Jews, Palestine, and Zionism in the Persian Gulf 1890-1948

Join us for a Thursday seminar with Eirik Kvindesland on connections between Palestine and the Persian Gulf. 

Jews, Palestine, and the Persian Gulf rarely meet in Middle Eastern studies. Despite a long Jewish history in the region, and today the growing importance of Gulf countries to the Palestine/Israel-conflict, hardly anything is known about Gulf Jews and how these two regions relate to each other. Drawing on his ongoing PhD research, in this lecture Eirik Kvindesland takes the perspective of Jewish history to explore transnational connections between Palestine and the Gulf. The result is a far-reaching narrative that touches on Jewish community-building, the connective role of British imperialism, and finally the Zionist movements’ overtures to the shaykhs and shahs of the Persian Gulf. Drawing on archives and literature in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, French, and English, this lecture takes Jewish history as a transnational lens through which to understand both modern Palestine and the Gulf. This research helps strengthen our understanding of the Zionist movement, the attitudes of Iran, and the Arab Gulf states towards it and may contribute some new perspectives on the making of the modern Middle East.

Eirik Kvindesland is a PhD-candidate inImage may contain: Glasses, Glasses, Forehead, Nose, Cheek. History at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. His research interests include Iranian history, Jewish history in the modern Middle East, as well as histories of oil and empire. An eternal language student, he has lived and worked in cities like Jerusalem, Nablus, Mashhad and Riyadh. He occasionally tweets at @eirkvi. 

The discussion will be led by Brynjar Lia, professor in Middle East studies at the University of Oslo. 

Published Aug. 25, 2022 2:06 PM - Last modified Aug. 26, 2022 12:56 PM