Qatar National Library’s highly acclaimed “Qatar, India & The Gulf” exhibition was supplemented by an enlightening talk about a lesser-known aspect of the region’s history.
The lecture, delivered by the Library’s Director of Historical Research and Partnerships, Dr. James Onley, explored the history of the Indian Navy’s involvement in the Arabian Gulf since 1612 and its significant role in mapping the shores of Eastern Arabia from the 1760s to the 1860s. The talk was followed by a guided tour of the exhibition, which reveals fascinating insights into the links between the sub-continent and the Middle East.
Haydon Crooks, who took part in the event, said: “I have lived in the Gulf region for the past few years, so I was very curious to learn more about its historical relationship with India. The lecture was an opportunity to listen to an expert on Gulf’s history and to learn how traditional mapping and navigation methods were used to shape the region.”
Another attendee, Hashim Saleh, said: “I am interested to explore Gulf’s history through maps, and I am fascinated by how they can provide important details about the region’s past. The lecture, for example, gave us a good story of how trade in the Gulf has been affected by the mapping that took place centuries ago.”