Stefan Sperl was born in Stuttgart and brought up in Luxembourg. He studied Arabic at Oxford and the American University in Cairo and did his PhD at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). In 1978 he joined UNHCR and held several assignments in the Middle East and Geneva. He returned to SOAS 1988. He has published widely in Arabic, Islamic and Refugee Studies.
His most recent work is The Cosmic Script: Sacred Geometry and the Science of Arabic Penmanship (2014), authored jointly with Ahmad Moustafa