Qatar and the Arab Gulf States in the Documents of the Indian Archives

In cooperation with Hamad Bin Khalifa University Publishing House, the center issued a book entitled “Qatar and the Arab Gulf States in the Documents of the Indian Archives: Selections from the National Archives, Delhi 1840-1871.” This release comes under a project adopted by the center in order to publish a series of documentary books of selections from the Indian Archives that includes the archives of the British Indian Government who was supervising administration in the Persian Gulf as being its geostrategic depth. Hence, those documents are very important to identify conditions in the Arabian Gulf, as they contain reports of the British Political Resident, whose headquarters was located at Bushehr in the Persian Gulf, as well as the reports of his agents in Bahrain, Sharjah, Kuwait, Basra and Muscat.

This publication is complementary to a project aimed at translating and editing the British documents related to Qatar, the Arabian Gulf region and Arabia: The Center had published the translation of “Selections from the Documents of Bombay Government”. The documents included in the book cover the region’s relations with the international, regional and local powers, especially the British Government and the Government of British India;  therefore, they are considered an important source of the  sources of the history of the region because they contain reports, telegraphs  and communications exchanged between residents and agents, captains of the ships of the Indian Navy and their superiors in the Ministry of Indian Affairs British Foreign Ministry in London. They also contain the communications of the region’s sheikhs and traders. Those communications reveal their conditions, reactions and interactions with the events and the incidents they encountered, or they provide their testimonies on events that they were eyewitnesses to; therefore, their topics vary between political, military, economic, social, and others. This makes the book a significant addition to the Arab historical library in general, and the history of Qatar and the region in particular. The volume includes a detailed account of the diary of a trip by Lewis Pelly, the British Political Resident and Consul General in the Gulf, to Kuwait, Zubair, and Southern Iraq, with lists of the numbers of people, ships, houses, palm trees, exports and imports, and others.


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