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The Gulfs

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Chapter Summary

The ruling elites of Swahili Coast trace their descent either to Persia or to Arabian Peninsula, and so do groups in Madagascar such as the Antemoro. The trade from Zeila and Bailul was largely conducted by the merchants of Mocha itself because those two were overseas "colonies" of the Imamate in the eighteenth century, and a peculiar "Siberia" to which the Imams used to banish their myriad rivals and their supporters. However important were Jeddah and Mocha, the largest city of both Gulfs was undoubtedly Basra. The Sunni Arabs often had little choice, especially on the Persian side of the Gulf. Much as any revolution the Persian one meant a lot of things at different places: in Armenia it was a "national" uprising The people of Iran were escaping the revolution and the subsequent unending wars and oppressive taxes by fleeing to desert and mountains to subsist as armed robbers.

Keywords: Arab shore; Arabian Peninsula; Basra; Iran; Mocha

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