Abadan: The Rise and Demise of an Oil Metropolis | Conflicting Imaginaries of Past and Future

To many Iranians, and particularly those in the diaspora, Abadan is remembered through nostalgic narratives that gloss over the gross inequalities, injustices and discrimination that marred the city under British influence and Pahlavi rule. In these romanticized narratives, Abadan’s past is framed as a near utopia of peaceful conviviality.

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Abadan: The Rise and Demise of an Oil Metropolis | Urban Politics of Oil and Modernity

The story of Abadan is entwined with the turbulent histories of modernity in Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. From its foundation on a sandy island in the Shatt al-‘Arab River bordering Iran and Iraq on the eve of World War I, the city has been at the center of momentous events of global significance, shaped by imperialism, nation building and power struggles over oil. Middle East oil was first discovered in 1908 in the Zagros mountains of southwest Iran.

Abadan: The Rise and Demise of an Oil Metropolis | Kaveh Ehsani and Rasmus Christian Elling

In fall 1978, Abadan’s oil refinery workers played a decisive role in the Iranian Revolution by joining the national mass strikes. Just two years later, Abadan and the adjoining port city of Khorramshahr were shelled by the invading Iraqi army and effectively destroyed during the Iran–Iraq war (1980–88), which scattered their population of over 600,000 as refugees across Iran and abroad.

Work Camps and Company Towns: Case Study – Abadan | Ian Seccombe & Richard Lawless

WORK CAMPS AND COMPANY TOWNS: THE IMPACT OF THE OIL INDUSTRY ON SETTLEMENT PATTERNS IN THE PERSIAN GULF by Ian Seccombe & Richard Lawless Of the new towns in the Persian gulf created following the discovery and development of the region's oil resources, Abadan was by far the most important and experienced the most spectacular... Continue Reading →

Abadan: A Case Study in Pseudo Colonial Architecture

Parham Karimi — Master of Architecture, University of Toronto (Corresponding Author) Hamid Afshar — Master of Archeology, Tarbiat Modares University Iranology Foundation, Research Department of Art and Architecture - Fall 2017 The built environment constructed around oil fields are important on many levels. They have influenced the lifestyle of many people who have worked and lived in... Continue Reading →

Abadan: Oil City Dreams and the Nostalgia for Past Futures in Iran (Part Two) | Rasmus Christian Elling — ABADAN RETOLD

PART TWO: When Iran’s Abadan was Capital of the World by Rasmus Christian Elling Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.   Abadan is special. Or at least, it used to be special. Its urban and social fabric stands out from all other Iranians cities. Its inhabitants... Continue Reading →

Abadan: Oil City Dreams and the Nostalgia for Past Futures in Iran (Part One) | Rasmus Christian Elling — ABADAN RETOLD

by Rasmus Christian Elling Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.ajammc.com. PART ONE: What if oil is magic? Sure, we are used to think of oil as a curse disguised as a blessing: as oil is extracted and refined, it turns... Continue Reading →

Abadan in the Ancient and Early Mediaeval Periods | Khodadad Rezakhani — ABADAN RETOLD

by Khodadad Rezakhani, Freie Universität, Berlin Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.   The geography of Abadan and its location between and in close proximity to many different rivers makes it a hard sight to pinpoint. Some of the available textual references can only be speculated... Continue Reading →

From my island of memories, toward our world of dreams: a personal statement on Abadan | Paul Schroeder — ABADAN RETOLD

by Paul Schroeder Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Editor’s note: Paul Schroeder lived in Abadan from June, 1958 to February, 1960. His father Charles, worked for the refinery whose main task was to coordinate an update of financial controls and administration of the refinery’s... Continue Reading →

The Early Beginnings of Modern Abadan | Willem Floor — ABADAN RETOLD

by Willem Floor Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Before oil. The island of ‘Abbadan, as it was usually known in its Arabic form, was locally more commonly called Jazirat al-Khizr or Khezr island.[1] The maraqqat ‘Abbadan or ‘Abbadan reef was well known to mariners sailing into... Continue Reading →

Abadan in the National Press During the Oil Nationalisation Movement, 1946-51 | Mattin Biglari — ABADAN RETOLD

by Mattin Biglari Originally Published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Abadan is and always has been the centre of Iran’s oil industry. Curiously, however, relatively few have examined how, beyond economic effects, this centre of oil has been connected to the centre of politics, Tehran. Yet... Continue Reading →

ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY

Author: Rasmus Christian Elling | Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East Publication date: 2015, Document Version, Early version, also known as pre-print Citation for published version (APA): Elling, R. C. (2015). On Lines and Fences: Labour, Community and Violence in an Oil City. In U. Freitag, N. Fuccaro, C. Ghrawi, & N. Lafi (Eds.),... Continue Reading →

War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike

Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   AUTHOR’S PRE-PRINT VERSION OF ELLING, R. C. (2016) «WAR OF CLUBS: STRUGGLE FOR SPACE IN ABADAN AND THE 1946 OIL STRIKE» IN N. FUCCARO (ED.), VIOLENCE AND THE CITY IN THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST (PP. 189-210). STANFORD UNIVERSITY... Continue Reading →

Crossing the Lines: the Bahmashir Incident

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East   On 19 December 1942, two separate episodes of violence led to the Bahmashir Incident. In subsequent reports, the Labour Superintendent recounted that around 2 p.m., three Indian soldiers had gone... Continue Reading →

Drawing the Lines: Spatial Politics of Coercion

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East       The horrible living conditions of most oil workers in the early days of the Concession are a well-known topic.[50] Indeed, the Company’s unwillingness or inability to provide adequate... Continue Reading →

Violence in the Lines: Order and Disorder

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East   The working conditions in Khuzestan were harsh, with long summers dominated by extreme heat and tasks that entailed significant risks and dangers. Work hours were long, breaks few and holidays... Continue Reading →

Arab Mobilization and the Politics of Fear

  War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East Throughout 1946, Arab sheikhs repeatedly complained to the Company about Tudeh’s aggressive campaigning. In Abadan’s rural hinterland, Arabs violently confronted itinerant Tudeh propagandists, and... Continue Reading →

Tribes, Workers and Unrest in the Oil City

  War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   By the 1910s, a modus vivendi had been established between the Company and Sheikh Khaz’al. The former lent the latter recognition, external protection,... Continue Reading →

Securing Output: Abadan under the Company’s Aegis

War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   Abadan’s modern history is inextricably tied to that of the Anglo-Persian— later Anglo-Iranian—Oil Company (henceforth, “the Company”). When oil was struck in Iran in... Continue Reading →

Hypotheses Testing and Historical Analysis

Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951 Chapter 5: The AIOC’s Stock Market reaction to nationalisation: Event Analysis and empirical results AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK This section proposes three related and alternative hypotheses to be examined using a data set of historical quantitative variables. The... Continue Reading →

Market Adjusted Model

Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951 Chapter 5: The AIOC’s Stock Market reaction to nationalisation: Event Analysis and empirical results AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK There are three different models used in event study literature to estimate ex ante expected returns[689]. These are Mean Adjusted... Continue Reading →

Market Efficiency and Data

Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951 Chapter 5: The AIOC’s Stock Market reaction to nationalisation: Event Analysis and empirical results AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK As previously mentioned, the event should be unanticipated and the magnitude of abnormal performance is consistent with market efficiency since... Continue Reading →

The AIOC’s Stock Market reaction to nationalisation: Event Analysis and empirical results

Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951 Chapter 5: The AIOC’s Stock Market reaction to nationalisation: Event Analysis and empirical results AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK Introduction This chapter examines the AIOC‟s stock market reaction to nationalisation. As previously discussed in Chapter 2, the AIOC operated... Continue Reading →

Response of Fraser to Iranian accusations: Empirical Evidence

From “Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951” Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK  Fraser was aware that the existing concession gave advantage to the AIOC. He therefore stressed that the company should not request the amendment of the... Continue Reading →

Tactical Plans of AIOC to face Iranian accusations: Empirical Evidence

From “Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951” Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK Gass and other AIOC representatives attended the meetings in which the contents of the government‟s Memorandum were discussed and each party kept its own record of... Continue Reading →

Company’s shares

From “Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951” Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The Memorandum invoked the Iranian government‟s desire to convert Iran‟s participation in the company‟s reserves into the form of shares of the company, as in the... Continue Reading →

The price of oil products and Period of the concession

From “Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951” Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK In view of the importance of cheap fuel in the economic life of Iran, it was necessary that the sale price of petrol in Persia should... Continue Reading →

The financial inspection of the companys books

From “Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951” Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK Ferrier has pointed out that, as part of Persia‟s dividend was based on 20% of the company‟s profits, the Iranian government must certainly be aware of... Continue Reading →

Dividends and Subsidiaries (Establishments outside Iran)

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Dividends were restricted as a result of post war limitations imposed on British companies by the British Government and the AIOC “could not as one of... Continue Reading →

Royalties

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Royalties were paid by the AIOC to Iran in return for taking away minerals from their exhaustible natural deposits, and they should reflect either a proportion... Continue Reading →

Company’s Reserves and Profits

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Since the 1933 concession, the Iranians had found it difficult to arrive at an assessment for the division of profits[525]. As mentioned earlier in the chapter,... Continue Reading →

Taxes and Immunities

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Iranians were willing to see the payment terms improved because they were dissatisfied with the massive amount of tax paid to the British government[516]. The Memorandum... Continue Reading →

Iranian Claims and AIOC Counter claims: Empirical Evidence

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york The 1933 concession and the Supplemental Agreement had a number of key points which proved controversial and resulted in the issuance of Gidel‟s Memorandum. The Memorandum... Continue Reading →

The 1933 concession: Claims and Counter Claims

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york In the light of the literature reviewed in chapter 2, the question of distribution of oil income continued to be a major source of rising conflict... Continue Reading →

Review of empirical evidence

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york The above discussion has re-considered the claims and counter claims of the AIOC and Iranian representatives in the light of Fraser‟s public and private correspondence. Historical evidence... Continue Reading →

The Public and Private position of the AIOC senior management

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Part of Fraser‟s strategy was to use financial reporting as a means of communication to maintain employee confidence. In view of nationalisation and the associated uncertainties from... Continue Reading →

Medical Treatment

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : NEVEEN Abdelrehim | The university of york The discrimination against Iranians resulted in a mix of different groups including nationality, class and employment status. The total number of hospital beds provided by the AIOC... Continue Reading →

Wages

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of YORK The level of wages paid in the oil industry was considered more favourable than in other sectors with regard to unskilled labour[432]. Working conditions and training given... Continue Reading →

Housing

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : NEVEEN Abdelrehim | The university of york Since 1933, the company was only concerned to provide houses and amenities to British staff and Iranians married to British citizens[406]. The company was keen on providing... Continue Reading →

“Iranian” claims for discrimination within the AIOC: Empirical evidence

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen  Abdelrehim | The university of york The nationalisation crisis brought the topic of discrimination into sharp focus and it became the subject of claim and counter-claim from the company‟s board and Iranian nationalist... Continue Reading →

Negotiating Iranianisation and Article (16)

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen  Abdelrehim | The university of york The Iranian government argued that the employment of foreigners entailed heavy costs of expatriation, travel, relocation not incurred by Iranians. The aim was therefore to reduce the... Continue Reading →

Iranianisation: Claims, Counter Claims and Article 16

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen  Abdelrehim | The university of york With the 1933 agreement, there were new employment rules specified to the recruitment of the artisans, technical and commercial staff from iranian nationals. The AIOC, aware of... Continue Reading →

Coup in 1953 and NIOC

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The years preceding nationalisation witnessed a series of failed proposals on the one hand, and a succession of Iranian governments and institutional changes on the other,... Continue Reading →

Undermining Mossadegh

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK After the failure of the Stokes mission, British policy made it abundantly clear that their desire was to get rid of Iran‟s popular, nationalist government under... Continue Reading →

Negotiations to reach a settlement after “AIOC” nationalisation

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The AIOC was one of the largest companies quoted on the Stock Exchange and Britain feared that Iran might use its oil as a political weapon.... Continue Reading →

Senior Management (Fraser)

  From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK   As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the AIOC had no clear founder-chairmen or founding family because William Knox D‟Arcy financed the exploration in Persia... Continue Reading →

Mossadegh’s motivations for nationalisation

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK   After the Second World War, oil played an important role in world economics and Iranian people wanted the AIOC to adopt the same attitude to... Continue Reading →

Nationalisation in 1951

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK As mentioned earlier, the problem between the Iranian government and the AIOC mainly arose in 1931 because of the decline in prices and again in 1948... Continue Reading →

1933 Agreement

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The 1933 Concessionary Agreement defined several rights and obligations for the AIOC and the Iranian government, to guarantee the continuation of the company‟s operations. The concession... Continue Reading →

The D’Arcy concession, AIOC’s domination in Iran

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The D’Arcy concession In 1901, William Knox D‟Arcy, the son of an Irish solicitor and a millionaire London socialite was the real founder of the AIOC[113].... Continue Reading →

The establishment of the AIOC, importance of oil

From "Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951" Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The establishment of the AIOC The literature on the AIOC emanates from a number of very different sources[98]. In the post war years, the development of... Continue Reading →

Political Complications

Credit: Ian Speller, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. From "Contemporary British History, Vol.17, No.1 (Spring 2003), pp.39–66" [Part 3]     These military difficulties were exacerbated by political factors. A clear problem for the British was the attitude of the United States towards the use of military force at Abadan. The American position was communicated... Continue Reading →

Bold and Quick Action?

Credit: Ian Speller, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. From "Contemporary British History, Vol.17, No.1 (Spring 2003), pp.39–66" [Part 2]   Initially, elements within the UK armed forces appeared willing to countenance great risks in order to achieve swift and decisive action to secure Abadan. On 18 May the Chief of the Air Staff, Sir John... Continue Reading →

A Splutter of Musketry? The British Military Response to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute, 1951

  Credit: Ian Speller, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. From "Contemporary British History, Vol.17, No.1 (Spring 2003), pp.39–66" [Part 1] This article examines the British response to the crisis that resulted from the Iranian decision to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1951. The British government contemplated the use of military force from the outset... Continue Reading →

Iranian Oil at British Hands

Credit: Maysam Behravesh, PhD Lund University "The Formative Years of Anglo-Iranian Relations (1907–1953): Colonial Scramble for Iran and Its Political Legacydome" Since the discovery of oil in Iran by D’Arcy’s oil exploration company in 1908, and especially after the end of World War I in 1918, until the start of the Mosaddeq premiership in 1951,... Continue Reading →

Labour Activism Encounters Nationalism

Credit: Touraj Atabaki from "Studies in History: Far from Home, But at Home: Indian Migrant Workers in the Iranian Oil Industry" source: Jawaharlal Nehru University. The dialectics between nationalism and labour movements during colonial rule in Asia and Africa have been the subject of a few major studies.[63] Increasingly, large-scale labour migrations became a feature... Continue Reading →

Abadan, a Triple City

Credit: Touraj Atabaki from "Studies in History: Far from Home, But at Home: Indian Migrant Workers in the Iranian Oil Industry" source: Jawaharlal Nehru University.   In her seminal study of colonial urbanization in Morocco, Janet Lughod refers to Rabat as a dual city, with sharply segregated urban spaces of the colonizer and the colonized.[48]... Continue Reading →

Far from Home, But at Home: Indian Migrant Workers in the Iranian Oil Industry

Credit: Touraj Atabaki from "Studies in History: Far from Home, But at Home: Indian Migrant Workers in the Iranian Oil Industry" source: Jawaharlal Nehru University.   Abstract This article revisits the life and times of Indian migrant workers in Persia/Iran during the first half of the twentieth century, and discusses their contributions to the founding,... Continue Reading →

Abadan: planning and architecture under the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company

Credit: Mark Crinson from "Planning Perspectives, Volume 12, Issue 3, 1997, pages 341- 359." History of Art Department, University of Manchester  Industry and urbanization were brought to south-west Iran when large quantities of oil were struck there in the early years of this century. This paper explores the development of Abadan from these beginnings to the... Continue Reading →

Production of Place as a Contested Process

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” Place is a social construct that both constitutes and is constituted by social relations (see chapter 1). The production of place and the interpretation of its... Continue Reading →

The Urban Process in Abadan 1929-1941

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” After highly protracted and contentious negotiations that began in 1928 the Iranian government granted a new 60-year oil concession to APOC in 1933. At one point... Continue Reading →

Successive Waves of Industrialization and Labor Activism

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” The history of industrialization in the interwar era can be roughly divided into two periods: 1919-1931 and 1931-1941. In the first period, the government facilitated and... Continue Reading →

Labor Activism in the interwar years

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” The consolidation of the oil complex brought with it new forms of labor activism among the industrial working class. The new collective political agency of the... Continue Reading →

Patching Together a Fragmented Provincial Geography with Guns and Oil

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)”   In 1924 the Prime Minister Reza Khan visited APOC installations at Abadan and the Fields and was received formally and with eager hospitality by the... Continue Reading →

Taking Stock of the State of Knowledge, Evaluating Sources, and What Remains to be Done

  Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)”   The previous chapters have been heavily focused on the largely overlooked but formative early period of the assemblage of the oil complex and the... Continue Reading →

After the Honeymoon was Over: Urban Strife and the Social Question in post 1926 Abadan

  Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” Most histories of this period have depicted the reasons behind the increasingly turbulent relationships between APOC and the Iranian Government between 1928-1933 as caused by... Continue Reading →

Illusions of Segregation: Servants and the Politics of Domestic Households

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” Illusions of Segregation: Servants and the Politics of Domestic Households As it turned out Greenhouse’s urgency in the autumn of 1925 had not been misplaced. The... Continue Reading →

The Politics of property in interwar Abadan

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)”   Who ‘owned’ this urban land? What was the meaning of property under these changing circumstances? Chapter 3 discussed the incongruence of different notions of property... Continue Reading →

Militant Particularism in Abadan

  Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” The Company’s plan to evict residents and merchants, paying compensation to those who had some form of official property title (it is unclear how many... Continue Reading →

Sanitation, Segregation, and the Politics of Property in Abadan

Credit : Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)”     In February 1926 APOC medical director Dr. M. Young provided an assessment of the sanitary challenges facing the urban situation in Abadan: “Even... Continue Reading →

Abadan; Building a Sanitary City

  Credit : Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” Reza Khan concluded his important military campaign against Skeikh Khaz’al in 1924 with a formal visit to Abadan and the Fields. During the visit... Continue Reading →

The Making of Skilled and Permanent Iranian Workers: Education, Discipline, and ‘Iranianization’

  AUTHOR: KAVEH EHSANI, LEIDEN UNIVERSITY   FROM “THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF LABOR IN THE IRANIAN OIL INDUSTRY : THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND THE MAKING OF THE INDUSTRIAL WORKING CLASS (1908-1941)” In the interwar years mass education of Iranian workers and their children became a pressing concern for APOC, and it entered its repertoire of reluctant... Continue Reading →

Mending a Blemished Image: Company Propaganda, Social Amenities, and Improving Material Conditions

AUTHOR: KAVEH EHSANI, LEIDEN UNIVERSITY   FROM “THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF LABOR IN THE IRANIAN OIL INDUSTRY : THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND THE MAKING OF THE INDUSTRIAL WORKING CLASS (1908-1941)”    APOC suffered from a poor image in the early years of its operations, and this caused problems with recruiting and retaining employees, not to mention... Continue Reading →

Labor Troubles in an Expanding Boomtown

 Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University   From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)”    Labor recruitment was a major challenge facing APOC, especially in the first two decades of its operation in Iran. The Company had to cast a... Continue Reading →

Labor and the Social Question in Interwar Abadan

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   As APOC’s operations kept expanding exponentially throughout the war years, the challenge of recruiting and maintaining an adequate labor force took on... Continue Reading →

Creating Enclaves; Setting Boundaries

    Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   The Oil Company, in particular, tried to carve out exclusive geographies by effectively denationalizing territories over which it could exercise its... Continue Reading →

The 1926 Turning Point: Oil Encounter in Abadan

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   The short decade after WWI witnessed the consolidation of the oil industry in Iran. The interlude was a revolutionary turning point on... Continue Reading →

The Social Life of Oil in the Wake of WWI and the Transition to Fordism

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   By mid-1920’s APOC was re-organizing into a new form of business organization, which four decades later David Lilienthal named the multi-national corporation[199].... Continue Reading →

The Rise to Prominence of Professional Middle Class Experts and their Impact on Corporate Culture and Governmental Social Policies

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   When in 1926 APOC undertook the task of re-configuring its operations in Khuzestan, the protracted and extensive discussion among its senior directors... Continue Reading →

Pluralism and Planning: The Impact of Political Franchise and Mass Politics

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   In the previous sections I have outlined the impact of public health measures, military conscription, the dramatic expansion of the labor market... Continue Reading →

Setting Oil Policy After the War

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   As one of Britain’s major petrochemical and primary industrial materials producers, the attitudes and praxis of APOC directors and experts were constantly... Continue Reading →

Oil Versus Coal: Warfare as Midwife of Change of Fuel Source

    Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   In 1911 the United States adopted oil-fired boilers for its new heavy warships. Britain also had begun searching for a sustainable... Continue Reading →

Sanitation and Segregation in the City

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   The politics of sanitation and public health did not create only an inclusive and universal dynamic of citizenship entitlement to a healthy... Continue Reading →

Contagion and the Politics of Prevention

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ] The question of contagious diseases and their root causes became a central preoccupation of urban life in 19th century European and colonial cities... Continue Reading →

The Oil City in an Age of Jazz: Nostalgia and Modernity in Abadan

A lecture in Persian by Rasmus Christian Elling, Copenhagen University. Part of the UCLA CNES and Program of Iranian Studies Bilingual Lecture Series. Sunday, June 01, 2014 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 121 Dodd Hall UCLA *LECTURE IN PERSIAN The Oil City in an Age of Jazz: Nostalgia and Modernity in Abadan, Iran We often... Continue Reading →

Abadan: A Model for “Ahmadi” in Kuwait

From "Building for Oil: Corporate Colonialism, Nationalism and Urban Modernity in Ahmadi, 1946-1992" By Reem IR Alissa | University of California, Berkeley   Between 1912 and 1945 Abadan grew to be one of Iran’s first modern cities in a previously scarcely populated area located at the estuary where the Tigris, Euphrates and Karun rivers meet the Persian Gulf.30... Continue Reading →

LIFE in the Middle East: Power and Petroleum in the Persian Gulf in 1945

 Liz Ronk _ TIME.COM     Oil. A simple word that for much of the 20th century, and well into the 21st, has meant unimaginable wealth for a very few; plentiful and (for a time, at least) cheap energy for consumers and industries around the globe; deadly conflicts and tensions, as international powers jockeyed to... Continue Reading →

Documenting the Modern Oil City: Cinematic Urbanism in Anglo-Iranian’s Persian Story

Mona Damluji University of California, Berkeley In 1951, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) described its documentary film Persian Story as “the first sympathetic portrayal of Iran ever made for a public audience,” and one of the most important publicity projects the company had ever undertaken.1 The film would excite audiences at home with a glimpse... Continue Reading →

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