Akhdam, Arabized Blacks in Qatar



Population

175,000

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Introduction / History

The Akhdam are a marginalized group in Yemen. In fact, though their name means "servant", they prefer to call themselves "Al-Muhamasheen" -- "the marginalized ones." They live on the bottom rung of a supposedly abolished caste ladder. The 1962 revolution allegedly did away with that societal hierarchy.

It is believed the Akhdam are descendants of Ethiopian soldiers who moved into the area to conquer. Unsuccessful, they were expelled at the start of the Islamic era in the region. Those who stayed behind when the army left became slaves, hence their name. This version of their history has been denied by Hamud al-Awdi, a professor of sociology at Sana University. He concedes that they are probably descendants of people from an African country, but he will add little more.

The people are shorter and darker than typical Yemenis. A study found they were more apt to have sickle-cell anemia, a characteristic attributed also to the Veddoids of South Asia.


Where are they Located?

Akhdam mostly live in slums in the big cities, primarily in Sana. Sana's Sawan area does have government housing available for the Akhdam. Other cities include Abyan, Aden, Al Hudaydah, Al Mukalla, Lahij and Ta'izz. The US State Department's human rights report on Yemen for 2011 lists their population there at 440,000-1.1 million.


What are Their Lives Like?

They live in fierce poverty, discriminated against and helped by only a handful. Many of the men work as street sweepers when work can be found. The women and children collect cans and bottles for income and beg. Almost none of the children attend school.

There are constant reports of mistreatment of the workers by their supervisor. Such treatment almost never brings punishment, even if Akhdam are killed as a result. Recently the group has had a modicum of success in making their voice heard in the political arena. There has been a small increase in their daily wage and they have been able to stage protests against their unfair treatment and low pay. Still, the workers have no vacation at all.

A New York Times article indicates that their life of poverty may be ongoing: "Part of the problem, many members of the community say, is that most of the Akhdam have internalized their low status and do not try to better themselves, find real jobs or seek an education. Much of their meager income goes to buying qat, the plant whose leaves many Yemenis chew for its mildly narcotic effects." (NY Times)


What are Their Needs?

They desperately need better living conditions, clean water and sanitation. Education and lack of employment opportunities are a problem.


Prayer Points

* Pray that the effects of the Arab Spring of 2011 may serve to lift the group out of poverty.
* Pray for protection of workers from mistreatment from their supervisors.
* Pray that the increasing information in the media about this group will spur action to enable the community to improve their state.
* Pray there will be an opening for Christian aid workers to share the gospel with them.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Akhdam
http://goo.gl/YAATu
http://goo.gl/0f2N8
http://goo.gl/oNp2g
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/186667.pdf


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Akhdam, Arabized Blacks
People Name in Country Akhdam, Arabized Blacks
Population in Qatar 175,000
World Population 618,000
Countries 4
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Black, Arabized
Affinity Bloc Arab World
People Cluster Arab, Arabian
People Name General Akhdam, Arabized Blacks
Ethnic Code NAB61
People ID 10380
Country Qatar
Region Middle East and North Africa
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 19  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Arabic, Gulf Spoken (175,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Arabic, Gulf Spoken 175,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Arabic Bibles Online
Audio Recordings Audio Recordings Resources
Audio Recordings Global Recordings
Film / Video Jesus Film
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
General Four Spiritual Laws
Scripture Bible-in-Your-Language

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
98.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
30.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
10.0 %
Protestant
60.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Joshua Project  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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