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Howard Cohen was born in May 1966 and grew up in north London in a traditional but secular Jewish family. He studied Medical Sciences and Philosophy at Downing College, Cambridge, and later went on to do a masters in Continental Philosophy at Warwick University.
At the age of 30, he moved to Israel, where he lived between Jaffa and the small desert town of Mitzpe Ramon, in the Negev. His time there was spent teaching Academic English in several colleges and Universities, translating (from Spanish, French and Hebrew), writing, and different activist work aiding Palestinians in their plight.
After 21 years of living in Israel, and increasingly unable to reconcile his own deeply humanistic values with the reality of Zionism and the denial of Palestinian rights, he left Israel in 2018 for Lavaur, a small town in South-West France, where he began Buddhist studies at the nearby Nalanda Monastery.