Friday, September 25, 2009

Blog 3

This week’s reading explained the trading routes between the Persian Gulf, Read Sea, and Mediterranean Sea. Sinbad’s “middle way” through the Persian Gulf and Baghdad was the cheapest and easiest route to take until it experienced blockages because of the Mongol conquest of Mesopotamia and the demotion of Baghdad from Islam. Baghdad was central for world trade and extremely prosperous during the 10th century. However, during the 11th-12th century, Baghdad encountered many misfortunes, mostly natural disasters, that led to its decline. With the decline of the Persian Gulf, Egypt gained exclusive control over the sea to India and China. In addition, the rise of Islam in the 7th century created a unity with the Arabs, Egyptians, and Persians that dissolved the rivalry between the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. The effects of the Black Plague weakened Egypt’s economy significantly and when the Portuguese decided to block the Red Sea to Muslims, India became the major source of wealth.  I thought it was interesting when Abu-Lughod was describing the relations between Islam and business. I think she could have expanded on this relationship more because I am not quite sure I understand the connection or how Islam worked well with the principles of business? 

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