People, Places, Traces: Arab Merchants, Lascars and the first Arab Communities

19 January '23 at 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Many of the earliest Arabs who lived, worked and settled in Britain were merchants and traders from Syria, or lascars from Yemen who laboured on the trade ships of the British East India Company and eventually settled in Britain. What records do we have of this history in the West Midlands? What attracted the Yemeni community – which had traditionally settled around port cities – to Birmingham? Who was Alphonse Mingana? What was his relationship with the Cadburys and what gift did they leave to Birmingham? What was Britain’s role in the Arab world during this time?

Join us for an online talk where historian Dr Neelam Hussain explores these questions and much more as she discusses events and movement between the 19th and early 20th centuries with historians and experts.

You can find updated details about guest speakers under our ‘Events‘ page or you can register here


This event is part of People, Places, Traces; a project documenting a millennium of interactions and exchanges between the British Isles and the Arab world through a series of public talks, essays and oral history interviews in the West Midlands.

The project is run by the Museum of Islamic Arts & Heritage (MIAH) Foundation and was awarded our Arab Britain commission following an open call in 2022.




The Arab British Centre & MIAH Foundation