Oman’s Transregional Connections to Sindh and Gujarat

Lecture by Zahir Bhalloo

Studies that look at transregional connections between the Middle East and South Asia have so far focused mainly on links between Yemen and South Asia (Akkerman: 2022, forthcoming). Oman, which occupies a strategic place on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, has not received significant scholarly attention. This is despite the fact that Oman’s port cities have in the past and continue to act today as points of convergence connecting the trade networks of the Arabian, Iranian, Indian and African cultural regions. The proposed paper will explore from a historical perspective the material (architecture, manuscripts and written artefacts) and non-material aspects (communities, ritual performance) of Oman’s longue durée link to the regions of Sindh and Gujarat in South Asia.

Zahir Bhalloo is a visiting research fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) with the Oman Research Grant, sponsored by the Sultan Qaboos Higher Centre for Culture and Science. His research interests are Oman and Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean and Persian legal and administrative documentary culture. He is the principal investigator of the DFG project (2021-2024), “The Persian Documents from al-Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem, 1300-1353” at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMCS), Universität Hamburg.

The event will be held via Zoom. Please register at


Book : ‘We are lovers of the Qalandar’, by Jürgen Wasim Frembgen

“This book is about Pakistan’s most popular Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar whose shrine in Sehwan Sharif is one of the most fascinating sanctuaries in the Muslim world. At the time of pilgrimage, this flourishing cult centre becomes a vibrant place of ecstatic religiosity marked by intense forms of devotion. The present ethnographic study is organized around three themes: piety, pilgrimage, and ritual. Thus, its focus is first on visual culture and ‘material religion’ as well as various aspects of religious aesthetics which highlight how sacred spaces are constructed and shaped. Secondly, it deals with the year-round pilgrimage, mainly investigating pilgrims from Punjab (including a unique life history of a female ‘Sufi lineage’ from Lahore), but also discussing remarkable ritual agents in the cult. The third theme is the spectacular trance dance known as dhamāl. On February 16, 2017, a suicide bomber executed a horrible massacre among the dancing devotees.”

More info here : OUP Pakistan


Book review: Khana Badosh Qabeela (Nomadic Tribes), Sukkur

Kunbher, Khalid, Khana Badosh Qabeela (Nomadic Tribes), Sukkur, My Publication, 2020, 175 p.

Book review by Saba Sindhri (CEIAS-EHESS)

The book Khana Badosh Qabeela (Nomadic Tribes) ny Khalid Kunbher is a primary book in the studies of nomadic tribes in Sindh, published by My Publication, Sukkur, in 2020. Earlier texts on the subject include those by Khursheed Qaemkhani including, Bhatakti Naslen: Sindh ke khana badoshon ka Samaji Manzarnama (Wandering People: The Social Scenario of Nomads of Sindh) published by Rohtas books, Lahore, in 1999 and Jogi Basti (Jogi Settlement) published by Roshni Publication, Kandiaro, in 2015. Continue reading Book review: Khana Badosh Qabeela (Nomadic Tribes), Sukkur

Interview with Masooma Shakir, NED

In Conversation: Masooma Shakir with Saba Sindhri

Architect Masooma Mohib Shakir is Assistant Professor at the Architecture and Planning Department, NED, Karachi. She got her undergraduate degree in Architecture from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi, Pakistan. She got her Masters from University of Leuven, Belgium and is currently working on her Phd research on Interrelationship of Living Heritage to its Context, Case of Sufi Shrines in Sindh, at the , in Germany. Her interests lie particularly in planning and urban design for historic environments. She has been involved in several urban research projects and publications and contributed to national and international journals, symposiums and conferences. Continue reading Interview with Masooma Shakir, NED

Society, Culture and Territory

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