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.

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