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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1525] (598/688)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (341 folios). It was created in 1917. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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' -v P ■
QAllF (Q al 'at-al)—
An alternative name for the Kiit, or fortified quarter, of the town of Qatlf {q.v.) in
Eastern Arabia.
The principal place and only considerable town in the Qatif Oasis ; it is situated on
the coast of Eastern Arabia about 230 miles south-east by south of Kuwait Town, 30
miles north-west by west of the nearest part of Bahrain Island, and 64 miles north by
west of Qair Port.
bile and marine, approaches. —-Qatif town stands on the shore of the bay which reaches
from Has Tanurah to Dammand and may be called Qatif Bay. The coast at this point
runs nearly north and south ; and Tarut island, in the bay, bears east-north-east from the
town at a distance of about 2 miles.
Landing at Qatif is inconvenient, for boats of over 6 feet draft cannot in any circum
stances reach on inner berth. The reef opposite the town extends about 10 miles to
seawards ; and upon it, 2 miles east of the town, is an islet carrying a small and ruinous
but conspicuous fort, of which the name is Burj Abul Lif. On the north side of Burj
Abul Lif three channels leading from the open sea converge ; two of them are in the
shore reef and come from the south-east and east respectively, the second of these
passing immediately south of Tarut island ; the third approach is round the north side of
Tarut, but it is only practicable at high water. From the basin in which these three
channels unite, a single passage conducts landwards to the town and a passenger by
boats feels as if he were ascending a river.
Toum and suburbs.—Vaa town proper consists of a Kut or fortified quarter, and of a
long bazaar outside but connected with it; and besides these there are various suburbs.
The Kut, called also Qal'at-al-Qatif, is surrounded by a bastioned wall 30 feet high
and presents a front, about 400 yards long and containing a gate, to the sea ; the shorter
faces on the north and south measure about 300 yards each. There are gates also in the
western and southern faces, the former opening on the suburb of Bab-ash-Shamal y
to which it gives its name, and the latter leading into a cemetery. The front of the
Kut is almost upon the beach ; but between the gate and the sea are a pier and the Port
Office of Qatif, and a building known as Mansur Pasha's house stands at the water's
edge a short distance to the south of them. Immediately to the north of the Kut is a
dense forest of date palms, and on the west and south sides are suburbs which will be
mentioned further on. The whole space within the walls of the Kut is filled by about
700 houses, mostly constructed of stone and gypsum mortar but a small proportion
of them mere huts. There are no shops in the Kut; but the old Turkish Government
offices stand in its extreme south-eastern corner, and a minaret of considerable height
towards the southern end is one of the most conspicuous objects at Qatif.
The bazaar, joining on externally to the south-western corner of the Kut, runs due
south for quatrer of a mile to the suburb of Kawaikib in which it ends ; it is built of
stone and lime, is roofed, and contains about 300 shops. There is also a quarter
known as Fariq-al-Maqbarah perhaps from its adjoining a graveyard which is situated
on the east side of the bazaar, between the bazaar and the south wall of the Kut.
The principal suburbs are Bab-ash-Shamal, immediately outside the back gate of the
Kut; Jarari, 200 yards west of Bab-ash-Shamal; Madaris, 200 yards west of the Kut end
of the bazaar ; Maiyas, a similar distance west of the middle of the bazaar ; Dabaibiyah, ^
of a mile south-west of Maiyas ; Kawaikib, at the south end of the bazaar ; and fehari ah,
a little east of the middle of the bazaar, between it and the sea. All of these are capable
of being regarded as distinct villages and they have accordingly been described, each
tinder its own name, in the general article on the Qatif Oasis. The ground between
Babash-Shamal, Jarari and Madaris is open ; that between Madaris, Maiyas and the
bazaar is occupied by enclosed yards and godowns ; that between Maiyas, the bazaar
and Kawaikib is open.
Defences. —There are no defences except the wall of the Kut.
Population.—The total population of Qatif town, inclusive of the 7 suburban villages
of which the names have been given, is estimated at 10,000 souls ; or, without the suburbs,
at 5,000. Nearly all the inhabitants belong to the class called Baharinah and are
consequently Shl'ahs by religion; but there are a few Huwalah artisans, who are

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Volume II of III of the Gazetteer of Arabia. The Gazetteer is alphabetically-arranged and this volume contains entries K through to R.

The Gazetteer is an alphabetically-arranged compendium of the tribes, clans and geographical features (including towns, villages, lakes, mountains and wells) of Arabia that is contained within three seperate bound volumes. The entries range from short descriptions of one or two sentences to longer entries of several pages for places such as Iraq and Yemen.

A brief introduction states that the gazetteer was originally intended to deal with the whole of Arabia, "south of a line drawn from the head of the Gulf of 'Aqabah, through Ma'an, to Abu Kamal on the Euphrates, and to include Baghdad and Basrah Wilayats" and notes that before the gazetteer could be completed its publication was postponed and that therefore the three volumes that now form this file simply contain "as much of the MSS. [manuscript] as was ready at the time". It further notes that the contents have not been checked.

Extent and format
1 volume (341 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: This volume's foliation system is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1525] (598/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 27 February 2020]

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