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  1. Fann Al-Baḥri – The Great Art of the Sea

    ... Rolf Killius Ethnomusicologist, Museum Consultant and Media Producer The extremely difficult and elaborate work of sailing ships and boats for pearl-diving and fishing in the Gulf region was essential in giving birth to a group of the most exciting music ...

  2. The ‘Dreaded’ Death of Karim Khan Zand, Ruler of Persia

    ... Louis Allday Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist, British Library It was an event that provoked anxiety among Persians and foreign traders alike and was to trigger a period of profound instability in Iran: the death, in 1779, of the ruler of Persi ...

  3. A Demonstration of British Firepower on the Trucial Coast, 1949

    ... Dr Mark Hobbs Gulf History Specialist, British Library In the wake of Indian independence and the United States’ increasing presence, British administrators sought to remind the Gulf’s inhabitants of who remained nominally in control of the region. Shortl ...

  4. The 1940s: Perfect Peace in the Midst of War

    ... Martin Woodward Archival Specialist, British Library While much of the world was experiencing the effects of global war in the first half of the 1940s, the Gulf by contrast was an oasis of calm. While much of the world was experiencing the effects of glob ...

  5. Love and Separation in Baghdad: Pesta and Rifi Songs on Shellac Discs

    ... Rolf Killius Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures, British Library Pesta and Rifi Songs, which developed in the twentieth century from Iraqi maqam, became more popular because they were recorded on shellac and broadcast throughout Iraq in the mid-century. ...

  6. 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 ...

  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. 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 ...

  9. Colonial Knowledge: Lorimer’s Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia

    ... Daniel A. Lowe Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist, British Library J. G. Lorimer’s Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia has long been used as a central source for the study of the region. Yet, it is essential to understand the c ...

  10. The Emergence of Qatar: Pelly’s Role in Britain’s 1868 Recognition of the State

    ... Karen Stapley Archival Specialist, British Library Sir Lewis Pelly is a key figure in the history of the Gulf who, in his role as Political Resident, was Britain’s senior official in the region from 1862 to 1873. He holds particular importance for Qatar d ...

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