The ties that bind Africa and the Gulf region have deep historical roots that influence both what
Braudel called the longue durée and the short-term events of current policy shifts, market-based
economic fluctuations, and global and local political vicissitudes. This book, a collaboration of
historians, political scientists, development planners, and a biomedical engineer, explores Arabian-
African relationships in their many overlapping dimensions.
Thus histories constructed from the “bottom up” – records of the everyday activities of commerce,
intermarriage, and gender roles – offer an incisive complement to the “top down” histories of
dynasties and the elite. Topics such as migration, collective memory, scriptural and oral narratives,
and contemporary notions of food security and “soft” power pose new questions about the ties that
bind Africa to the Gulf.
This volume is based on a workshop held at the 5th Gulf Research Meeting organized by the Gulf
Research Center Cambridge in summer 2014.