AUK Professor Dr. Hesham Al-Awadhi Authors New Book
In his new book, Dr. Hesham Al-Awadhi, professor of history and international relations at the American University of Kuwait (AUK), discusses the role slaves played in the Kuwaiti community in terms of society, culture, civilization, language, art, customs, food, and clothes.
“Slaves were the most influential labor force from the pearl diving period to the petroleum production period and it’s not shameful to shed light on this type of history. In fact, it is necessary to highlight this particular era in order to reconcile with it,” states Dr. Hesham.
The book acknowledges the contribution and influence slaves had in the Arab Gulf. It’s also an all-encompassing and inclusive publication that seeks to include all groups of people, especially those marginalized and eradicated by traditional history, instead of solely focusing on the elites.
Upon being asked about the reasoning behind choosing what is considered a delicate subject matter, Dr. Hesham explained that he chose this topic precisely because it is sensitive, and this is what motivates him to research and write in the field of history. He stated that the goal behind any research is to reveal stories, add new insights and new analysis.
Tim Niblock, an emeritus professor of Middle East politics, praised the book, “It's a topic that has always been hidden behind the scenes, and it is an important and necessary part of the history of the Arabian Gulf.” Additionally, Jerzy Zdanowski, a professor at the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, also expressed his appreciation towards Dr. Hesham’s research, “I am happy that a Kuwaiti is continuing research on the issue of slaves in the Gulf.”
Using over 50 sources and exclusive British documentations, The History of Slaves in the Arab Gulf addresses a part of the past that is seldom talked about.
Dr. Hesham Al-Awadhi, Professor of History and International Relations