Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Extra Note on Slavery

Back to everyone's comments on slavery, I'm no expert but as far as I know, the Zanzibari population in Oman at the moment is in no way related to the slaves we had in Dhofar pre-1970. I think the slaves were brought from poorer countries in Africa. Zanzibaris are another story. They helped build this country in the early days! Yes, they're African but they were not brought here as slaves and they have different features; paler skin, different bones. So, do keep in mind that we have two sets of Africans in Oman; the Zanzibaris (in the North) and the former African slaves (mostly in Sur and Salalah). Our African-Omanis are as black as the night and very African looking. Zanzibaris are more Arab-looking.


  1. From my history classes. The Zanzibaris were married by arabs when the arabs went to africa thus the different skin tones/hair textures. I have been to Zanzibar and it still has arab culture, buildings and some Omanis who stayed back there. sf

  2. ex-slave African Oman?June 3, 2010 at 3:35 AM

    Oman has no "African" Omanis. I have never heard this term in my whole life. This is very disrespectful and a very racial term. If you have and respect for our black omani brothers and sister( and I believe you do), then you should apologize to them for using such a negative, unprecendented term. Please refrain from using such a term again, and claim that you are for equality. that is simply a contradiction. Please apologize.

  3. Dear Ex,

    Perhaps you need to be enlightened. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using the word 'African'. Since when was African an insult? Now, on the other hand the word 'black' is definintely (to me) an insult.

  4. No one is being disrespectful. These are true acual facts and every human being has an origin no matter where they are born. Being African-*insert country* has nothing to do with racism nor its an insult to no-one. There are terms like African-american, just to name one and people who use that are very proud to associate themselves as of african background even though they haven't stepped a foot in africa. sf

  5. ex-slave African Omani?June 4, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    I was refering to the term "African Omani." Not the word "African." When we were slaves, we were called "slaves", and we never felt insluted because it ws our reality at the time no matter how sour it felt. Then we got freed, and today we are just omanis. We do not have a thing like "african omani" or "yemeni omani." At first, I truly I liked what you wrote on slavery in Salalah, and suddenly somewhere in the middle I found myself, and my race nicknamed and labeled as "african omani." Maybe this works in other cultures like american society, but not here in Oman. I have been raised as Omani, I have lived as Omani, I am not a salve any longer, and am not "african omani." am simply Omani (pround of it) and my skin is black. If you do not publish this, it is fine. But please understand it. feel free by insluting me at your blog and enlightening me as an individual, but please do not insult my race.

  6. LOL :)) What are you trying to say!

  7. Yo not even black is an insult.

    Black is the way you refer to people who have black skin like you say white people to the westerners who have white skin.

    there is no big deal with calling black people black,,,,thats not offensive.

  8. ex-slave African Omani?

    I agree with that. I feel like as if addressing Omanis from African origins as secondary in nationality. I would rather use Omanis for all Omanis from any different origins. There is no Arab-Omani, African-Omani, Bulushi-Omani, or even Dhofari-Omani. You can just use the term Omani if it is so essential for the enlightened ones.
    And for those who did not notice it in their passports and ID carefully enlightened ones........

    Nationality: Omani

    and by the way Omanis with Zinzibari origins are just 2nd or 3rd generations of Omani traders or emigrants to Zanzibar when Oman was not so rich as Zanzibar at those times.

    Just to make it clear, I'm a dark skin Arab from Dhofar, as 95%!! of Arabs of the South.

    Nothing personal..................Peace

  9. It's not true that Zanzibaris are more Arab looking. African Zanzibaris look completely African. Zanzibaris of Omani descent look Arab. And yes, the ancestors of many "African Omanis" do come from slave families. The Oman sultans had a huge African slave trade going in the 1800s. Zanzibar had a large slave market, and caves/prisons for keeping slaves, en route from East Africa, to the Middle East. (I was in Zanzibar in April, and spent several days doing research in the Museums there.)

  10. True Anna. I have been to Zanzibar though when I was much younger but still remember the history there. There are also lots of East african people along the coast who intermarried with the Omanis and some went to Oman while others stayed back along the EAfrican coast. Those who have Omani backgrounds mixed with the african locals and a *new* tribe/group who call themselves Swahilis started. These are people who have arab background. sf

  11. lol there is no such thing as a Swahili group. Swahili is a language and is spoken by people in Africa who have no connection with Arabs,as well as Arabs who speak it. Zanzibaris in Oman are the Omanis who lived in Zanzibar, be they Arab,African or mixed. Many Zanzibaris in Oman are fully Arab and many are also fully African, as well as others being mixed. For some families they had settled in Zanzibar for over a hundred years for others just about 20-30 years. They are a diverse group, with the ones with Arab heritage being of Arab Omani Origin.

    1. Thank you for adding that bit of clarity.

      There are also many people here in America who think that all of Africa is one country, rather than a continent comprised of individual nations of distinct characteristics.

      Many people think that all Arabs are alike or that all "Black people" look alike. Such is humanity's general lack of cultural/ethnic understanding.

  12. sultani qaboos is a zanzibari!!!