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  1. The Kuwait Cat’s Meat Crisis

    ... Louis Allday Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist, British Library The arrest of a British Subject on spurious charges makes plain Britain’s dominant position in Kuwait in the late 1930s. On 11 January 1937, the British Political Agent A mid-rankin ...

  2. 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 ...

  3. A Quest for Knowledge: The Basra Date Palm, the Botanical Garden in Bengal

    ... John Hayhurst Gulf History Specialist, British Library A 1787 letter requesting plants from the Persian Gulf for a newly established botanical garden in Kolkata illuminates the way in which the pursuit of scientific knowledge became part of the EIC’s glob ...

  4. India Office Records Map Collection: A Vast and Powerful Resource

    ... Magdalena Peszko Map Curator, British Library By charting waters within and creating accurate maps of their spheres of influence the East India company, and later India Office, ensured that they had an advantage over competing powers. The India Office The ...

  5. ‘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 ...

  6. Country Profile: Qatar

    ... British Library Partnership Team An overview of the key moments from the history of interaction between the British and Qatar, as illustrated through the India Office Records. Qatar is an Arab emirate situated on a peninsula on the southern coast of the G ...

  7. Bahrain’s Economy: Buffeted between Pearls and Oil

    ... Martin Woodward Archival Specialist, British Library With pearling in decline and oil exploitation on hold, what drove Bahrain’s economy between the World Wars? By the 1920s, the ancient trade in pearls, though still the foundation of the economy of Bahra ...

  8. A Rich Culture Expressed in Music- Musical Instruments in The Upper Gulf Region

    ... Rolf Killius Ethnomusicologist, Museum Consultant and Media Producer The music of the upper Gulf region is well known for its intricate rhythms, hand-clapping and sung poetry. In addition to this, its musical instruments have evolved or been incorporated ...

  9. A Brief History of the English East India Company 1600–1858

    ... Margaret Makepeace Lead Curator East India Company Records, British Library From its origins as a small London enterprise, the East India Company (EIC) emerged as a powerful commercial and political organisation, whose presence in the Gulf helped shape th ...

  10. 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’ ...

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