Expert on Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Qatar and UAE. Award-winning freelance journalist and author, presenter, producer and consultant specialising in the Middle East. Born in Jedda, Saudi Arabia and studied Arabic at Pembroke College, Oxford University.
Hugh Miles is an expert on the political and security situation in the Arab countries in which he has worked. Since 2011 he has lived in Cairo and so is familiar with day to day life in Egypt in particular, and much of his work has involved Egypt but he has also worked on cases to do with many other Arab countries.
As an expert witness he has given evidence in over 100 legal proceedings in the UK and other European countries. Most of these cases have been asylum cases. Several cases he has been involved with have lead to people being awarded political asylum in the West. In October 2018 he was cross examined in court for the first time by Home Office barristers in a UK asylum case. The judge accepted all his expert evidence and on this basis the applicant was awarded political asylum days afterwards.
The Expert has also authenticated many different kinds of Arabic language documents in dozens of legal cases in Europe and the US.
The Expert is an investigative journalist specialising in the Middle East and North Africa. He has worked with a variety of media including the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Foreign Policy, London Review of Books, Mirror, Express, Sun, and others. The Expert's reporting on Saudi Arabia has appeared on the front pages of the Guardian, Telegraph, Independent and New York Times newspapers. He has written, produced and presented several radio and TV programmes about the Middle East for the BBC and Al Jazeera English.
In 2015 the Expert broke the news that a senior Saudi prince was calling for regime change in Riyadh, a story that went around the world. In 2016 he exposed the Saudi government's secret programme to kidnap Saudi defectors and dissidents living in the West. In September 2017 he produced the BBC documentary "Kidnapped! Saudi Princes". The Expert was Specialist Producer on the critically acclaimed BBC 2 series "House of Saud - Family at War" (Jan 2018). In 2018 he worked with the BBC Newsnight team on an investigation into the Saudi purge in the Riyadh Ritz which lead promptly to the release of HRH Prince Walid bin Talal Al Saud. In October 2018 he worked with the BBC on the fast turnaround documentary "Saudi Crown Prince on Trial" about the fallout from the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Besides journalism the Expert is an award-winning author who has written two books about the Arab world, "Al Jazeera - How Arab TV News Challenged the World" (published 2005) and "Playing Cards in Cairo" (2008). The Expert has contributed to several more including "Les Arabes parlent aux Arabes : La révolution de l'information dans le monde arabe" (May 2009), "Al Manakh 2: Export Gulf" (April 2010), "Revolution in the Arab World" (Feb 2011, #1 Kindle Bestseller about the Middle East), and "National Broadcasting and State Policy in Arab Countries" (Jan 2013). In October 2017 he co-edited the e-book The Future of the Middle East’ that was published in collaboration with Durham University.
The Expert's books deal with Arab culture and tradition as well as politics, security and the economy. "Playing Cards in Cairo" is all about contemporary Egyptian culture and covers a wide variety of social issues including military conscription, women’s rights, drug abuse and religious conversion. Since 2015 the Expert has had to stop reporting on Egypt in the media due to the threat against journalists here.
The Expert has won several awards for his work including The Times / Sky News Young Journalist of the Year Award 2000; First Prize in the "Grand Prix du Livre Des Dirigeants" Categorie Livre d’Investigation 2006; an honourable mention in the 2014 Young Stationers' Prize for achievement and promise in journalism and publishing.
The Expert has founded a boutique consultancy company called Al Shafie Miles Ltd that helps companies do business in the Arab world. He is a Director of the company and manages the Egypt office. The company provides information newsletters and business consultancy services to several blue-chip companies in diverse sectors including defence, finance and manufacturing. For more on Al Shafie Miles please see www.alshafiemiles.com.
The Expert is the founder and editor of Arab Digest, a members-only online club where business leaders and regional experts come together to discuss political developments in the Middle East and North Africa. Arab Digest publishes a daily newsletter which is read by around 400 high-level business leaders and international government officials including many senior British policymakers, the FCO, the US State Dept and other foreign ministries, as well as senior Arab politicians and other regional experts.
The expert was the first journalist to write about the case of Princess Sara bint Talal in the UK media http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/9383601/Saudi-Arabias-Princess-Sara-claims-asylum-in-the-UK.html This article was originally published in the Independent on Sunday