: A necessary progression or troublesome precedent?

Perspectives from Syria: Can the past and present inform a hopeful future?

Rev Andrew Ashdown
John McHugo
Chaired by the Revd Bertrand Olivier

Our two guests will use their combined extensive experience in the region to present a historical background of Syria, contextualize the conflict and consider the future. Each speaker will introduce their own perspectives before opening up the debate and taking questions/comments from the audience.

The Revd Andrew Ashdown is an Anglican priest in the Winchester Diocese who has been visiting and leading groups to the Middle East for over 20 years. He visited Syria several times prior to the conflict, and is one of the few non-journalists to have travelled extensively in the country four times in the last 2 years, both as a member of international faith delegations, and independently. He has spent time with ordinary Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Christian, Druze and Kurds; met with faith and community leaders in Damascus, Homs, Tartous, Lattakia and met with reconciliation committees in Homs and elsewhere. He has also met with government and internal opposition figures; and visited refugee camps at Yarmouk, and in Lebanon and Iraq. In November spent a few days at a monastery just a few kilometres from ‘ISIS’ lines, and he was most recently in Syria in February. Andrew has recently stepped aside from 25 years as a parish priest to undertake PhD research into Christian/Muslim relations in Syria.

John McHugo is author of Syria: A Recent History (2015) and A Concise History of the Arabs (2013). After studying Arabic at Oxford University and the American University in Cairo and carrying out academic research into Muslim spirituality in the 10th - 12th centuries, he became a solicitor and then a partner with Trowers & Hamlins, where he focussed on international law matters in the Middle East. He is now working on a book on the history of Sunnism and Shi'ism which will appear in 2017. He first visited Syria in 1974. His most recent visit was in 2014.


Revd Andrew Ashdown | talks
John McHugo | talks | www


Date and Time:

19 May 2016 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



All Hallows by the Tower Church
Byward St

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