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  1. Modernity meets Tradition: Reflections on Traditional Music in Qatar

    ... Rolf Killius Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures, British Library Though nowadays Qatar is well-known for its immense natural oil and gas reserves and the rapid modernisation of society, it has a rich heritage of music and dance intimately related to pea ...

  2. Mombasa: Britain’s Shortest-Lived Protectorate?

    ... Dr Mark Hobbs Gulf History Specialist, British Library Captain Owen’s plan to take over the portal town of Mombasa on the Indian Ocean put British officials in a contentious situation with the Sultan of Muscat and Zanzibar. On 8 February 1824, Captain Wil ...

  3. Gwadar: the Sultan’s Possession

    ... Martin Woodward Archival Specialist, British Library Gwadar was an enclave of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman for nearly 200 years, but records show that while the Sultans were reluctant to lose sovereignty over the territory, they were nevertheless open ...

  4. How the American Civil War Caused a Boom in Cotton in Persia

    ... Karen Stapley Archival Specialist, British Library During the American Civil War (1861–65) cotton supplies to Britain’s textile mills dwindled, causing a boom in production elsewhere in the Empire. In the 1860s, cotton was a key import, supplying Britain’ ...

  5. Creature Comforts, Wine and Spirits: Inside the Home of a Peripatetic British Agent

    ... Karen Stapley Archival Specialist, British Library ‘What can I buy from the current post holder?’ was the first consideration of a newly appointed British Agent in the Empire. Frequent moves meant that provisions, furniture and necessities for entertainin ...

  6. M. Waris Ali’s ‘Absurd’ Account: A Native Agent and the Riots at Gwadar

    ... Martin Woodward Archival Specialist, British Library Murder, suicide, communal riots, racial snobbery and a colourful, much-maligned British Agent caught up in the midst of it all: a record of life in Gwadar 1928–32. In 1929, the British Agent in Gwadar ( ...

  7. 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 ...

  8. ‘Imperial Boredom’ and Imperial Reading

    ... Daniel A. Lowe Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist, British Library A colonial officer named Hickinbotham illustrates the everyday boredom of administrating the Empire with his practical jokes and escapist reading list. The British biographical pu ...

  9. U.S. Propaganda in Post-WWII Bahrain

    ... Louis Allday Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist, British Library In the immediate post-WWII period, despite British opposition, the U.S. sought to increase its influence in the Gulf by distributing propagandistic material in Arabic. In January 19 ...

  10. A Portrait of Sir Lewis Pelly

    ... Karen Stapley Archival Specialist, British Library Sir Lewis Pelly was a key figure in the history of the Gulf owing to his role, as British Political Resident, in enforcing the region’s maritime peace treaties from 1862 to 1873. Sir Lewis Pelly was a key ...

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