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Past Events

Under the Sails: Maritime Conversations on Trade and Seafaring

—Perspectives from Iran and Kuwait—


For centuries, flows of sailing ships around and across the Gulf connected the Middle East to India and East Africa. 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 been foregrounded in the face of national histories. Instead the countries around the Gulf littoral have mostly focused on narrating their individual histories of connectivity to major centers in India and East Africa. While these connections are important and still have many stories to tell, this conversation is a first attempt to think about the history of the Gulf from the shared experiences of maritime life.


Among the first of its kind, this event brings 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.



  • Ahmadnoor Daryayee - Researcher on culture and heritage

  • Ali Bahri - Retired sea captain; Founder of the Museum of Seafaring and Anthropology in Bandar-e Kong

  • Abdulrahman Baboo - Retired sea captain

  • Dr. Hasan Jassim Ashkanani - Assistant Professor of Archeology and Anthropology at Kuwait University

  • Fahad Ghazi Al-Abdeljalil - Businessman and researcher on heritage and history

  • Tareq Malallah - Researcher on seafaring heritage






















Event Date: May 26, 2021

Event Time:

  • Princeton (GMT-4) 9:30                     

  • Cologne (GMT +2) 15:30                   

  • Kuwait City (GMT+3) 16:30                     

  • Bandar-e Kong (GMT+4:30) 18:00                      

  • Tokyo (GMT+9)  22:30



Organized by:


Sara Zavaree, University of Cologne; Dr. Lindsey Stephenson, Ajam Media Collective;

Dr. Manami Goto, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and University of Exeter



This event is sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI Grant Number JP 19J0421

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