“I swear by Allah that I do not fear poverty for you, but I fear the prospect of the material world opening up for you.”—Muhammed Nabi   In Kerala’s Malabar region, the Gulf is the backdrop to almost everything. Indeed it’s been the dominant influence on the social life of Malabar, expressed perfectly by the following joke. “Here everyone is in Gulf, in four different ways; those who have gone to Gulf; those preparing to go to Gulf; those who lament they cannot go to