The prolific Urdu author and journalist Abdulhalīm Sharar (1860–1926) was born in and spent much of his life in Lucknow (in present-day Uttar Pradesh, India). He produced biographies, historical novels, romantic novels, histories, essays, and other works. Tarikh-e-Sindh (A history of Sindh) is one of Sharar’s major historical works. Permanent settlement in Sindh, a province of present-day Pakistan, dates back to about 7000 BC. The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world’s oldest cultures, flourished in Sindh in 3300–1750 BC, rivaling those of Egypt and Mesopotamia in size and sophistication. Sindh became a Persian province in the sixth century BC, and was conquered by Alexander the Great in about 326 BC. In the ensuing centuries, Buddhist Greco-Bactrians, Scythians, Persians, and Rajputs held sway in the region. In 711 AD, the Umayyad general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh with a force of 20,000 cavalry and five catapults. The Arab conquest was followed by widespread conversion to Islam, the building of Mansura as the capital, and development of a port city at Debal. Muslim geographers, historians, and travelers over the centuries wrote about or visited the region, sometimes using the name "Sindh" for the entire area from the Arabian Sea to the Hindu Kush.