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 ARAB - Interesting article by Professor Manu Ampim

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MessageSujet: ARAB - Interesting article by Professor Manu Ampim   Mer 25 Aoû 2010 - 22:04

RACIAL IDENTITY IN THE SUDAN : DISPELLING POPULAR MYTHS
Prof. Manu Ampim 1/21/08
source: [Seuls les administrateurs ont le droit de voir ce lien]

There is much confusion about race and ethnicity in the Sudan , and thus I was very surprised in my recent August 2007 visit to this country to find that the vast majority of the Sudanese people are thoroughly Africoid in appearance, including people in the northern “Arab” areas. My Sudan visit was to conduct a research survey in the 4th Cataract area because in this region the Merowe Dam will flood a 100-mile long zone in 2008 and thereby destroy thousands of archaeological sites and displace 70,000 people in this northern area of Sudan.*

It is obvious that the phenotype (physical appearance) of the vast majority of northern Sudanese is fundamentally African or Black, yet they are often described by the Western media (and by those who repeat this information) as “Arabs.” The ethnic and racial identity in the Sudan is obscured by media-driven stereotypes of Sudanese “Arabs” in the north and west against “black Africans” in the southern and western regions. The fact is that very few Sudanese would be considered “Arab” in the United States or Britain , and this was one of the most surprising findings of my research tour.

I have traveled throughout neighboring Egypt for the past 18 years, and because of the media hype I incorrectly assumed that much of the Sudan ’s population would be very similar to Egypt ’s Arab population, particularly in the northern region. For two weeks while I was in the capital area of Khartoum (the country’s most populated region) and the Northern State and Nile State I saw tens of thousands of people, but I did not see very many “Arab” people that we hear so much about in the Western press. What I saw and recorded was completely contrary to my expectations. The Sudanese population is overwhelmingly African, and it is plain to see that even those northern groups that have an Afro-Arab mixture in their family are predominantly African. The strict racialized models of the “Arab” versus “African” dichotomy are false, yet these models are widely used in popular interpretations, even by progressive writers.

The basic question is if the Sudanese are overwhelmingly Africoid by any American or British standards, then how is it that many of the northern people and the top government officials are often labeled as Arab? This brief essay will address this question and also provide visual images to support my comments, because the standard in primary research is that “documentation beats conversation.”

ANCIENT SUDAN

The Sudan is the ancient land of the Kushite and Nubian civilizations, and the black African builders of these civilizations are unmistakable. When the original Arabs arrived to the area in the 7th century CE, they called it bilad al-Sudan – Arabic for “land of the Blacks.” The ancient Sudanese (Kushites and Nubians) had Africoid facial features and their skin color ranged from jet-black to various shades of dark-and-medium brown, and these racial characteristics are still the reality of the Sudanese people today. The later Arab intermixture with these indigenous black Sudanese has not substantially altered their appearance, and thus the Afro-Arab groups in the northern and western Sudan are predominantly African and the vast majority would be considered as such in the U.S. and Britain , without any question.

However, the confusion comes in because since Sudan ’s independence from British control in 1956 the northern so-called “Arabs” have been the country’s ruling elite. These “Arabized” northern groups are largely Muslim and they speak Arabic, which is the national language of the Sudan . The British colonial policies favored a narrow elite group from within “Arab” communities, and after independence Arabization was turned into an official policy that sought to propagate the Arabic language and Arab identity throughout the country. However, this Arabization did not simply development Arabness, but it also sharpened the non-Arab and self-conscious African identity. Only in the past few years has an African identity emerged in the western region such as Darfur , and thus this Africanism has recently superseded the Arabic language, Islam, and the influence of Arab culture as a determining factor in identity. This new African awareness has emerged as resistance to the zealous effort to promote Arabization in the Darfur region.

AFRICAN IDENTITY

The one issue that struck me this past August in my visit to the Merowe area in the Northern State is that despite the influence of Arab culture the vast majority of the people are thoroughly Africoid in physical appearance. With the U.S. and British media hype about the “Arabs” in the north versus the “Africans” in the southern and western Sudan , I had expected to see in this northern region a large number of light-skinned Arabs that are similar in appearance to those in neighboring Egypt . However, only a tiny percentage of people fit this description or would even be classified as “Arab” in Western countries. In discussing racial identity, many people often confuse phenotype (physical appearance) with cultural traits such as language or religion. When a northern Sudanese refers to someone as “Arab” they are speaking of their cultural orientation and not their phenotype. Thus, one is an “Arab” if they have adopted some aspect of Arab culture (such as speaking the Arabic language) or have claimed a (real or false) Arab ancestry, even while their physical appearance remains thoroughly African. However, the Western press uses the term “Arab” in reference to racial identity and thus causes confusion, as it never makes a distinction between the Sudanese and Western definition of “Arab.” Likewise, in the U.S. media we often hear similar confusing discussions about the “Jews” as if they are an ethnic group, when the fact is that a “Jew” can be from any racial group. A “Jew” is simply a practitioner of the Judaism religion, regardless of their race.

I recall a very important experience that I had in Mannheim , Germany in October 2004. I was conducting a week-long series of presentations in London , so I decided to travel over to Germany for about a day and a half to see my Sudanese colleague, Sarwat. It just so happened that the day before I arrived the Sudanese community in the Mannheim area received news that a Dinka brother had died under suspicious circumstances at a local hospital facility. It was shocking news for the Sudanese in Germany, and thus they all came together to collect 2,500 Euros ($3700) to send his body back to Sudan for a proper burial. We all gathered at the main apartment to eat, fellowship, and raise money for the shipping fees. I met brothers from all over the Sudan , representing different ethnic groups, religions, and ideas but they all agreed to support their fellow brother from south Sudan .

Sarwat and I spent quite a lot of time at the apartment and I estimate that there were about 40 or so men who either stayed overnight or came through to make their financial contribution. I witnessed the apartment owner making and receiving phone calls throughout Germany regarding the contributions. What was interesting about the conversations is that no one, regardless of their ethnic affiliation, or whether they were from the north, or some other area, had any concern about sending money for a “Dinka,” who was from the south. They simply supported the cause because he was Sudanese, period. Also, what made the experience memorable is that we had meals together and several detailed conversations about ancient Sudanese civilizations, and modern politics and conflict in the country. We all learned quite a bit from these discussions. The one thing that every Sudanese brother in the room agreed to is that the Western media greatly distorts the ethnic politics in the Sudan, and that most of the news stories are false but with each of them the media injects a grain of truth to it, and then distorts the rest of the story beyond recognition, including the “Arab” versus “African” wars. This was one of the most important insights that I gained from the experience.

I also noted that all the brothers were completely African in physical appearance, other than two guys who would without question be considered Arab in the U.S. However, I noticed that these two guys felt right at home in the apartment, as they were there (like everyone else) to support the cause of sending the deceased Dinka brother back home.

“ARAB” IDENTITY

The precise meaning of the term Arab is “nomad” or “Bedouin,” and in a strict sense the term refers to nomadic people. Unfortunately, this term Arab is now used for nomadic people in the country even if their physical appearance is clearly African. Thus, many people in America and Britain call everyone in the Sudan who is a Muslim, speaks Arabic, or who is nomadic an “Arab.” This is why the war in the Darfur region is misunderstood by people in the West as a conflict between Sudan ’s “Arab government” in Khartoum aiding the “Arab Janjaweed” against the “black Africans.” However, the fact is that most of the Sudanese top-ranking government officials are totally African in appearance, and the Janjaweed are an Afro-Arab mixture that are Muslim and live a nomadic Arab lifestyle. Thus, the Janjaweed are “Arab” in the sense that they are a nomadic group, and not so much by their racial characteristics, which remain largely African. This practice of applying the sweeping term “Arab” to describe the racial identity of all members of the Janjaweed and other Sudanese groups has little basis in fact. When northern Sudanese use the term “Arab” they are referring to the person’s orientation towards recognizing their (real or imaginary) Arab ancestry, preferring to speak Arabic as their mother language, and being interested mainly in Islamic history, customs, and laws, and they are not referring to the person’s racial identity. There is a basic difference between cultural traits and racial identity, but these factors are often co-mingled and confused by Western writers and reporters. The fact is that all parties involved in the Darfur conflict -- whether they are labeled “Arab” or “African” -- are equally Black, local, Muslim, and they speak Arabic along with many local dialects. There is no discernible difference between most of these fighting groups in Darfur in terms of racial appearance or religion.

As noted above, when northern Sudanese call someone in their country an “Arab” they mean their cultural behavior and ideas, but in the U.S. and other Western countries the term “Arab” is used for racial identification. Thus, when the indigenous Sudanese and the average Western citizen use the term “Arab” they have two completely distinct meanings. If one does not understand this fact then they will be totally confused when they are faced with the reality that both the “Arab” and “African” in Sudan look identical. Therefore, it is highly misleading for Western writers and political commentators to continue referring to an “Arab” and “African” conflict in the Sudan without clarifying these terms. It should also be noted that most Sudanese do not call themselves “African” or “Arab,” but they mainly identify by region (such as “southerner” or “Darfuri”) or by one of the country’s many ethnic groups.
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MessageSujet: Re: ARAB - Interesting article by Professor Manu Ampim   Mer 25 Aoû 2010 - 23:32

Jeff (lol), mwen te fè yon entèvansyon lan yon lót vi kote m't'ap raple profese Gates (wi, li-menm) ki te konfronte yon Afriken Zanzibar ou Tanzani. Profese Gates t'ap di ke li te sezi pandan ke idantite'l se Afro-Ameriken san konsiderasyon kolè po'l, l'ap gade Afriken ak Afrikèn lan rejyon sila ki deklare dibout ke yo se Perse. Sa ki plis frapan, sè ke moun ki te kanpe devan'l la yo, po yon fonse, cheve yo krepu, nen yo evaze, elatrèy... An efè mwen te deja fè echanj ak J... ki konn dokimantè sa a trè byen.

W'ap pale Soudan, moun Afrik oksidantal rele moun Afrik oryantal les gens de la forêt, yon fason pou di yo aryere. Mwen te konn yon Djiboutyen, misye pat zanmi'm non men mwen te di yon Ayisyen bonjou ki t'ap pale avèk li. Depi lè sa a, Djiboutyen a te kontinye salye'm e mwen te toujou repond li ak respè. Yon jou mwen te sot lan reyinyon ak yo kondisipl Maroken e nou te kwaze misye. Prochèn fwa li wè'm, li di'm: "Ah bon! tu parles aux Arabes." Mwen se yon nonm alert e ki tranchan lan situasyon sa yo. Mwen repond li: "Et toi, tu es un arabe, non?". Fo ke n'ta wè jan mwen rand madigra a konfu ki repond mwen; "Oui, mais moi je suis noir." Lan kè'm, mwen di'l: "Va t'faire foutre."

Mwen pa konn pouki sa te gen yon lot bèt a ti figi sa yo ki te santi li bije vin eksplike'm ke yo se desandan profèt la ki te gen fanm Afrikèn itou. Kom si se Mahomèt ki te plimen pou kor'l tout fanm nwa lan rejyon sa yo. Aloske Somali supoze yon etni pami lót lan Afrik oryantal, sitou lan Somalie, Djibouti ou Ethiopie. Donk se pa tout Somalyen ki pur Somali. Si gen erè lan sa mwen ekri la, n'a fè'm konen.
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MessageSujet: Re: ARAB - Interesting article by Professor Manu Ampim   Jeu 26 Aoû 2010 - 0:30

Pou kontinye lan ki pwen konfizyon an rive.
Mwen ta p soti avèk yon etyopyèn pandan kèk tan.
Moun sa yo pa konsidere tèt yo tankou lot afriken.
Yo pito di yo se Habesha ki sipoze yon gwoup apa lan ras nwa a.
Yo sonje istwa la renn de Sheba e yon kenbe koneksyon an.

Li te toujou ap pale m de papa l ki te anbasadè an Israyèl komsi papa a se yon blan.
Ane pase, mwen rankontre misye.
Nèg lan pa menm yon grimo tankou sa nou konnen ann Ayiti yo.
Lè m di l sa, li ensiste papa l se blan.

Menmmjan tou yon tizanmi pitit gason m ki pakistanè ta p diskite pou di manman l ak papa l se blan.
Ti gason m nan di misye kijan yo fè pi fonse pase paran pa l yo?
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MessageSujet: Re: ARAB - Interesting article by Professor Manu Ampim   Jeu 26 Aoû 2010 - 1:11

Citation :
The ethnic and racial identity in the Sudan is obscured by media-driven stereotypes of Sudanese “Arabs” in the north and west against “black Africans” in the southern and western regions. The fact is that very few Sudanese would be considered “Arab” in the United States or Britain , and this was one of the most surprising findings of my research tour

Je pense que l'auteur de cet article a une mauvaise interpretation du concept sudanais. Ceux sont les Soudanais qui s'appelent Arabes, pas les medias, Ils parlent l' Arabe entre autre.

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MessageSujet: Re: ARAB - Interesting article by Professor Manu Ampim   Jeu 26 Aoû 2010 - 3:30

An efè, Alex Jacques, se pa toujou fot medya yo ou byen etranje yo. Si byen ke gad eksperyans Profesè Gates te fè ak Afriken sa yo. Li menm ki se yon mesaje, li jis te raporte sa li te wè.
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MessageSujet: Re: ARAB - Interesting article by Professor Manu Ampim   Jeu 26 Aoû 2010 - 11:22

Misye mete twòp responsablite sou do medya etranje yo, mwen dakò ak nou. Mèzalò, li byen esplike konfizyon an, lè li ekri: "one is an “Arab” if they have adopted some aspect of Arab culture (such as speaking the Arabic language) or have claimed a (real or false) Arab ancestry, even while their physical appearance remains thoroughly African". Sa vle di, li rekonèt se konfizyon ki genyen nan tèt Nèg Lafrik sa yo - ki malgre se Nèg yo ye, yo jwenn yon motivasyon sosyal pou yo kreye yon fo idantite "arab" pou tèt yo. Fenomèn sa a pa diferan de noumenm Ayisyen ki renmen ap klewonnen, nou se yon pèp "metise". Komsi, kantite kadejak kolon gason blan yo te fè sou fanm Afriken yo, se yon eleman fondamantal nan idantite jenetik osnon kiltirèl nasyon an. Ojis, nou metise vre. Men, pi gwo metisaj la, se kantite pèp Afriken diferan ki melanje ADN yo sou zile a. Melanj sa yo anpil fwa pi plis pase melanj ki fèt ant Afriken epi Ewopeyen osnon ant Afriken epi Tayino. Malgresa, laplipaditan, lè yon Ayisyen ap pale de "metisaj", se sitou yon relasyon ak Lewòp li vle demontre li genyen nan lakòd fanmi li. Ojis, konbyen Ayisyen ki konnen se kadejak ki alabaz metisaj sa a, ki ojis pa pi reprezantatif pase sa sou zile a? Se tankou yon moun k ap mache fè reklam zenglendo te monte sou vant manman l. Konpòtman lanvè landwat sa yo - kit se Soudan, kit se Ayiti, se rezilta yon matrakaj sikolojik.

Konsèp "ras" onivo syantifik pa kanpe sou anyen ki solid, men onivo istorik ak sosyal, se fenomèn ki fondamantal si nou vle konprann sitiyasyon mond n ap viv la, epi ki jan nou vle patisipe nan goumen pou jistis sosyal tabli ladan l.

Moun tankou Cecile Fatiman, Manbo Bwa Kay Iman an, te gen opsyon klewonnen li se pitit yon prens Ewopeyen (peyi Lakòs). Poutan, li te konprann fen-e-byen, diferans ki genyen an t reyalite jenetik li fèt ak li a (pitit yon fanmm Lafrik epi yon gason Ewopeyen) - epi idantite sosyal ak politik li "CHWAZI" adopte a - kòm yon nègès - pitit Lafrik k ap goumen pou lajistis, nan kad yon revolisyon anti-esklavajis. Se pou sa ou pa janm tande yo pale ou de Cecile Fatiman kòm "milatrès". Manmzèlte chwazi defini tèt li, andeyò modèl kolon esklavajis yo. Pa gen anpil "milat" ki te rive fè menm jan ak Fatiman. Men, sa ki te gen bon sans yo, se chwa sa a yo te fè.

Jaf
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MessageSujet: Re: ARAB - Interesting article by Professor Manu Ampim   Jeu 26 Aoû 2010 - 11:52

Se tankou W.E.B. DUBOIS,lè te gen yon repòtè EWOPEYEN te enplike ke sa k fè l te entelijan konsa a;se paske li te gen anpil zansèt Ewopeyen;DUBOIS reponn se pito akòz de san Afriken an.

Lè repòtè an kontinye pou l di ,poukisa se zansèt Afriken yo misye toujou ap voye monte;DUBOIS reponn ke lè ,absoliman,absoliman ke yo pa p di ke zansèt EWOPEYEN pote plis pou li ke zansèt Afriken yo;lè sa a li pa p gen pwoblèm pou l revandike zansèt Ewopeyen.
Ann atandan li si ke se branch AFRIKEN an ki fèl gen entelijans sa a
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MessageSujet: Re: ARAB - Interesting article by Professor Manu Ampim   Jeu 26 Aoû 2010 - 15:24

Je propose qu'on crée une radio internet sur forumhaiti… Chaque membre fondateur se propose d'être actionnaire… qui dit oui?
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