Tunisian - African or Arab?

Delstar

Active Member
#1
Hi all, im baffled with the answer to this question,

If you ask a tunisian what are they, they would say arab right?

but are they not african?

One of my mates at work is from South Africa, and they see tunisia as an african country and say we are all africans....

What is tunisia? i know where it is on the map, its North Africa, along with Morocco, libya and egypt...

do these arab speaking african countries fall under middle east or is there a confusion with nationality...

I have seen three different types of tunisians, there are the arab looking ones slighlty more tanned, there are the dark 'african' looking ones and then there is very fair and european possibly of french decent looking ones.

But im still wondering what do the majority of tunisians refer themselves as and why?
 

Alulu

New Member
#2
All Tunisians will first say they are Arab, no doubt about that. As a matter of fact most do know they are African but alot think straight away about sub-saharan countries or "black-africans" as "real africans" or "typical africans" (I dont mean this in a bad way btw). But this probably also depends where your asking this in Tunisia (South might be different for example). This is also because alot of Tunisians are more European orientated, but this probably differs per region.

Why?
You could give different reasons from different perspectives. If you look at it ethnically (DNA wise) you will not find alot of "pure" Arabs in North Africa because it used to be mainly berber/amazigh populated. Arabs came, mixed and because alot became Muslim arabic became the common language and developed as the common language because scholars, well educated people etc were well versed in it, and ofcourse because the Quran and Islamic sources are in Arabic. Berber tribes had differing dialects and not really one common alphabet. The same can be said for Sudanese for example. Northern Sudanese are from Nubian background but often identify themselves as Arabs nowadays.

In Morocco and Algeria are still alot of berbers living with their own languages and it sometimes causes tension because some governments tried to arabise them and banned some forms of cultural expression. Unfortunately Islam has also been used in the past to arabise them for example by saying alot of "berber names are un-islamic and therefore forbidden". This is more a way of nation-building though (which you also see in China and other non-arab countries by the way) and creating one common identity.
The same can be said about the Celts in Britain (& Ireland) for example. They were also romanized, became Christian etc.

PS: These are just my experiences/observations
 

Sousseannika

Active Member
#3
No, not arab, all tunisian I know don´t like to call themselves arab. By arab they mean Saudi, Oman, Qatar etc - everything on the other side of Egypt - Middle east
Their answer is "Tunisian, because I live in Tunisia".
Very understandable and I live in Sweden, I am swedish. Sweden belong to Scandinvia but I don´t call myself for a Scandinavian. Maybe European for the purpose to give info of which part of the world I live, for example to someone in the USA where the most of the time mix Suisse with Sweden.
In Sweden there are a lot of diffrent types to :D more serious, buy history, culture etc we are a mixed. Different colurs of skin, hair etc. Hard to find someone typical swedish vikings these days.
 
L

Lissy

Guest
#4
I have just asked my husband who is from the South of Tunisia and he said he is an Arab/Berber mix but not African.
 

africanlilly

Active Member
#5
are they not African arabs? lol

why have one when you can have both !
 

maximos

New Member
#7
trust me on this one

We are berber, live in north africa , we speak arabic and lets not forget we are also mediterraneans
 

arabchique

New Member
#8
We are berber, live in north africa , we speak arabic and lets not forget we are also mediterraneans
Maximos, you are beginning to sound like a "Marks and Spencers" advert ... you're not just Arab ... you're Tunisian/African/Berber Arabs ... :D
 

maximos

New Member
#9
opps!!!! you forget something

Maximos, you are beginning to sound like a "Marks and Spencers" advert ... you're not just Arab ... you're Tunisian/African/Berber Arabs ... :D
Dont forget mediterranean :D
 

maximos

New Member
#10
Maximos, you are beginning to sound like a "Marks and Spencers" advert ... you're not just Arab ... you're Tunisian/African/Berber Arabs ... :D
I hav´nt seen that advert since i moved 2 sweden.The lady´s voice make me laugh , has she still got that sexy silly voice????
 

SilverMoonlight

New Member
#11
We are berber, live in north africa , we speak arabic and lets not forget we are also mediterraneans

Amazing maximos!!!
I believe all these are exactly what make Tunisian so wonderful as people!!!
Unique!!!
 

arabchique

New Member
#12
Dont forget mediterranean :D
Oooh, well reminded ... :D

I hav´nt seen that advert since i moved 2 sweden.The lady´s voice make me laugh , has she still got that sexy silly voice????
It's still a silly voice, yes ... don't know bout the sexiness of it tho ... :cool:
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#14
No, not arab, all tunisian I know don´t like to call themselves arab. By arab they mean Saudi, Oman, Qatar etc - everything on the other side of Egypt - Middle east
Their answer is "Tunisian, because I live in Tunisia".
Very understandable and I live in Sweden, I am swedish. Sweden belong to Scandinvia but I don´t call myself for a Scandinavian. Maybe European for the purpose to give info of which part of the world I live, for example to someone in the USA where the most of the time mix Suisse with Sweden.
In Sweden there are a lot of diffrent types to :D more serious, buy history, culture etc we are a mixed. Different colurs of skin, hair etc. Hard to find someone typical swedish vikings these days.
Ooooh I love a viking!!!!! :D
 

Delstar

Active Member
#15
thanks for your replies, so i guess in reality, since tunisia is in africa, just as sweden is in europe, all tunisians are african just as we are european.

then we can break them down further by saying north africans are of arab and berber decents, just as a some europeans are of viking decent lol.

and then we can simply call them tunisians just as we would call ourselves brits or swedish etc.

I asked my mrs what she thinks she is, and she said arab, i said no you are african and she debated with me for ages lol.
 

Mezoo

VIP Member
#16
AND In the U.S, a Tunisian, for reasons of the Social Security Administration is white Anglo-Saxon. Arab persons of North African descent are not considered African.
WOW
:cool::cool:
 

Delstar

Active Member
#17
gosh, white anglo saxon? actually not surprised with some clever 'americans' i think bush was asked in an interview where a particular country was, (i cant remember which) and he didnt have a clue..

Now talking about administration and forms....

I wonder what box tunisians would tick in the UK when it asks about ethnicity, i guess they can choose african or arab...?
 

Mezoo

VIP Member
#18
AND In the U.S, a Tunisian, for reasons of the Social Security Administration is white Anglo-Saxon. Arab persons of North African descent are not considered African.
WOW
This has been the policy since wayyyyyyyyyy before bush, at least since 1988
:cool::cool:
 

Sousseannika

Active Member
#19
Ooooh I love a viking!!!!! :D
....madlydeeply I suppose ;)
If they popby, I´ll send some over to you..but be careful, in Tunisia "what comes around goes around". Like it or not - In Sweden you never get rid of them...
 
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