NOTE: If this is your first time here, it is very important to keep in mind that many of the ideas expressed in this blog represent older versions of myself, and not necessarily my current self. After all, we evolve, and sometimes change our minds. In the meantime, enjoy lurking around, and watch the video trailer for my upcoming book here.

Sudan: Arab or African?

by Drima on February 3, 2007

Ingrid @ Sudan Watch asked the following question:

Since Sudan belongs to both the African Union and Arab League, I wonder if Sudanese women see Sudan as an African or Arab country.

Now even though I’m not a woman (Duh!), I’m still going to try and answer Ingrid’s question. Is Sudan an African or Arab country? In other words, are we Sudanese, African or Arab? It’s a tough question to answer for the simple reason that I’m only given the option of choosing between “Arab” or “African”. I don’t see Sudan as being either one or the other. There are about 600 tribes in Sudan. Yes, that’s right, 600 tribes! Ethnically, some are African, some are Afro-Arab and the few remaining others are Arab. Therefore Sudan is an Afro-Arab country. It’s as simple as that but I don’t believe that answers Ingrid’s question or does it? Well in case it doesn’t and I can only choose between “Arab” or “African”, then here are my thoughts. Sudanese girls and boys in da house, indulge me in the comments section if you may.

THE ETHNIC PERSPECTIVE

First of all, let’s discuss this issue from the perspective of ethnicity. Pictured at the bottom of this post are 2 Sudanese girls (aren’t they so cute and innocent). They represent both the far sides of the Sudanese ethnic spectrum. The first picture is of a girl from the Nuer tribe which is an African tribe from Southern Sudan, not Afro-Arab but African. The second is of a girl from the Rashaida tribe which is an Arab tribe from Eastern Sudan, not Afro-Arab but Arab. The Rashaida are the most recent Arab tribe to make into Sudan. They crossed the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula about 150 years ago and made it to the north eastern side of the country. Since they arrived recently, they haven’t intermarried with locals. It’s a known fact that a Rashaida father will almost never allow his daughter (or son) to marry outside of the tribe (the same is quite true for other tribes). As such, the Rashaida have remained purely Arab.

Now that both ends of the spectrum have been presented, allow me to further explain the main difference between them. What’s the main difference (besides the obvious)? Well here is the main difference: one is indigenous to the land and the other is not. Arab tribes came from the Arabian Peninsula while African tribes (Nuer, Dinka, Nuba, Nubians etc.) have been in Sudan for ages.

Let’s move on to the next point i.e. the Afro-Arab. “The Afro-Arab” is the product of intermarriage between Arab tribes and African tribes. I am a Northern Sudanese. Ethnically speaking I am a Shaigee. I am of mixed blood, mainly being Nubian, Nuba and Arab. The Nubian and Nuba in me are indigenous to Sudan. The Arab in me was an outsider that came, settled, assimilated into the Sudanese African ethnic pool and as a result made part of it Afro-Arab.

In the big context, it is “the African” that dominates. It’s very difficult finding many pure Arab tribes like the Rashaida in Sudan. They’re minorities. The majority are either African or Afro-Arab. Hence, ethnically speaking and in the big context we Sudanese are mainly African and not Arab. That’s also true for most Northern Sudanese. “The African” still dominates.

Whether we’re Arab or African, can’t be fully answered without taking into account how we Sudanese view ourselves though. For Southerners, that’s not a major issue. It’s simple. They’re Africans. For many Northern Sudanese however it gets a little complicated. Choosing either Arab or African is not easy. Here’s a little test for my Northern Sudanese Afro-Arab readers that should make it easier. Do you want to know how you can find out if you view yourself as more African than Arab or vice versa? Here’s how. Visualize the following and tell me which one you find more offensive.

a) A Persian guy shouting “Arabs are filthy dogs”.

or

b) Some KKK dude shouting “Africans are filthy niggers”.

For most Sudanese I asked, the answer was (b).

THE CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE

We’ve concluded that us Sudanese are mainly African in terms of ethnicity but what about culturally? In terms of culture are we Arab or African? Again, I’d say that for Southern Sudanese, this won’t be a major issue. Unlike many Northern Sudanese, they’re not suffering from an identity crisis. Southern Sudanese are both ethnically and culturally African but this is not really true for Northern Sudanese. For the Northern Sudanese who are dominantly ethnically Afro-Arab, it’s a different case. All Afro-Arab tribes in Sudan (and even some African ones) have been Arabized even if not fully (keep in mind that along with Arabization came Islamization and Islamic culture). Therefore culturally speaking Northern Sudanese are mainly Arab due to Arabization and not African.

In the big context, I believe that it is the Arab culture that dominates in Sudan. Yes, many Afro-Arab tribes have retained a lot of African traditions and have not been fully Arabized. Yes, the Arab culture in Sudan might be sort of loose but it is what ties many tribes together and is what’s common amongst them besides Islam. About 70% of Sudan’s population is Muslim. Moreover the majority of Sudanese also speak Arabic together with other languages. They’re multilingual.

CONCLUSION

Now this is the really difficult part. (Voice inside my head: damn it, why do you have to choose between Arab or African man? Why can’t you just choose both?). Well like I said at the start of my post. Sudan is an Afro-Arab country. It’s really that simple. However to which side do we belong more? If you as a Sudanese had to make a choice, which one would you choose? African or Arab?

As I’ve presented, ethnically speaking we Sudanese are mainly African but culturally we’re more Arab than African (thanks to Arabization). So, which one do we belong to more? Which one do we choose? In order to give an answer, I have to ask another question. Which one plays a bigger role in forming one’s identity? Would that be ethnicity or culture? For me, the answer is ethnicity.

A girl from the Neur, an African tribe (Malakal, Southern Sudan).
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A girl from the Rashaida, an Arab tribe. (East Sudan).

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{ 1 trackback }

The Referendum — The Sudanese Thinker
01.17.11 at 8:23 am

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mohamedccf 01.14.11 at 1:52 pm

I’m interest about tribes in Sudan and original tribes in it but Sudanese for their mixed between Arab and African ,they lost the identity between I’m Arabic or African because the Arab can’t admit the Sudanese Arab and African like that this problem we are live everyday i don’t understand where is problem the good thing we are Sudanese we suppose to us proud with ourselves if no one couldn’t admit who are we , just we tell the world we had Civilization in the past and showing the world we don’t have identity because we have identity and we are Sudanese, just i want tell to anyone disturbing who am i , just tell I’m not proud to be Arabic and I’m not proud I’m African just tell the world I’m Sudanese.

2 mohamedccf 01.14.11 at 1:57 pm

I’m interest about tribes in Sudan and original tribes in it but Sudanese for their mixed between Arab and African ,they lost the identity between I’m Arabic or African because the Arab can’t admit the Sudanese Arab and African like that this problem we are live everyday i don’t understand where is problem the good thing we are Sudanese we suppose to us proud with ourselves if no one couldn’t admit who are we , just we tell the world we had Civilization in the past and showing the world we don’t have identity because we have identity before and we are Sudanese, just i want tell to anyone disturbing who am i , just tell I’m not proud to be Arabic and I’m not proud to be African just tell the world I’m Sudanese.

3 TheHorn 01.22.11 at 10:33 am

I am not a Sudanese, I never been to Sudan but I am huge fan of the all people of Sudan. I know that this is a Sudanese matter and that it is upto the people of Sudan to decide who they are… but hey I saw Morroccan and Egyptian giving their opinions lol so why not me. I can’t say that I have seen all Sudanese clans/groups but I have seen 3-4 different groups from both the North and South; I was neighbor with the beautiful tall dark skinned Dinkas back in Ethiopia and the States. I went high school with different kind of Sudanese, they weren’t as tall as the Dinkas (average height), they’re dark skinned and were strong as west Africans, they were Muslims and Nuers (i think.). I have met with Northern Sudanese back in North Carolina and San Diego; all the Northern Sudanese that I have seen were no lighter than Eritrean therefore I will say the people of Sudan are Africans.

 

4 mus3ab 01.28.11 at 2:11 am

SUDAN is completly AFRICAN. why? simply , it is closer to mid africa than middle of the middle east, and im not talking about races and tribes . its simple guys even some of the old singers (which was arabian-white) as u call them wa singing saying im sudanese IM AFRICAN !! and proud of it ….. like for real , what did ARAB Helped sudan with.. be serious guys.

5 abubakre 03.02.11 at 7:31 am

thank you for thoughtful post, i got here by acciddent (…googling…) but I liked it and found myself reading all the feedbacks. I myself come from a mixture of North and East of Sudan. However, I love both being a Nubian of Origin and I can see its culture in most of our practices in North Sudan. Being of Easten half is still there, but I admit the northern part of me pedominates more. I dont see myself as an african at all. And I dont even take it as a pure arab. If you ask the sae questions to Ethiopians, or Eritrians you will find some common conflicts. I feel more comfortable to say that I belong to the area of African Horn where culture, ethnicity and everything is diffrent compared with Asia, and Africa. And we Look more the same. One day in past Sudan meant the whole African horn Area, and this is whay you may see ethiopians and sudanese look so much similar. WesternSudanese are more like Chad, and southerens are like our neighbouring southerns countries. Sudan is place where Four Cultures met peacefully, and I am diaspointed to see brothers in South leaving us.

all regards,

6 james 03.13.11 at 8:49 am

there is no such thing as a white african
they are invaders who are killing black mercilessly
hopefully something intervenes to stop you

7 aala 03.26.11 at 11:30 pm

i can tell you the port and north sudan are arabs. the rest are africans so its sorta like an afro-arab country but since its splitting we dont know what willl happen!

8 φωτοβολταικα 04.17.11 at 9:36 am

they lost the identity between I’m Arabic or African because the Arab can’t admit the Sudanese Arab and African like that this problem we are live everyday i don’t understand where is problem the good thing we are Sudanese we suppose to us proud with ourselves if no one couldn’t admit who are we

9 grace 05.22.11 at 6:08 pm

i myself am an southern Sudanese girl, and i agree with you 100%. What your saying is so true. Thanks I’ve learned a lot

10 Osman A. Soltani-Koroma 05.25.11 at 3:41 pm

Arabs are not Africans; North Africa is an African land occupied by Arabs and it is very painful to us Africans when the people of Libya for instance considered themselves to be Arabs and we are left behind following Col. Quaddaffi. He called Libya as the” Libyan Arab Jamahhiyirra” and he is talking about African freedom and unity. He should have called Libya as the ” Libyan African Jamahiyyirra”. Even Nasser are all part of this injustice against Africans. He called EGYPT as the ” Arab Republic of Egypt”. Why not the “African Republic of Egypt”? And he is talking about African liberation and unity.
The strategy and tactics of the African Liberation Front should change; we do not need to follow Dr. Nkrumah on this issue because our generation have witnessed a lot of happenings in this period. Our central question in this milieu is how to regain North Africa as part of the African land and established an African government in Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. This is our struggle in this era!

11 Mohammed Waseem 06.29.11 at 12:45 pm

Salam Alaikum,

One more interesting question is this: what do the people of the other Arab countries (Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Iraq) perceive of the people of North Sudan? As Arabs or as Africans?

I am from India and I have always thought of North Sudan as an extension of the Arab world into Africa rather than an African country.

Do answer my question if you can.

12 Daphne 07.07.11 at 7:12 am

I came across this website trying to find something positive about Africa and its people. Well! y’all(I am a southern African American)are just as screwed up as the people over here in America. I have always envisioned Africa as this exotic far away land that is full of culture, history; and beautiful people. You see here a lot of people know Africa as only being where the slaves came from(it’s true). I am quite disappointed to read some of the comments some of you made. And its so funny because being from the southern part of the United States, most “rednecks” (racist white people)would call black and/or Arab Africans or just plan Arabs —: “niggers”. How do I know? I have heard it with my own ears. I always thought Africa was Africa, period. Not all this black Africa; white Africa; North Africa, South Africa; Arab Africa; oh, yeah and just plain Arab. It is such a beautiful country and it is too bad some of you ignorant people are tearing it down; piece by piece; bit by bit. Dividing it by color? Language? Religion? America, it seems is not the only one that is hooked up on color. Foolishness. Everyone on this blog seems to be right. The light skinned Arabs think they are better than the darker skinned Africans? Are you freaking kidding me? I can tell the difference between a light skinned Arab and a (what we call here in southern America)’white” person. And I have a question some of you have all this “proof” for this and that. How do you know the skin color of Adam? Were you there? The color of the Kings of Egypt? I know about research but it seems no one can get this straight and I no I am going to upset the outrageously intelligent scholars that have come on here to talk, since I am this “southern bumpkin”; but, WHO CARES!!!!!! God created all things and all things belong to Him. We are just here temporarily. I know what the real problem is: Greed!!!!! Africa is a beautiful country with so much history – please don’t tear it down with your hate.

13 amirco 07.08.11 at 5:51 am

Very simple ,Northern Sudanese are Arabaized Nubians .
they are Africans like the Ethiopians . Somalians and Eriterians, they just speak Arabic

14 brian 07.08.11 at 3:47 pm

Daphne, just to let you know or understand, Africa is not a country but a continent which consist of 53 or maybe 54 different countries. For example the United States is part the greater North American Continent but is it the same country as Canada or Mexico, which is also part of North American Continent? Nevertheless, a few countries such as Sudan, Congo, Somalia, and Libya have some sought of conflict. However the rest is relatively stable and moving their countries and economies forward.

15 elias 07.16.11 at 12:45 pm

I am an Ethiopian with what some people call a typical Ethiopian feature, in fact more light skinned than most wana-be Arab north-Sudanese. But I, like most Ethiopians resent the Arabs and never felt to have any cultural or religious link with Arabs. If any thing we feel like we are the unfinished business for the Arabs in their quest to Arabise the region which makes us a natural advocate for pan Africanism. and if I have to chose my race between African, mix, I would categorically chose AFRICAN…you just can’t be every where.

16 zipco 07.26.11 at 2:02 am

WHITE SEMITIC ARABS OF SYRIA, ARABIA, IRAQ, EGYPT, LEBANON AND THESE NATIONS HAVE TOLD SUDANESE “ARABS,” THAT THEY ARE NOT “ARABS,” AND SHOULD STOP USING THE TERM “ARAB” IN THEIR GENOCIDE AGAINST THEIR OWN BLACK NEGRO AFRICANS.

According to one source, Black Sudanese “Arabs,” who look for refugee status in places like Syria are rejected as “Arabs,” because although they may speak Arabic, they are not Arabs, but African Negroes.

This is the point that Pan-Africans have been making to these Sudanese “Arab” Nigg…s who have been brainwashed by the “white” and “colored” foreign Arab minority who rules the nation of Sudan and have their own form of APARTHEID in Sudan.

WHO ARE THE BLACK SUDANESE

Every Arab, Jew, European and Asian as well as Africans in the Diaspora and those of us of Manding-Congo-Cush origins in the Americas KNOW THAT SUDANESE AFRICANS COME FROM TWO MAJOR SOURCES. They are Nubian-Cushi Negroes and the nomadic Beja.

Groups like the Nuba, Dinka, Shilluk, Nuer and others as well as many groups from West Africa, Congo, East Africa and the Americas are part of the Pan-Cushi groups who were driven out of Sudan between the 1500’s to the present either through invasion or through slavery. Others like the Manding-Shi migrated to the Americas and India in prehistoric times ( see http://community.webtv.net/nubianem )

17 bati 09.19.11 at 9:43 am

aselamwalkum brothers i read all comment i like for Ahmad al-Safawi comment he is right you must know you are African and if your language is A

18 blacka 09.29.11 at 9:59 am

I’m black, living/ working in oman (arabian gulf) and it never ceases to amaze me the number of omanis with genuine African features. Apparently the island of Zanzibar now present-day Tanzania was once an extention of the sultanate of oman. This prompted me to visit Zanzibar and Mombasa (Kenya) earlier this year. I lived in a place called Stone Town – ‘capital’ of Zanzibar – an elaborate network of winding footpaths that was onces the hub of the East African slave trade to arabia until the early sixties when the islanders relieved themselves of their omani arab slavemasters in a bloody revolution. The people of Zanzibar now suffer from an acute brand of identity neurosis in that as much as they acknowledge their African heritage (they look like any average African..duh), they cannot help but mention their part arab or shirazi(persian) blood – which always goes along the lines of ‘…….my great, great, great, great, great, great, great grand somebody was from oman…….or persia………so…..’.
Anyway tourism is pretty big in Zanzibar and the locals are always happy to sell off African artefacts even though the vast majority of them preferred to wear arabic-style ‘dishdashas’ and the ever-present black ‘burkas’. To them islam means arab and vice versa. By the way, Zanibari ‘arabs’ living in oman remain a curious laughing stock. Is it because they look distincly negroid?
Regarding ol’ uncle-tom-black-looking Sudanese ‘arabs’, let me tell you something – the most fundamental constant in humankind is RACE/ ETHNICITY. It doesnt matter how much arabic you speak or how religiously you worship al-arabman’s god, you will always be BLACK. Why do you think North Africans (some of whom vehemently refuse to be referred to as arabs are nevertheless far more accepted/ welcome in real arab countries than you so-called Sudanese ‘arabs’ ? I now hear claims of saudi ancestry but believe me – you are what you look like NOW!! It doesnt matter what your ancestry was/ is – if you look Black – you’re Black. If you look arab – ditto. Black folks in western countries and even some returnees have acquired significant amounts of white blood in them over centuries of exposure to europeans but they dont refer to themselves as whites. Black asian, Black ‘arab’, Black ‘white’, Black ‘indian’, Black ‘black’ all means BLACK. Simple mendelian genetics and maybe just common sense shows you that the Black phenotype is dominant to all. Do you not understand what BLACK POWER is all about? I am Black but grew up in the uk therefore I consider myself culturally british BUT that certainly does not make me white. South Africans of white heritage are citizens of an African country but that does not make them Black. However Sudanese are obviously Black people (ever heard of ‘Sudan Black’ in chemistry?) because that is exactly how they look today!! Why is arabic culture so intrinsically tied with islam anyway? Why do non-arab muslims have to put up with the islamic call to prayer in their countries, read/ sang in an alien language – arabic? Are non-arab muslims some sort of pseudo-arabs simply because they speak the language? I think islam has been used as a tool to spread arabic culture in many places. So now the African muslim considers arabs as brothers instead of enemies? You prefer to be related to arabs because you think the prophet was an arab? Go to jeddah in saudi and see the number of negroid features as you drive along. But you so-called arab Sudanese continue to hang around us Blacks in the uk because you know the light-skinned arabs (ie real arabs) will never accept you and of course, just like us, the whites call you ‘niggers’ and ‘coons’. How do you feel going back home to Sudan and calling the Southern Sudanese ‘niggers’ when in England you refer to them as ‘brethren’? Something very pathological about the whole Sudanese identity thing if you ask me.

The rest of us remain distinctly African, Black and Proud til the day we die. peace.

19 Ronald 10.19.11 at 8:31 am

Dirty Arab dogs and counts should get the fuck out of Africa and take their culture with them.

20 Mina 04.11.12 at 10:14 pm

you have a very artificial understanding of what is native …… Speaking Arabic does not make a foreigner compared to say a Dinka or Nuer. (I am Ethiopian btw). The horn of Africa had had all kinds of people that have lived in it, and nomads and other peoples have moved back and forth thousands of years between Africa and the middle east. Just because one group now speaks arabic at this minute point in time does not mean they are any less native than a non Arabic speaking Sudanese. No person grew like a plant from the earth, everyone is from some where else and everyone is mixed! Tell me, does the English argue who is native to England even though they have German and French heritages? A rashaida is no less native to Africa than a Dinka no matter their language or skin color. Is a Bantu african more native than a nomad nilote like a Dinka? Do not confuse yourself and others with false understanding of identities when no one eve knows what an African is, or what an Arab is. These are false identity constructs btw. Why do you think Arabs are killing Arabs, and africans killing Africans?

21 Jazz 04.25.12 at 1:55 pm

What is a bantu? I think is a white anthropologist creation

22 Bilaal Ahmed 04.25.12 at 10:37 pm

There’s absolutely nothing unclear about the Northern Sudanese’s identity,those northerners knows very well that they are Africans but they just wanna be associated with the Arabs because they think that to have a light skin or longer hair is something cool or it makes them superior to the rest of other Sudanese nationals.I live in Cape Town (S.A) and we are the decedents of the Europeans (Dutch/Hollanders) but we regard our selves as black(Africans) even though i’m light skinned and have long hair.We were called cape coloreds during the time of apartheid and were discriminated against by the white regime.Wake up Sudanese “arabs” and smell the coffee. Africa for Africans. Assalum Alaikum.

23 Kamal A.H 05.02.12 at 12:25 pm

The two picture comparisons you posted at the end of your article really don’t make a difference, they’re in fact misleading.

The Raishaida are NOT ethnicically Sudanese, but rather Arabs with no Sudanese admixture what so ever.Myself I am half Kuwaiti Rashaida,this can lead me to identify as Middle Eastern , Arab etc and of course I would be ‘Non-African’. I have come to know family members living in Eritrea who obviously would be considered and consider themselves as African, although originally foreign to the continent, it is their home. They also of course identify as Arabs, because it’s simply what they are culturally, linguistically , genetically etc
However, I am also part Algerian. This leads me to Identify as African, North African, Amazigh.Thus, ‘Non Arab’.(All of which I identify myself with more) The truth is Arabs decided to force their culture on others, this is especially trough for much of North Africa, You will find Moroccans, Tunisians who on the most part accept being African, because their countries ‘are in Africa’ but are delusional and think they are Arabs, when their genetic make up will tell them they’re Amazigh. Their original languages, culture, clothes, all tells them they are Non-Arabs. Same with Sudanese, please tell me why origanal Sudanese languages which some Sudanese tribes still speak along with Arabic is a Cushtic/Hamitic languages and not semitic.

Myself I have noticed many Sudanese do suffer from an identity crisis. They rarely associate themselves with Africa, Black people Sudanese, North + South are Black, the difference is Northerners are Muslims and have sadly been Arabized.I really don’t understand , because in the Arab world (yes,’Arab world’ Sudan nor any other African nations In North,East Africa are ‘Arab’) Sudanese are treated very poorly , especially by Egyptians (who colonized them)

Might I add, that African is not synonymous with Black. I understand Sudanese see it as an insult to be referred to correctly as Black Or African (self hate)but there are many indigenous non-Black people in Africa. Yes, there are Arabs in Africa, but they don’t originate from there. So if ‘Arabs’ want the Arab identity so badly , don’t bring it to Africa. Stay in ‘Arabia’.

24 zooooooooool 07.02.12 at 4:18 am

in my believe that we are an africans nation speaking arabic language and sharing some arabs culture, and that doesn’t make us arabs, that is fact.
and we are proud of being dark skin

25 Sade Cox 07.10.12 at 3:36 am

I am from the Barbados in the Caribbean and it troubles me deeply the topics of identity in black people i.e negro as other people of colour eg yellow are considered black as well. Asia is Asia and the people are Asian the name of the country is the nationality and the race eg Japanese, Chinese, Korean etc, the same goes for India, Pakistan, Caucasians or Europe etc. It is such a fact that if someone says oh I am from these countries you automatically Identify what region themselves or their fore parents are from but if a black negro says i am African he has to be born there or close foreparents be born there eg granny or mommy. Having said that Africa is the continent and motherland of the Black NEGRO before any invasion or immigration Africa is the country and ethnicity black people should be Identified with we shouldn’t have to say Afro Caribbean or Afro American In Barbados I have never heard an Asian or white person say I’m Asian Caribbean or Euro Caribbean they say I am Asian or European even if they were born in the Caribbean due to migration. Having said that black negro people need to embrace what they are originally African this is why we lack respect from many other races they believe we have discarded and sold our traditions whilst they have moved far away from their lands and have kept and held fast to their culture. If your skin is black and your dna is negroid you are African whether you speak another language or religion you are African. If you are part white black, Arab black Asian Black you are biracial luckily you get two enjoy many cultures many foods and diversity there should be no identity crisis for you are biracial be happy but all black negro people should have the right and the pride to call oneself African. We hear in Barbados a lot that Africans don’t like Caribbean people or blacks born out of Africa I don’t care what you say there are primary colours and secondary colours red blue yellow g and then purple, green, orange therefore there is Asian, African, Caucasian, Arabic from the mix comes other racial mixes so don’t tell me a black negro is not African cause that’s like telling a Chinese he is not Chinese cause he was not born in china Peace!!!!!

26 Sade Cox 07.10.12 at 4:00 am

Africa is black negro anyone else who is not of some sort of negro blood cannot be considered African the race only the citizenship of nationality. Simple Arabs in Africa are Arabic who migrated as well as the Caucasian South African. Africa is our continent where our people originated and I feel bad for the blacks who consider themselves arab the majority of Arabs and other races hate you hate us so embrace your black gain respect look for respect rather than love and acceptance from these other races no matter if they have moved into your land. show them the same unity they have the respect for your culture foods traditional dress and in years to come we will again be a race revered and respected by them and they will have to love and praise us for we would have conquered and defeated the mental slavery that they have put us under!! Do it for our future and the preservation of a great and most unique set of people , people like no other!

27 Sa'id Habib 07.10.12 at 12:33 pm

I am sure that the term Sudan exist in the Arabic text but does not denote Arab.It rather does denote BLACK or BLAKISH tecnically Black Nation or The Blacks Land.

28 Donna Brima 08.11.12 at 11:43 am

Bottom line
Arabs are the ones who migrated to Sudan, an African country in Africa
Sudan was African before arabization, meaning, Sudan is African first and last, and maybe everything else in between.
As a sudannese i personally always considered myself to be African first and presented myself as an African women and maybe with an arab blood, which is minority. Sudan is bilad al sud.
It’s country in an African continent, with lots of African culture hidden within and u see it in the music and the tradition, the African in it comes out.
Sudan is an African country first and last, everything else is something in between and influenced on us, and made us loose our orinigin language when the Arabic language dominated
I am from Sudan and I am an African women.

29 Davion 09.13.12 at 11:39 am

I hate Arabs who are in Africa, these are landless destitute set of people who enslaved the true owners of the land. They are the worst sinners in he world

30 Davion 09.13.12 at 11:42 am

Let them leave Africa, Africa is for Africans they belong to Asia they are a destitute, landless set of people who enslaved the true owners of the land eg in Egypt and Sudan

31 gg 03.06.13 at 7:28 am

definitely african.and oh may i add..i work in a hospital where majority of the people are sudani.their hearts r as dark as their skin.no lies.just tellin the truth.

32 Ongoiba 03.30.13 at 3:43 pm

I am Muslim from West Africa, I think that there is not pride to be a Sudanese, After creating such huge, envious and amazing civilization (Nubia, Kemet), having a such great History and heritage, you let these nasty Arab invade, take over your land mixed with your women and produced you , confused semito-negro people with no identity and now you abandoned your culture, your History, your heritage, your pride to embrace this shity Arab culture which is nothing beside Islam but Sand and Desert, you are such a shame a disgrace for your Nubian and Egyptian Ancestors ! suck a disgrace to Africa! such a shame and disgrace for the Black race in general ! if you Nubian didn’t behave like this, you could be a so proud people that the whole world would envy,respect and admired, your ancestors created the basis of Human civilization, look at you now, all arabized Mongrel hybrid people with identity crisis , no culture, no respected History… Islam teach people to be Muslim, but did he teach us to be Arab? I am now realizing that the true Native of Africa will remind US ,west Africans, we are more preserved to all these mixing and assimilation, Alhamdulilah! I am so grateful to Allah because of this.

33 burhandin 03.31.13 at 9:41 pm

Arab is culture and the north sudanese are arab just like lebanese and syrians. am somali i can consider myself arab because our culture is arabic and our ancester come from the middle east to spread Islam. it does not matter if you are arab or not because Islam is better being arab. yemen and gulf countries are the only PURE arab and the rest is mix. Syrian, Lebanese, palestinian are mix with europeans while egypt, sudan, somalia are mix with africans. so thats is why sudan is an Arab country just like another other 22 Aarabs countries!!

34 Ahmed Al-Neel 04.24.13 at 4:22 pm

This post is rather racist . First of all if Arabs are a minority then how did ‘arabisation’ like what you said happen ? And how can you see ‘us sudanese are mainly african ethnically speaking…’ who are you to say that? Where did I go then ? Am I not sudanese now bcuz of wut u say? I am ethnically arab bcuz I am come from an ethnically arab tribe called ‘Juhayna’ and I bet u heard of it and u know that its the largest tribe in The Sudan and the Hejaz Province of Saudi Arabia and Upper Egypt? So am I not sudanese now? If u consider your self african go ahead no problem but don’t go and say ‘us sudanese are … this and that..’ Bcuz if I say the same shit like what u do now you’ll go crazy and wild about it and call it ‘racism’, so if ur african then ur african good for u but don’t come and include us with u in this shit .

35 Haza'a Al-Rekabi 06.11.13 at 6:59 am

Sudan should be named the State Of Al-Aqban (arabic spelling) دولة العقبان which stands for Arabic,Coptic,Beja,Islamic,Nubian and the rest let them be and by that i mean the furs and the zaghawas :)

36 Negla 12.14.13 at 3:36 pm

I’ve always felt and said I’m African rather than Arab to be honest. But his post does explain the complexities within Sudanese identity in the north. I even get people asking me if I identify myself with being Greek because I am Nubian and supposedly the Greek intermarried with Nubian people in Sudan. Nubian language is also heavily influenced by Greek.

37 Ndurya Mwadzaya 02.06.14 at 11:12 am

I go by the above names even though I was named Mbarak at birth. Living in Mombasa, Kenya, a city that has a considerable arab population. I’ve followed this topic for a while and I think it’s bringing the genie out of the bottle. From the excerpts posted there one thing is clear: that North Sudan is physiologically African but culturally arab. The issue Drima and others need to ask self is; why is the subject of Sudan so emotive and not other countries (which , too, have non african minorities)? The answer is because of the past as well as ongoing discrimination of the indegenes, who are africans by the immigrant arabs. So what’s to be done to address the same? Answer, either for the perpetrators to stop downgrading Africans on their own land or for a united african millitary force to be constituted to retake lost lands. The same should be directed towards North Africa which as we all know (not disputed) was invaded by arab conquistadors 1400 years ago(whhich is a very small timeline of African history) and the people scattered. It can happen as exemplified by the reconquest of Spain by the natives from the moors. I still look forward to the day Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morroco, Tunisia, Western Sahara and Mauritania will be fully African just like the rest of them all. Not because of puritanical reasons but more on the need to get even from those who took polluted our lands and dignity. And if you think it cant happen, that increasing numbers of prople are discussing an idea, so does it become fruitful. Justifications are there for allto see. 30 million kilometers squared of our homeland for blacks home and abroad and others who do not have any issue with the colouer of our skin and whove decided to make this place there home. Let me know when the recruitment begins.

38 Cali 03.19.14 at 2:52 pm

Arabs didn’t settle in Sudan they INVADED & CONQUERED Sudan!!! They converted you!! They brainwashed you to hate yourself!! They stole your land & heritage to claim for themselves but you aspire to become your oppressor!!??!?? What a joke!!

39 Kay 03.22.14 at 7:30 am

Im Afro-American, I also learned alot but, we as a people can we please try to get alone. God would be so pleased with us. I don’t care who you are or what you are I love u all. We will someday have to stand infront of all might God.We all will be judged, If you agree leave me a email…..karenamstronggreen@gmail.com

40 Hass 11.15.14 at 11:59 pm

Sudan is African, even if they speak Arabic and happen to be 1-2% genetically Arabian. I think everyone here made that clear. However, I’d like to say that whatever crimes and Arabization campaigns against the non-Arab speaking populations are not done by Arabs, they’re done by Africans themselves. I, as an Arabian person, do not have to apologize for genocide perpetrated the so-called Arab Janwawid nor do I have to suffer abuse for “stealing” Africa when the vast majority of the North African population is Amazigh, rather than Arabian.

41 natalie 02.10.15 at 4:03 am

Hi, I am Eritrean. Born and bred in Asmara, the capital until I was 11. I never heard or understood north Sudanese as arabs. I just thought they were Sudanese. But I see what you mean….there is a big difference between north and south sudanese.

Hametic and semetic ethiopians, both groups have average 40-50% average DNA from the Levant, Syria/Israel. The further north you go, the higher. Meaning Eritreans probably have average 50-70% of the same. But the Ethiopians, be them the semetic group or the other classiefied as hametic never call themselves as arabs, although they have the queen of sheba and king solomo descendence obsession. The semetic call themselves habesha, while the others call themselvs gurage, oromo and etc. They gave themselves an ethnic name, a group and family name.

As for us Eritreans, we only know we are Eritreans, although we do see ourselves as semites in general. We don’t consider ourselves as african, because we are by the sea…we only know north sudan, north ethiopia, djibouti and the arab countries and southern europe. How is it we have more in common with a greek than with a somali even?! I don’t believe that the somalis are more african then us, they are just unique culturally, specially when they are close to us geographically and lookwise. Africa is just so extremely diverse!

Anyway, in Eritrea we call ourselves by the ethnic group we belong to. We have nine of them. The saudi raishada and adani arabs in one end and the nilotic nara and kunama tribes of ancient south sudanese meroe kindom. And everyone is respected and love, there is no discrimination in Eritrea based on ethnicity, none whatso ever. We love each other dearly. In the mid of these ethnicity you find the mixed ones of hametic north sudanese and egyptiand dna (that happend 4000 years ago) and the syrian one (300 years ago), and I am sure some few have yemeni and greek and even roman dna simply because they were allied in ancient times and because we share culture with south europe – that goes for all Eritreans, except for the kunamas, naras, and pure arabs. These mixed people are the tigrignas, tigre, saho, afar. And specially some of the tigres and bejas have arab saudi composition to them, so do some few tigrignas. But, they never call themselves arabs. We have a tigrigna jerberti group who claime themselves qureishi arabs, but that’s nonsense. They look like most of us, a caucasoid from yellow to almost black brown color.

Don’t you north sudanese your own ethnic name beside arab or afro arab? Arab is not good enough to your composition, nor is afro-arab. You guys are a whole person.
I would never liked if anyone called me afro-arab. First of all, I am not arab, although I feel semetic. Secondly, I don’t feel half and half. I am whole.

One comment here on my being semetic, is that our culture is almost chockingly identical to that of ancient syria and ancient hebrew, those of us who are coptic orthodox. And our semetic language is closest to assyrian than to yemeni or saudi arabic. On top of this we share very much common culture with ancient Egypt, as Eritrea was the land of punt whom Egypt had deep connections with, hence the migration to Eritrea 4000 years ago. Today, as it probably was in ancient times, it is really difficukt to distiguish north african hametic culture from the semitic one, as people from levant, yemen, oman, saudi, isreael, north sudan were connected in deep trade and cultural exchange for thousans of years, specially because of frankinsense. Yemen was rich at the time Egypt was, so these guys knew each other like cousins even in those times, long before Mohammed.
The Yemeni used to come to Eritrea and Sudan up to Egypt to do business, other times they went through the sea, or they went through the Saudi to Jordan, then to Sinai. For this reason, we have cousin sentiments with Yemen, eventhough we share almost no DNA.

So Egypt is arab country in a sense, but DNA wise, Egypt is 95% Levantine, the same as Syrian/Isreali. It is semetic, but culturally arab. So the hametic dna we share with ancient Egypt is whiped out, as shown in the same international dna that showed that from south central to north ethiopia, people have average 40-50% from the same spot.

42 natalie 02.10.15 at 4:11 am

correction, the syrian dna came to Ethiopia 3000 years ago, not 300 years ago.

43 natalie 02.10.15 at 5:21 am

to Cali and Hass

I don’t think north and south sudan was the same people from the beginning, like long before Islam. Although Asian, an Indian and Chinese are not the same people…..I think the same logic applies to Sudan too. But we are humanbeings, you don’t do that to people, worst people you share a nation with….it is disgusting what they have done in Darfur and to south sudan!!!! Totally unforgivable!!! I think they do it in the name of Islam and pure racism.

And Hass arabs are no saints………for some reason we Eritreans have been spared Islam invasion when the entire north africa and middle-east was run down ny arabs. We are forever thankful for that curtesy you showed us, so we have no bad memory what so ever. But most north africans do….I know lots of marrocans who don’t remember the arab era as glory, today it is different. The memories not so good. And I am sure they slaughtered the egyptians (who are not tamazight) and set an end to their thousands of years of pure geniusness. They did the same to semites that’s now called arabs.

Today, we have oil rich arab countries who have no human rights protection that misuses people, that kills people in the name of sharia, that takes peoples organs, that messes up many people psycological for being domestic worker etc, who also experience sexual pressure and other kinds of ewwy stuff. I know not all arabs are like that, I personally don’t mind them. But the socalled arab countries are, by and large, are totally retareds, inhuman, at times pure evil, Think of the many none arab and none western people that work in arab countries…… most of them have terrible stories to tell. You could have used your oil to show the world a better way, you could even have negotiated a Palestinian state!! Arab league, what the fuck is that? A joke! I wouldn’t say north sudanese are worst than what arabs have done and are doing. Sorry!

44 jamal ibrahim 04.15.15 at 7:34 am

not this nor that .Sudanese always look to the north they believe they came from the north even the Nuer hold this opinion .Sudanese however black they are, think they are of white origin .I began to belief this . My mother father is Albanian so my grandmother.my uncle that is my mother brother is married to a sudanese woman two of his sons looks like any african.

45 Ibrahim Nasr 07.19.15 at 5:45 am

Am not a Sudanese buh I got something to say as I’m studying in Sudan. I found most Sudanese of Afro-arab origin don’t like to be called or considered as black (African ). I don’t think there are many people out there like you.

46 Cyrus 07.20.15 at 6:20 am

Sudan the word means the “land of blacks” Arabs arrived in Sudan, Egypt during the Muslim Conquest of Africa, which was around 700 AD. Ask the Berbers and Nubians. The current arab world is what remains of a much larger muslim world , which included Spain, China and so on.. That said, Arabs are semitic. Berbers, Ethiopia, Nubians, and etc., Ancent Nubians, Ancient Berbers, Ancient Egyptians, Andient Kush are all Afro-Asiatic. The Arabs had contact with Berbers and Nubians before the conquests. They even intermarried. The Berbers so much so that many do not distinguish between the two. Yet, Post-conquest Berbers were Afro-Asiatic and Christian. Christians have distorited history, but Arabs were much more civil to the indigneous people of Africa. There has been “racism” in moder timews, but no planned genocide. The Berber’s embraced Islam and an Arab identity. France had to force their language and culture. I digress. The Modern world is the result of wars, movements and etc. When most describe “Americans” or Australians, they are descibed as being white. We live in a world where Dutch people consider themselves to be African.

47 Ocean 09.20.15 at 12:16 pm

To pat patterson ,,Koran is not written by a human,because simply it is not talking about certain time period.its a miracle!if you read koran you will relise that there are facts that have not discovered yet at that time,you will find it talking in the past ,in that present and also in the future,talking about facts that the world has discovered and admitted later and continues to do!how you can explain this???i wish you if you research more on this.
Islam is not for arab only,it’s for every one .
Our sudanese identity is a huge problem that impacts every day of our lives .we have to learn to accept that we are africans since we’re geographically located in africa .

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