On The Afro-Arab Experience   ◆

Ethar, a “Black Arab”, writing in Blavity:

Despite the good vibes I constantly send to my identities—my various me’s—others are not always so gracious or understanding.

For example, something that sometimes gets to me in my experience as an Arab is that some people say or think that I’m not really Arab. As in I’m not legitimately Arab. The reasoning I’ve gotten as to why is that this is mainly due to the fact that I’m black, or dark-skinned, or however it is put.

But does being dark-skinned or black negate Arabness? Does not having a light mocha shade as the darkest hue of your skin mean you’re not legitimately Arab? Not really, is the answer. There are some Saudis who are a lot darker than my coffee-with-creamer skin color and yet they are as Arab as you can get, from most people’s perspective.

A timely reminder that people are more than their religion, race, or skin color, and that not all Muslims are from “the Middle East” or “look Middle-Eastern”. Three of the seven “banned” countries—Sudan, Libya, and Somalia—are in Africa.