December 04, 2009
Black Iraqis - and awkward americanisms
An interesting if sadly superficial article Basra Journal - In Iraq’s African Enclave, Color Is Plainly Seen - NYTimes.com
But on the packed dirt streets of Zubayr, Iraq’s scaled-down version of Harlem, African-Iraqis talk of discrimination so steeped in Iraqi culture that they are commonly referred to as “abd” — slave in Arabic — prohibited from interracial marriage and denied even menial jobs.
Historians say that most African-Iraqis arrived as slaves from East Africa as part of the Arab slave trade starting about 1,400 years ago. They worked in southern Iraq’s salt marshes and sugar cane fields.
But why, oh why the ugly Americanism "African-Iraqis"?
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I think "Afro-Iraqis" might be cooler.
Posted by: Kal at December 5, 2009 06:52 PM
Certainly less awkward.
The other item that bothered me in that article was the sweeping observation that said Afro Iraqis can't get jobs period. Without doubting colour prejudice in Iraq, I rather expect that the reality is far more nuanced than the article presents.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at December 6, 2009 07:39 AM