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  1. Napoleon’s Agent: Monitoring the Movements of Monsieur Romieu in the East

    Martin Woodward Against the dramatic international backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, the British in Constantinople, Syria and Persia ensured that they ...


  2. The Cradle of Arabic Sawt Music: The Early Musician Generations in Kuwait

    Rolf Killius Who were the founders of traditional ṣawt music and why did their musical journey start in Kuwait? The journalist Sarah Alzouman writes: ...


  3. The Forgotten War against Locusts that Helped Win the War

    John Hayhurst During WWII food shortages in the Middle East caused by locust swarms were tackled by a largely forgotten, but ultimately successful war ...


  4. The British Library: How Many Institutions Became One

    Dr Jo Wright A vast range of material that spans several thousand years, including a large collection of Arabic manuscripts and material related to the ...


  5. From Persia to Iran: the Politics of the Change of Name and its Impact on the Oil Concession

    Valentina Mirabella From 1900 to 1933 the Persian Oil Concession was the backdrop to a stand-off between the British and newly-renamed Iran. In 1900, ...


  6. The Singing Sailor, Salim Rashid Suri: A Ṣawt Musician from Oman

    Rolf Killius Salim Rashid Suri, an Omani ṣawt singer and oud player became famous as the ‘singing sailor’ and for developing a truly unique style, ...


  7. Gwadar: the Sultan’s Possession

    Martin Woodward Gwadar was an enclave of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman for nearly 200 years, but records show that while the Sultans were reluctant ...


  8. Diplomacy, Disease and Death: A Story of Georgian Slaves in the Gulf

    Dr Mark Hobbs The interception by an East India Company vessel in June 1853, of a Bahrain trading vessel carrying slaves in the Gulf, reveals a story ...


  9. The Brutal End of Persia’s Zand Dynasty

    Louis Allday The Death of Karim Khan Zand, ruler of Persia, in 1779 marked the beginning of a bloody period lasting 15 years and culminating in the rise ...


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

    Rolf Killius 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 ...


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