Hadhramout of Yemen. Hadrami Arabs - Sayyids, scholars, Sufis, traders, commoners – created a trans-cultural space of Islamic acumen as they traversed and settled in the trans-oceanic world that stretched from Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa to Timor at the limit of the Malay Archipelago. In fact, they played the major role in the spread and evolution of Islamic culture, religious ethos and social formation in all these regions. Consequently, studies on Hadhrami Arabs, patterns of their migration, the depth and breadth of their influence across the Indian Ocean littoral has nowadays become a major sub-section of Indian Ocean studies, and there have been a number of rigorous academic works on Hadramis and Hadrami Diaspora in various Indian Ocean regions.
19 February, 2014
09 February, 2014
Socotra Archipelago: the waters around it are known for their dangerous shoals and ferocious storms. And, now, there are the terrifying pirates who have turned the horn of Africa in to one of the most dangerous places for sailors. Years back, sailors and those intending to go to the Island had another fear - they were terrified of the Island's residents who were believed to control winds and turn ships toward shore for capture and plunder. Some people, even believe to this day that the people of Socotra have magical powers. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all tapped the treasures of Socotra’s natural world: aromatic resins such as frankincense, medicinal aloe extract, and the dark red sap of the dragon’s blood tree, used for healing and as an artist’s color. Adventurers came to harvest the island’s wealth, despite stories that it was guarded by giant snakes living in its caves. The Queen of Sheba, Alexander the Great, and Marco Polo were among those who coveted Socotra’s riches. Today, the Archipelago has very much changed: it's very unique biodiversity attracts scientists from all over the world; and thousands of foreign tourists visit the Island. But its indigenous, original inhabitants have remained very much the same.
04 February, 2014
Iain Walker - the man in charge of the project: 'Converging cultures: the Hadrami diaspora in the Indian Ocean'