Under the Sails: Maritime Conversations on Trade and Seafaring -Perspectives from Iran and Kuwait

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The event ‘Under the Sails: Maritime Conversations on Trade and Seafaring – Perspectives from Iran and Kuwait, organised by Sara Zavaree (University of Cologne), Dr Lindsey Stephenson, Ajam Media Collective, and Dr Manami Goto (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and University of Exeter), will be held online on 26 May 2021. Among the first of its kind, this event will bring together former sea captains (nakhodas), historians, anthropologists, museum directors, and private collectors from Iran and Kuwait for a conversation on the shared history of maritime life around the Gulf; a story that has been too often lost at sea. 

For centuries, flows of sailing ships around and across the Persian Gulf connected the Middle East to India and East Africa via the maritime Silk Roads. The ships that moved across the waters were manned by diverse groups of sailors who returned to the land with more than the goods they carried. They brought music, language, customs, and a particular knowledge of other places from the perspective of the sea. Unfortunately, this shared history and experiences of sailing the waters of the western Indian Ocean has not often been foregrounded. This conversation is a first attempt to think about the history of the Gulf from the shared experiences of maritime life. 

The event will be held in English with Arabic and Persian translation.  


Princeton (GMT-5) 10:30 Cologne (GMT +2) 15:30 Kuwait City (GMT+3) 16:30 Bandar-e Kong & Tehran (GMT+4:30) 18:00 Tokyo (GMT+9) 22:30  

To participate please register here: 

Contact: szavaree@uni-koeln.de 

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