(sometimes referred to as
) can refer to people of mixed
and genealogical Arab
ancestral heritage and/or linguistically and
There are communities of Afro-Arabs in East
, West Africa
, North Africa
and the Near
as well as, through recent migrations, Western Europe
The phrase "Afro-Arab" may also refer to the African Union
's efforts to improve
co-operation between African countries and those of the Arab
The Arabs of the Middle East
old connections to the African
, and in addition more than half the Arab world now
exists in Africa (in terms of area, and possibly population too)
i.e. from Egypt and Sudan in the east to Mauritania in the west.
Islamic world covers even more area,
including northern Nigeria in the west
and the Sahelian nations as well.
This intermingling of Arabs and Black African peoples from the
African continent, along with the spread of Islam
, has resulted in large populations of African
Arab peoples covering a vast area of Africa. Afro-Arabs within the
itself are for the most part
descendants of Black African slaves who were brought there during
the Arab slave trade
.Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar as well
East Africa hosts a significant
Afro-Arab population along the Swahili
Coast, such as in Zanzibar, Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi, the
Comoros, Bagamoyo, and Ujiji.
Arab states of the
Persian Gulf, descendants of East
Africans from Tanzania and Zanzibar perform
Liwa and Fann At-Tanbura music and dance .
Mizmar is performed in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia
In Classical Literature
One of the most famous Afro Arabs of ancient times was the pre
islamic hero like figure Antar Ibn
. Antar was born in Laiwa, He was the son of Shaddād, a
well respected member of the Arabian tribe of Banu Abs
, The tribe neglected Antar at first, and
he grew up in servitude. Although it was fairly obvious that
Shaddad was his father, his dark skin made it easier to classify
him among the African slaves. Antara claimed attention and respect
for himself by his remarkable personal qualities and courage in
battle, excelling as an accomplished poet and a mighty
The Zanj Revolt
Zanj Rebellions took place near the
city of Basra, located in
southern Iraq over a period of fifteen years (869-883 AD).
They grew to involve over 500,000 slaves who were imported from
across the Muslim empire and claimed over “tens of thousands of
lives in lower Iraq” . The major revolt is said to have been led by
Ali ibn Muhammad, who claimed to be a descendent of Caliph Ali ibn Abu Talib
. Not all participants
in the Zanj revolt where of Black African descent; many were slaves
of Indian, Iranian and
The majority that
were forced to work in the Iraqi salt marshes were however of
) ancestry. It is believed that many of today's Basra area
"Afro Arabs" are descending from one of these Zanj groups though
many may have settled that area under different circumstances via
the Arab-African sea trade routes.
- Gustavo Benavides, M. W. Daly, Religion and Political Power,
SUNY Press, 1989, 84.
- Sarah Grainger, Uganda celebrates Afro-Arab unity, BBC News, March 13, 2008.
- Theola Labb, A Legacy Hidden in Plain Sight, Iraqis of African
Descent Are a Largely Overlooked Link to Slavery, January 11,
2004; Page A01.
- Susan Beckerleg, Hidden History, Secret Present: the Origins and Status of
African Palestinians, translated by Salah Al Zaroo.
- R. E. S. Tanner, Cousin Marriage in the Afro-Arab Community of
Mombasa, Kenya, Africa: Journal of the International African
Institute, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Apr., 1964), pp. 127-138
- Patricia Romero Curtin, Laboratory for the Oral History of
Slavery: The Island of Lamu on the Kenya Coast, The American
Historical Review, Vol. 88, No. 4 (Oct., 1983), pp. 858-882
- Africans in the Arabian Gulf, Afropop Worldwide.
- Poul Rovsing Olsen, "La Musique Africaine dans le Golfe
Persique", Journal of the International Folk Music Council, Vol.
19, (1967), pp. 28-36
- - Afro Arab/Middle Eastern Style: Book: Jumping the broom
- "Black African and Arab intermarriage in East
Africa" -a cited ColorQ.org essay
- "Black Africans in (Arab) West Asia" -a cited
- Prof. Helmi Sharawy, Arab Culture and African Culture: ambiguous relations,
paper extracted from the book The Dialogue between the Arab
culture and other cultures', Arab
League, Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation
(ALECSO), Tunis, 1999.
- Africans in the Arabian Gulf, Afropop Worldwide
- Resolution on Afro-arab Co-operation of The
Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity, 23,
February 23-28, 1987.
- African Union/league of Arab States
Inter-secretariat Consultative Meeting On Afro-arab
Cooperation, Addis Ababa: 10–12 May 2005.
- Maho M. Sebiane, « Le statut socio-économique de la pratique
musicale aux Émirats arabes unis : la tradition du leiwah à Dubai
», Chroniques yéménites, 14, 2007..