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Agius - Classic Ships of Islam From Mesopotamia to the Indian Ocean (Handbook of oriental studies)

Agius - Classic Ships of Islam From Mesopotamia to the Indian Ocean (Handbook of oriental studies).pdf

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During one of my eld trips in the Gulf, in April 1992, I met a Qatari,
Muhammed Saeed al-Balushi, who completely changed the way I looked
at the maritime culture of the Western Indian Ocean. Muhammed
was then head of research and documentation at the Arab Gulf States
Folklore Centre in Doha and it was thanks to him that I began searching
the history of sailing ships through early Arabic sources. One day, he
introduced me to Yousef Al Majid, a master builder in Doha, who was
building a replica of a 90-foot long battÒl. In the days of sail the battÒl
was a trading and pearling vessel, but also a pirate and warship in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She was a double-ended craft, with
a ddle-headed bow, a high sternpost and double forward-leaning masts.
I was transxed by the sheer beauty and craftsmanship of the vessel
and resolved there and then to nd out more about these relics of the
distant past and how they might relate to the modern vessels I had previously observed. You
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