The North African slave markets were part of the Berber slave trade. No Middle Eastern Or North African Category On 2020 Census, Bureau Says The Census Bureau's announcement about its race and ethnicity questions … As a digital reporter for Cronkite News, she focuses primarily on how politics and public policy affect marginalized communities. Although there won’t be any new categories for the 2020 questionnaire, the Census Bureau will for the first time make census forms available in 13 languages, including Arabic, which is widely spoken in the Middle East and North Africa. How is that possible that we are white? §count races … Despite an ongoing push from some advocates, that … The Middle East and North Africa is composed of about 20 countries, covering a vast array of ethnic groups, which complicates questions about race and ethnicity. The flyers read: “Census 2020, Fair & Accurate for Arizona.”. The time has come to discuss North Africa, but are they White, Black or Middle Eastern? © 2020 Cronkite News. The North Africa campaigns were a series of World War II battles for control of the Suez Canal, a vital lifeline for Britain’s colonial empire, and the oil resources of the Middle East. And while she fully embraces her Palestinian identity, she hesitates in calling herself “brown” because of her light complexion. The economy of Libya is largely dependent on the oil industry. Since moving to the United States in 2005, they have often selected “Other” when that option was available. Some of them may pass as white, but others do not. On that warm October afternoon, the volunteers were handing out fliers and asking mosque-goers to write down their phone numbers and email addresses so that they can be reminded to respond to the census once the questionnaires are out. It's an area of stark contrast, with the hospitable Mediterranean coast to … Find out how your news organization can use Cronkite News content. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. North Africa: Maghreb (Mauritania, Morocco, Western Sahara), Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya: … It denotes an identity. The 2020 census was supposed to include a new race category for people from the Middle East and North Africa, but the Trump administration scrapped the plan early last year. An equally standardized Mediterranean from the Riffian coastal tribe of Beni Itteft, northern Morocco. In every decennial census, under “race,” Shami picks “White, including Middle Eastern,” though, to him, the choice has never felt right. If Hag could have his pick, he would identify himself as “Arab and Egyptian,” he said. It also filed an amicus brief this year when the Trump administration’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census came before the Supreme Court, arguing that the question would lower the participation of ethnic communities that would fall under the MENA category, as well as other communities of color. “I’ve been living here for 40 years, and when this experience does not bother others, to me, that’s a problem,” Shami said. Hiring them is part of an effort to get as many diverse voices as possible to respond, Olson said. For her, the two sides are just not the same. Despite its size, Libya has a small population relative to other African nations. Race-based legislation in the North 1807 - 1850: ... African Americans in the North lived in a strange state of semi-freedom. Elkeshky registered their two daughters as white because there was no other option, she said. Adi, the institute’s policy associate, said the bureau’s reluctance to add the MENA category in 2020 “seemed quite evident that it might have been politically motivated.”, Adi said the Arab American Institute hopes the lawsuit will help “get understanding” as to why the MENA category was abandoned last year “without any explanation as the research that went behind it and the advocacy internally in the bureau that went into it.”. Black or African American. (Photo by Chloe Jones/Cronkite News). But it has its problems. For many Middle Easterners and North Africans, selecting “Other” on a government survey that is the constitutional base for important political decisions – from determining how many representatives each state will have in Congress to distributing federal funding – feels like negating their identity. The Islamic Community Center of Phoenix is one of many mosques working to ensure Arizona’s Muslim community is represented on the 2020 census. Despite these efforts, for a lot of Middle Easterners and North Africans, filling out a census form next year will yet again be an exercise in frustration. – OMB Proposal Open for Public Comment in the Federal Register until April 30 th. Samia Muraweh, 19, is Ukrainian and Irish on her mother’s side, and Palestinian on her father’s side. North African Ethnicity The North Africa region includes modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Western Sahara and Libya. North African populations have been described as a mosaic of North African, Middle Eastern, European and sub-Saharan ancestries. The army quickly took Barqa, Tripoli, and Sabratha, establishing a military outpost for further successes in the Maghreb of coastal northwestern Africa. The majority of North Africa's population west of Egypt is believed to be Imazighen in ethnic origin, although due to Arabization and Islamization some ethnic Imazighen identify as Arabized Berbers. Samia Muraweh, whose father is Palestinian, hesitates calling herself “brown” because of her light complexion. What are the genetics of countries of Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya?Today, let's tackle the issue of genetics, admixture and ethnic identity in the modern countries of North Africa from a historic perspective.I realize the assertions I make about the identity of modern North Africans like the Egyptians, Algerians and Moroccans do not apply to everyone, and that everyone has a different outlook.Let me know your thoughts on the region of North Africa, and it's very tumultuous fluctuating history and people down in the comments below. Those were different times. Although we (North Africans) are considered Caucasian, I always choose African American or Black. In the brief, the institute also challenged the government’s inclusion of a citizenship question and its exclusion of the MENA category, despite decades of advocacy and testing showing that the category would promote an accurate count of the Arab Americans and other ethnic communities who currently do not have a place on the census form. The NAACP Empowerment Programs and Experian today announced the launch of a pilot program to assist African American homeowners at risk of losing their homes. It has been regarded by some as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Morocco in the west to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east, though this designation is more commonly referred to as northern Africa. But that is not the case with a lot of his relatives on the Lebanese side of his family. “But I’m never white enough to feel like I have a part of my mom’s family.”, “I would like to be represented and (have) people acknowledge that I’m here. Under the proposal, the new Middle East and North African designation — or MENA, as it's called by population scholars — is broader in concept than Arab (an ethnicity) or Muslim (a religion). The answer to this question, simply put, is that if you have Africa North on your ethnicity results, then it is likely that all of your ancestors were not European. “If they don’t know the number of this minority group, then they tend not to listen to the problems that this group is facing,” said Usama Shami, president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Learn more about what we do and how to find our content on our broadcast, digital and social media platforms. The Home Preservation Grant will provide mortgage relief for grant recipients suffering from … “The way that my family has been treated and the way that my family lives in this country is not the equivalent of the majority of my peers who would consider themselves white,” said Jordan Harb, who is Lebanese. When he travels with white co-workers, Shami said he is almost always the only one who is pulled aside for a secondary screening by TSA employees. That means many respondents from the region – usually referred to by its acronym MENA – will again check the box that reads “White, including Middle Eastern” in the 2020 census. To them, the word means a lot more than skin color. The idea was proposed during the Obama administration, after many years of pressure from members of a growing community asking to be counted as they think they should. “I always had a really hard time fitting myself into a category because I’m never Arab enough,” Harb said. That they think that, yeah, it’s OK.”. They still suffer from discrimination. “It’s just, like, not being perceived by people in your own group and people outside of your group as a member of it,” she said. And it all starts in the mosque’s pink building next to the southbound lanes of Interstate 17, on the edge of one of the most diverse slices of Phoenix. Like Muraweh, Jordan Harb can also pass as white because of his light skin. I truly believe that we are the group that’s discriminated against the most, especially when it comes to applying to colleges. 6 (2 views). I’m not white and I’m not ‘other,'” said Maie Elkeshky, who moved to the U.S. from Egypt with her husband, Eslam Hag, in 2005. This explains the current genetic structure in North Africa, characterized by diverse and heterogeneous populations, and why nearby populations inhabiting the same location might be genetically more distant than groups of people in geographically distant populations. That means many respondents from the region – usually referred to by its acronym MENA – will again check the box that reads “White, including Middle Eastern” in the 2020 census. The Arab American Institute last year filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to force the U.S. government to disclose internal documents detailing the decision that led to the exclusion of MENA as a category in the 2020 census. Although one part of his ethnic identity will not be represented in 2020, Shami said he is doing what he can to make sure that as many Muslims as possible make their voices heard. But the Trump administration scrapped the plan early last year, a decision that advocates in Middle Eastern and North African communities say did not come with a convincing explanation. For Elkeshky, finding a more suitable category for Middle Easterners and North Africans is important not so much because of how she and her husband identify themselves, but because of their three children. Still, on government forms, he said that he usually chooses “Other” because categorizing himself as white seems wrong. (Photo by Chloe Jones/Cronkite News). In a news conference in Phoenix in October, Timothy Olson, associate director of field operations for the Census Bureau, said 20% of the 900,000 people who have applied to work as recruiters for the 2020 census speak at least one language other than English. It may be the case that all of your known ancestors, or all of your recent ancestors as far back as you can trace, were of primarily European descent. “Ohio State University history Professor Robert Davis describes the White Slave Trade as minimized by most modern historians in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500–1800 . These help answer people's questions about ethnicity, race, and the overall origins of the human population. 2020 - 2021 Marathons held in Africa The calendar regroups all kinds of activities (Running, Walking, Nordic Walking, Vertical Races, Obstacle races, Dog runs, Multiday events ...). “Because deep inside their minds, I feel that they really think that I deserve it. Hag registered their son as black. Adding Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) group as a Federal race/ethnicity classification? The presence of proto-Berber peoples from prehistory is evident in Saharan caves, where rock paintings depicting diverse megafaunal life point to evidence that before the desertification of the Sahara, northern Africa was a lush and resource-rich region populated by hunter-gatherer societies. “No one can tell if we’re being specific with what we’re going through because no one can track where we are.”, Since the first census in 1790, there have been many changes in the ways racial and ethnic categories are presented, for several reasons. For example, people might identify their race as Aboriginal, African American or Black, Asian, European American or White, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Māori, or some other race. “There isn’t one simple trajectory.”. The time has come to discuss North Africa, but are they White, Black or Middle Eastern? For example, a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality said collecting health data in the Latino community has been a challenge because many Latino respondents check “Some other race” on official forms. “Korean,” a stand-alone ethnic category from 1920 to 1940, vanished for two decades, returning in 1970 in response to an increase in the number of Korean immigrants in the United States. When it’s not, their next choice is “White, including Middle Eastern,” despite both of them saying that white doesn’t accurately represent their Egyptian identity. Now, for decades, the U.S. government has categorized people with roots in the Middle East or in North Africa as white. In an increasingly diverse country, the “Other” category has become the third-largest race group in the United States. The first northwestern African capital was at al-Qayrawan. We clearly are not and what gives the government the right to label us as such? 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