TEHRAN – A host of scholars and researchers are set to exchange views on the cultural heritage of the Persian Gulf region during a webinar to be held alongside the National Persian Gulf Day.
The experts will present studies they have conducted on the historical heritage and cultural convergence of residents across the strategic waterway, ILNA reported.
The National Day is celebrated annually on the 10th of Ordibehesht (April 30) which marks the anniversary of the successful military campaign of Shah Abbas I of Persia when the Portuguese Navy was driven out of the Strait of Hormuz during the capture of ‘Ormuz (1622).
The modern strategic importance of the Persian Gulf dates back to the mid-19th century when three great empires clashed there: British India, Tsarist Russia and Ottoman Turkey.
The British established political control over much of the Persian Gulf in the early 1800s and retained it for 150 years, establishing a tradition of outside involvement that persists today. Britain did not establish formal protectorates (as in the case, for example, of Egypt), but entered into treaties with local sheikhs offering them protection in return for control of their foreign policy. In 1899, Kuwait, then considered a dependency of the Ottomans, was brought into this system.
After World War I, the political map of much of the Middle East was redrawn as the Ottoman Empire was replaced by modern states including Turkey, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The smaller Arab emirates on the western shore of the Persian Gulf were under British protection until 1971 (in the case of Kuwait, 1961). Iran (Persia) was never a colony, and for much of the 19th and 20th centuries Britain vied with Russia for influence there.
Stretching over some 250,000 square kilometres, the Persian Gulf is bounded by the Shatt al-Arab waterway to the north, which forms the border between Iran and Iraq, and the Strait of Hormuz to the south, which connects the sea to the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean.
It shares borders with the littoral states Iran (Persia), Oman, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman.
Also, the Persian Gulf is important as an international trade route connecting Western Asia with Africa, India and China. It has always been an integrated region characterized by a constant exchange of people, commerce and religious movements.
The webinar is organized by the Language and Enrollment Research Center which is affiliated with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.