Oman differs from other Arab countries of the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf region in having a long history as a unified state. It is also famous as a seafaring nation and for the Ibadi tradition of Islam practiced by most of the population. This volume contains the proceedings of a conference held in Tübingen in May 2011 with the aim of highlighting other, previously little known or studied aspects of Oman’s history. The conference focused on the complex interrelationships between Oman and other countries bordering the Indian Ocean, and on views “from outside” of Oman’s culture and religion. Researchers from a wide range of disciplines examined these questions and the approaches and conclusions presented here are similarly wide ranging, from the pre-Islamic archaeology of Oman and the multiple languages of East Africa, to the economic and cultural ties between Latin America and Oman. The technology and history of shipbuilding are also examined, using previously little-known source material. But however varied their themes, all the essays clearly emphasise Oman’s significance as an economic and cultural bridge between the eastern and western Indian Ocean.
About the Author
Michaela Hoffman-Ruf is a professor of Islamic studies at the Universiat Bonn in Germany. Abdulraham Al Salimi is a professor of Islamic studies at the Instiute of Shariah Sciences in Oman and the editor-in-chief of Tolerance, a journal dedicated to discussions of present-day religious and political issues.