This website documents the results of a Qatar Foundation National Priority Research Program Grant (NPRP8-992-5-133) entitled “Intangible Heritage of Seasonal Navigation and Time Telling in the Arab Gulf ,” conducted in 2016-2017. The Lead Principal Investigator (LPI) is Dr. Daniel Martin Varisco (Qatar University), assisted by Dr. Roxani Margariti (Emory University), Dr. Andre Gingrich (University of Vienna), Dr. Ali al-Shawi (Qatar University), with Dr. Saad Sowayan and Dr. Harriet Nash as consultants.

This project is a follow-up to research conducted by the LPI in 1988-90 on the history of the Arab almanac, with a focus on the Gulf, at the Arab Gulf States Folklore Centre, when the LPI held a Fulbright Islamic Civilization Research Grant. During that time analysis was made of the content in the major Arabic language almanacs available in manuscript and published sources. A preliminary analysis of the almanac tradition was published in 1990 (D. M. Varisco, Folk Astronomy and the Seasons in the Arabian Gulf, Al-Ma’thurat al-Sha’biyya (Doha, Qatar) 19:7-27) and a popular magazine article (Varisco, Pearls of the Gulf, The World & I 6(5):606-619,1992). Both a major monograph and a dedicated website for the results of the project are in progress.

For the Project Proposal, click here.

I will publish updates on the project and revise them as needed:
Update 1
Update 2
Update 3
Update 4

If anyone has any comments, please email me at

Daniel Martin Varisco