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  1. Sea meets Desert: Reflections on Traditional Music in Oman

    ... Rolf Killius Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures, British Library In the Sultanate of Oman, traditional music, poetry and dance are still part and parcel of everyday life and national celebrations alike. From 9 February to 3 March 2014, I conducted resea ...

  2. Country Profile: Saudi Arabia

    ... British Library Partnership Team An overview of the key moments from the history of interaction between the British and Saudi Arabia, as illustrated through the India Office Records. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the second largest Arab state in the worl ...

  3. Microtones: The Piano and Muhammad Al-Qubanshi – The First Congress of Arabic Music and Early Recordings from Iraq

    ... Rolf Killius Ethnomusicologist, Museum Consultant and Media Producer Thanks to the recording sessions at the first Arabic Music Congress in 1932 in Cairo, we can still listen to a selection of early Arabic music recordings. Additionally, several documents ...

  4. Britain’s ‘interest’ in Bahrain

    ... Louis Allday Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist, British Library A candid exchange between British officials in the 1920s reveals the extent to which Britain had intervened in Bahrain in its own interest. In December 1926, a letter from the Briti ...

  5. Shaikh Ahmad goes to England: The Politics of Official State Visits

    ... Louis Allday Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist, British Library Despite inauspicious beginnings, Shaikh Aḥmad al-Jābir Āl Ṣabāḥ’s official visit to England in 1919 proved a success. In October 1919, on the first night of his official visit to Br ...

  6. The Financial Troubles of Said bin Taimur

    ... Dr Francis Owtram Gulf History Specialist, British Library The reign of Said bin Taimur was marked by financial troubles from the outset, but despite his more active role in the 1930s, a rebellion in the province of Dhofar ultimately cost him the Sultanat ...

  7. Dusty Streets and Hot Music in Baghdad: Iraqi Maqam Music and Chalgi Ensembles

    ... Rolf Killius Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures, British Library Kept alive until today by a very small number of chalgi Baghdad ensembles and through remaining shellac recordings, Iraqi maqam is a sophisticated musical genre from urban Iraq that develo ...

  8. German Interests in the Gulf’s Pearling Industry

    ... Dr Mark Hobbs Gulf History Specialist, British Library Germany’s desire for ‘a place in the sun’ saw her challenge Britain’s commercial dominance in the Gulf in the early years of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the twentieth century, after thr ...

  9. Sing, Play and Be Merry: The Unique Ṣawt Music of the Arabian Peninsula

    ... Rolf Killius Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures, British Library Ṣawt, the urban music of the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf, has evolved from diverse musical traditions, including sea music, and was profoundly influenced by Indian, African and classica ...

  10. A Strategic Position: British Seizures of the Island of Kharg

    ... Valentina Mirabella Archival Specialist, British Library The British Government had a strong interest in Kharg, a small, strategically placed island in the Gulf. The small island of Kharg, situated in the Gulf just off the coast of modern-day Iran, played ...

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