chapter  1
18 Pages

An anational society

Eastern Arabia in the Ottoman period
WithFrederick F. Anscombe

To label eastern Arabian society of the late nineteenth century as ‘transnational’ would be rather misleading, because the term implies the existence of ‘national’ sentiments and barriers which must be overcome. If any such identities and limits existed in that place and time, they were neither widespread nor deeply rooted. As is the case with any population, the residents of Hasa, Qatar and Kuwait carried an array of identities, but ties of blood, religion, economic pursuit and locality generally came far above nationality (whether Arab, Saudi, or anything similar) in the hierarchy of allegiances. This was, thus, an anational society.