An Arabian Port in Global Perspective: Jeddah, the Gate to Mecca from the mid-19th to mid-20th Centuries

In this presentation, Ulrike Freitag introduces her recent book, A History of Jeddah (CUP 2020). The city is characterized by a specific brand of cosmopolitanism which resulted from its unique position as a hub of trade and Muslim pilgrimage. Before the oil boom, this was reflected in the population, but also in the urban fabric and social interactions. One major concern of the different rulers of the city was public health in an age of cholera pandemics. This was, in the imperial age, linked to Western attempts at controlling pilgrims and trade.