• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Double-Take: How the Middle East IS Northeast Africa historically & had Image Change

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by Gxg (G²), Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    Greetings!

    I was having a good discussion with one of my old friends on the subject of how maps can make such a difference in the way we see the world - and he was noting this to me in light of how often it seemed that people were prone to make claims of him as being crazy whenever he'd note that Middle Eastern culture was directly connected to and reflective of African culture - in light of how often people have said that those who are Black are not really present within the scriptures or current events as much as others who are Arab or Semitic like the Jews.

    For him, it was a big deal when it comes to Eurocentric views that seem to influence how others read the Bible (including with present day events when it comes to seeing the ways Europe intervened in the are of the Middle-East to create the territories largely during colonialism and shape a lot of problems known currently) - and when I noted to him the beauty of Eastern Christianity in its connection to the African context (Egypt, Libya, etc.), he pointed out to me that it needed to be said that the Middle East used to be called North Eastern Africa - with the "Middle East" term coming on later to divide and lead to a lot of other issues that never were present before when those nations in the current "Middle East" were considered African nations.......for the term "Middle East" was given when American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan first invoked the term “the Middle East” in 1902 as he was seeking a geographically-defined label to mark the strategic value of the region around the Persian Gulf.


    For more,





    Maps make a world of difference when it comes to the ways that territory can shift the way you see things and impact the policies you end up creating afterward...as is the case when people groups are divorced from areas due to saying they (visually) were never connected there - leading to the media, history books and many other factors impacting the emphasis people may give you on certain topics or leading to a lack of addressment on why certain groups are left out of the picture whenever discussions occur.

    I had to stop and note (although I had disagreements) where I could understand where he was coming from - for it has always seemed odd to me whenever others don't acknowledge....Since Egypt is located in North-East Africa, why is it that Egyptians are considered Middle Easterners and not Africans? And the same goes for other issues....as it concerns the ways that Africa has impacted everything from trade to customs in the Middle-East areas for centuries...even though it seems denied. Had a similar dialogue with another when we were talking about the situation with King Solomon in 1 Kings 10/2 Chronicles 9 with his meeting with the Queen of Sheba - as I've heard many say, counter to what Ethiopian Orthodox Christians claim, that Sheba was from the country of Yemen rather than from Ethiopia.....and although I can see how that would logically make sense, it was always fascinating that part of the underlying reason behind why others didn't want Sheba to be from Ethiopia was because there was more focus in saying it was a Middle-Eastern country she hailed from rather than an African one.....and I say that in light of how often people say claiming Sheba ( Genesis 10:6-8 , Genesis 25:2-4 , 1 Chronicles 1:8-10 ) as an Ethiopian narrative is simply an Afro-Centric viewpoint without basis - even though it seems difficult to get past the point that people seem slow to accept that even Yemen was once considered PART of Africa itself - with the imagery not lost on those in Early History when it came to seeing Arabs/Africans connected and the impact of a great African Queen coming to Solomon for wisdom.

    Of course, others have pointed out that there is no evidence that the Queen of Sheba did come from Aksum (as, again, it has been debated that Sheba is perhaps in Southern Arabia originally or Yemen) - despite how it has become part of the Ethiopian church's central tenets due to others feeling like there're many reasons to think Ethiopia was the same as Sheba...as some have noted that Yemen was a vassal of Ethiopia ...and for more, one can read the renowned historian Gibbon’s book "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire or see this fact also reported on the Qu’ran since in both books one can read, for instance, about the war of Abraha who was an Ethiopian ruler of Yemen (and from these and similar other facts, one could have concluded that Queen of Sheba used to rule Ethiopia and her vassal Yemen).

    But even if she wasn't from Ethiopia, it is still amazing to see how much trouble many go through in order to claim that the Queen of Sheba could NEVER have been from a great African nation (in their minds) and yet don't acknowledge if more is up than they realize. This is also said in light of how often it seems Jews who come from African background have been fiercly questioned as to their identity as Hebrews (some even denied the right to be in Israel) even though they could easily point out their Semitic heritage

    Examining the history of Abraham's descendants (including what occurred with Ishmael and with Egypt - even as it concerns Joseph's work with the Pharoahs when the Hebrews were living in Egypt for a long time), I have to pause & wonder how it was that much of African culture got disconnected from it while one part of the globe seemed to take the focus for ALL of it - and it's something I've had to wrestle with for some time. Even as it concerns the Holy Land itself, I'm amazed at how often those who are African have been mistreated and deemed to not be rooted in the narrative - even though the borders of Biblical Israel included territory that Africans came from.

    In example,


    [​IMG]

    Within the Hebrew Bible the Land of Israel is the region which God promised to the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac and to the descendants of Jacob, Abraham’s grandson.

    Specifically,when the Lord made the covenant with Abram, he said: “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Genesis 15:18). It was here that the Lord defined the northern and southern borders of Israel, long before the nation of Israel came into existence. It went from the river of Egypt in the south to the great river Euphrates in the north would include all of modern day Lebanon and three-fourths of modern day Syria. Moreover, when God spoke to Moses about the Promised Land (Numbers 34:1-15), he specifically laid out the southern, western, northern and eastern borders of the Land....essentially promising for the borders of Israel to un from the wilderness on the east side of the Jordan river to the uttermost sea (Red Sea) on the west side of the Sinai..as well as from the Euphrates river in the north, to the river of Egypt in the south.

    When it came to the Kingdom of David himself, it was the case that Israel expanded greatly, controlling a number of weaker client states like Philistia , Moab, Edom, Ammon , with a number of Aramaean city-states (Aram-Zobah and Aram-Damascus ) becoming vassal states imperial border stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to theArabian Desert, from the Red Sea to the Euphrates River....with the Empire covering a large land area. And with King Solomon's kingdom that followed, its territory extended into Africa itself ( 1 Kings 5:1) even further with trade - meaning many who were Hebrews also expanded territory.

    But because of the view that only what's deemed as the "Middle East" is Biblical territory, it seems that many Hebrew people in Africa seem left behind as if they are of no consequence - and to me, that's an issue. This is even more of an issue with Africans mistreated in Israel - from the Ethiopian Jewry to many others groups:


    I'm still shocked seeing some of the ways that the same things done in Israel have been done before, one can see the ways that other Israeli citizens experienced horrible things at the hands of the government, such as forced sterialization...the Ethiopian population (long discriminated against in the land) in specific (as shared before in #344/#369 ) - and People have to choose to be willfully to blind not to see the ways that some things that happened in one context are again happening in another...and that there is a racial atmosphere that needs to be addressed......

    But as long as others tend to place people in categories that divorce them from others as the drive for survival keeps driving people to place others in camps, how can people unite together in order to address the many ways that they've been collectively exploited?

    I'd love thoughts othes have on the issue. Studying Eastern Christianity (especially as it concerns the Copts and Ethiopian believers), it is fascinating to see the ways that many of them have been treated when it comes to discussing what is....or isn't...a part of the Holy Land experience.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  2. Mu3lam

    Mu3lam Ya Rabbu rham

    13
    +1
    Eastern Orthodox
    Private
    I thought the "Middle East" was part of Asia. I live in Iraq. We are Asia Minor. Not Africa. Not "Middle East". Asia Minor. Or Arabia (though Arabia generally refers to the Arabian Peninsula).
     
  3. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    Although considered a part of Asia Minor, it was not always the case....especially as it concerns the beginning of civilization and Mesopotamia (where Iraq is) in its connection to Africa and the people who migrated....even though it's considered the cross-roads of civilization as well.

    Of course, not many are aware of the African influence in Asian culture as well - more discussed in Moving the Garden East of Eden..Literally: Was Eden Originally in Asia?.

    With Arabia itself, the same dynamics apply - for some maps of twenty to thirty years ago classified Saudi Arabia as part of Africa, as were the Sinai Peninsula and the countries north of the Red Sea. Granted, the division is not geographically clear-cut, nor is the division of Eurasia into Europe and Asia....for maps change and often do based on cultural preference with borders. Even recently, with many Ethiopians getting legal status in Saudi Arabia, it was noted how the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia considered itself as part of Horn of Africa due to its proximity and the socio-cultural ties it had.

    Having friends/family who've either lived in the places termed "Middle East" or came from those areas/gone, it's amazing to see how often it seems that people get surprised when seeing others with African features in those lands (Berbers included) and others have to remind them "Why are you surprised in light of the concept of travel and the ways there has always been presence here?"

    Afro-Iraqis come to mind as one group that others are often not aware of - despite where there were connections due to the Assyrians and Nubian connections - both in fighting and temporary alliances at one point (more here and here) and other events - some of which still have a negative effect to this day sadly (even though the same has happened to other blacks in other lands deemed "Middle East" today):




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]




    And on a side note, there's also the reality of those (from the Persian cultural narrative) you'd often not hear about called Afro-Iranians








    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  4. Mu3lam

    Mu3lam Ya Rabbu rham

    13
    +1
    Eastern Orthodox
    Private
    Ah, I see. To me it doesn't make a difference. Iraq is considered Asia Minor. Egypt is in Africa. Both countries are Arab. So really, it doesn't make a difference to me. But I see what you're getting it. It's very interesting. I will watch the videos when I get on a computer.
     
  5. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    Egypt being in Africa, nonetheless, is a big deal in light of the reality of how many do not realize that Arab itself was never what the majority of Egypt was about.....and the same goes for others when realizing how Iraq was considered to not always be a part of Asia Minor - as well as not having Asia Minor as where it's at not be used to place disconnection from Africa.

    And when seeing the historical roots of what occurred with the Kushite Expansion out of Africa into the areas where Iraq is (as it concerns the the Kushite diffusion across the Levant, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Central Asia and beyond), the issue of cultural influence is something that makes a world of difference (IMHO).

    On Egypt, the black roots of the land are very well-documented. Northern Africa is full of others who are black and have been noted for being dark. Even in Egypt this has been the case....often an issue when people outside of the culture assume All Egyptians are light-skinned and end up shocked seeing the numerous cases of Egyptians that are dark, just as there were Dark skinned Pharoahs depicted throughout history...many in fact. Obviously, there are many Egyptian Jews who have lighter complexion....and many are not aware of that (more). But the ones that are darker often get overlooked. Had that confirmed once before when talking to light-skinned Coptic Christians at a Coptic Orthodox church I visited and they alerted the visitors how often people assumed all Egyptians looked like them, one of them noting how one of the churches he was with shocked others when they went in/saw many looking black....and it was assumed that they weren't Egyptian There are many not understanding of some of the racial issues within Egypt, as it concerns those of darker complexion and their connection with black culture...and others have often noted how the Egyptians were initially black when considering the Nubians....powerful and wealthy kings/Pharoahs who controlled large territories along the Nile and whose land was known as the Kingdom of Kush.---though there has been much historical debate on that. For exampls, places to investigate can be found under the names of Ancient Africa's Black Kingdoms or Black Pharaohs - National Geographic Magazine. Additionally, One can either go here or One can go here for example of where connections between Egypt and blacks have often come up



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Technically,

    As said before elsewhere, Egyptians are not Arabs - and although Egypt has been seen as connected with Middle Eastern culture, it's historically the case that Egypt was seen as linked to African culture (Egypt being in Africa) and have an entirely differing background/culture).

    As another noted best, "Many people forget that Egypt is part of the continent of Africa and only think of the modern state as part of the Middle-East. ...This is because Arabic is the main language and the country is predominantly Islamic following the settlement there in AD 642 of people of Islamic culture.... However, there are many links between ancient Egyptian and modern African cultures, ranging from objects such as headrests to hairstyles such as the side lock, and this and other evidence support the idea that it was an African culture in addition to being geographically in Africa.". There were other threads in the past which sought to go into detail covering the issue (here and here).


    Arabs hail from Ishmael - who was born out of union BETWEEN Abraham and Hagar (an Egyptian), with Ishmael moving elsewhere and having a differing ancestrial line being developed than the Egyptians. Egypt came before Ishmael (Genesis 16, Genesis 25 ) - even though Ishmael's mother got a wife for him from Egypt later ( Genesis 21:8-21 ....more here, here, and here) - and later, Esau married into Ishmael's line to please his father Isaac when he realized Issac and his wife hated how Esau married Caananite Women rather than people close to Abraham's line).

    With Arabs and Egyptians, there has always been distinction...even when certain lines may overlap. The term "Arab" is generally applied to people who speak Arabic. It's more a linguistic than ethnic category, although there is quite a bit of overlap. Egyptians speak Arabic and so one might reasonably call them Arabs. But Arabic is not indiginous to Egypt. The label 'Arabic' is usually used to describe people who speak Arabic regardless of their actual background. In case of Egyptians the matter is even more complicated as the population is a mixture, and still has very much in common with ancient Egyptians. And when you look them up in the dictionary, the ethnicity is described as Eastern Hamitic (non-Arab) and that's what their background is, but sometimes having Semitic features (like Arabs)

    For good study resource on the issue, one can consider going here to Egyptians are not Arabs, they are Egyptians. | Mathilda's ... or National American Coptic Assembly: Egyptians are not Arabs.

    One can also investigate here in the following:

    The way the Copts feel as well makes a big difference to them when it comes to claiming them as Arabs. For if aware of the beautiful cultural heritage with the Coptic Christians in Egypt, it's truly something worth taking note of. The Copts generally do not identify themselves as Arab since they feel strongly that Egyptian and Arab are two differing identities - even though the Arab side of things tends to be more in focus due to how there are large Arab majorities in Egypt due to migration and the rise of Muslim populations. The Copts resisted Arab nationalism by stressing their pre-Arab identity, seeing themselves as the direct descendants of the Ancient Egyptians, and their language as a bridge linking the Copts to their Ancient Egyptian roots and their civilization that span over 6000 years (more here, here ).

    And that is something I have to respect.
    Cool to know and glad to know you know where others are coming from.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    Hoping others will be able to see where it is that I'm coming from/getting at when it comes to why the issue is a big deal for me.

    Afro-Arab relations can be traced back 20 centuries to the time when Africa and the Arab East were physically one territorial entity, before the Red Sea separated them. And it is highly fascinating to realize how Southwestern Arabia, coastal Yemen and the Horn of Africa had a common culture from at least the 3rd century BC.....which has been termed the Sabir culture, named after the German-Russian excavations in Sabir beginning in 1994. This dynamic is something which has stood out to many in light of how it seems that there are more Arabs in Africa now than there are in the lands deemed "Middle- East" - the Africanization of the Arab dynamic.

    Historically, Arabia was the bridge for the Body of the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion - and that goes as well with cultures that seemed present when following their roots. As mentioned earlier, understanding the history of Kush and what it signifies is highly important. For we know that Kush was the father of the Kushite ruler Nimrod who established his kingdom in the Tigris River Valley....explaining the linguistic connections between the Nile and Mesopotamia. , as the Akkadian script of Nimrod's kingdom is linguistically Afro-Sumerian...and shows further connections between Africa and what is deemed to be "Middle-Eastern" culture today.

    The extensive ways in which it seems many try to make a disconnection does a lot of damage to other groups - AND I'm glad for others seeking to address it:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The OP focus/what follows is one that is necessary in the religious world when it comes to the ways that we categorize people and then treat them afterward in boxes which they never fit into. It's unfortunate to see the ways that connections have been lost in our times due to divisions fostered in areas.


    A recent example - how often has so much focus been placed on the plight of those in Syria or other Middle-Eastern nations experiencing the same with interventionism (which is another form of colonialism in many ways), while those in Africa haven't received as much as much attention as others in the Middle East? Others are so focused on the areas such as Syria being invaded/militarized and yet NOT MANY pay attention to the extensive ways on how Africa has been militarized excessively for years - all of it as a staging ground for what happens in the Middle East (as shared before here in #18/#19 ). People bring up the need to respect the religious culture of the Middle East when it comes to how other nations respond to them - yet they don't realize the ways that the SAME religious ideologies are also shared IN Africa/have been for a long time...........and yet people try to type-cast others off in the continent as if they don't have the same struggles. The same was done to other Indigenous People/First Nations Groups when it came to other outside powers coming in - dividing out the territory .....and then having people that (despite cultural differences within their camps) had a shared identity as Native Americans be fractured in their connections by saying the territory one side resided in wasn't always a part of that where another came from. The boarding schools (where language of Native Americans was forbidden among other things) and other forms of Cultural assimilation took their toll - with Native Americans in many parts not wanting to identify with other groups they used to identify with.

    Those seeking to resist those invading were so stuck in survival mode that it became "every man for himself" in multiple respects - with no room to really seek connections/working with others and instead fostering more suspicion/division than what was already present when it came to seperation within a common group. People in time - while resisting outside powers/groups trying to harm them - still grew up with other aspects of the outside cultures lingering on in their collective sub-conscious ...and thus, they responded to other groups with aspects of the same ideologies that were a part of the OUTSIDE group which tried to impact them nonetheless - like shadows of a shell-program that inserts itself on a computer even after new programs are installed/cleaning from previous damaging programs occur....or triggers that were laid to still set people off.

    In the same way, the damage done to others in Africa and the territory deemed the "Middle East" has been extensive since those areas were once unified and others - regardless of cultural differences - had many aspects of shared identity and didn't separate the issues on one corner of their world as disconnected from what impacted them in their own. It wasn't a matter of "Oh - well, that's just Africa and pertaining to those in Africa - not us." It was a matter of seeing common threads that weaved people together when it came to colonialism being damaging/seeking to assimilate non-Western culture/religious culture into itself - and yet afterward, there are more accounts of not seeing the negatives happening to those in Africa while focusing solely on Middle East concerns. There is interrelation - as well as Cross-Cultural Pollination - that is neglected.......and it seems troubling when many in the Middle East don't even wish to acknowledge the African presence that has always been present there or realize the fact that others have no issue seeing the African side of the Middle East area since it was once considered Africa.

    Strengthening of those religious/intercultural bonds that are already present and achieving solidarity via realizing lost shared history - how much of a difference would that make in addressing issues.....and pulling together on national levels to address the wounds given by other countries outside of the Middle Eastern/African context? Rather than an battle of independence - why not a realization of interdependence?

    One of my favorite historical figures of the 20th century that comes to mind on the issue is Malcom X

    Malcolm X: Speeches and Interviews (1960-65)
    Malcolm X - Explains True Black History (After returning from Mecca)

    From the Muslim world, he was one of the first to try to reconcile Arab and black nationalisms (even though others had concerns on it - like Malcolm did at points) and he alongside others didn't see the battles happening in Africa (or what was deemed the Middle East) during his day as separate from one another 100%. For it was all interconnected for him as well as the blacks in America and he wished to show much of what was forgotten when it came to shared suffering (more shared here, here, here , here , here and here). He had established a reputation as a respected leader all across the entire world, especially in the Middle East and Africa - meeting on colonial and neo-colonial issues that included representatives from the governments of Egypt, the Sudan, Ghana, Iraq and Morocco...and also meeting in Saudi Arabia. The man in many ways internationalized the Civil Rights And he was successful in unifying groups in African nations that experienced revolutionary movements to challenge the systems which harmed them while connecting them to the Middle Eastern world he loved after showing links. And his visits to various heads of state made him a big problem, yet it was something which unified many when it came to his


    Perhaps seeing the connections could foster more unity....
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  7. vajradhara

    vajradhara Diamond Thunderbolt of Indestructable Wisdom

    +433
    Buddhist
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    having spent most of my childhood in Libya, i'm well aware of the strangeness that Saharan Africa is lumped into the Middle East by a lot of people. if one didn't know better one would think it had something to do with skin tones.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  8. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    It is interesting to consider the aspects of Sahara Africa being lumped into the Middle East despite the cultural (AS WELL as geographical ) dynamics behind it:

    [​IMG]



    Curious....if you'd not mind sharing...​

    What was your experience in Libya? Did others present there in your experience also find it strange to see the ways culture/geography was lumped into the Middle East while the African side of things wasn't emphasized? Also, what do you mean by the issue having to pertain to skin tones? I ask in light of how the image of many Middle-Eastern people often doesn't include Dark and having African features - even though there are plenty present.....in the same way that there are plenty in Africa with features many attribute to those from the area deemed Middle East, despite where others have stereotypes on it.​
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  9. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  10. vajradhara

    vajradhara Diamond Thunderbolt of Indestructable Wisdom

    +433
    Buddhist
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    my experience there was mostly neutral. there were plenty of good things yet lots of bad so there's that. most of the people i knew in Libya weren't Arab, they were Berber and/or Tuareg and given that we didn't have television or radio there wasn't really a lot of concern with outside things. i'm pretty sure that none of us though of "middle east" or anything like that.

    as for skin tones, Africa has seven distinct skin tones with lighter brown being often associated with "arabs" that live in the middle east then all people with the same shade tend to get grouped together politically, racially and geographically.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  11. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist I believe in life before death!

    +2,425
    Atheist
    Private
    US-Libertarian
    I've never heard of that, but maybe it has to do with the dry climate association.


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  12. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    What were the bad things you speak of?

    The concept was not as imposed on your psyche as with other places that make it a must to define people groups with that label (i.e. "Middle Eastern" or "Middle Eastern politics" ) to define how they see each other based on the world's view of the matter.

    Makes sense - and interesting to consider the lighter brown shades which define African often being given to be only for those who are Arab
     
  13. sevengreenbeans

    sevengreenbeans Remember Yosef

    822
    +40
    Non-Trinitarian
    Married
    This is a very interesting topic. I agree with what you've stated about maps affecting the way people see things. Studying people groups without maps isn't a very effective way of studying, in my opinion. The Middle East as North Eastern Africa makes a lot of sense. I like what you had to say about being visually affected, as well. When the word "Jew" is spoken, an image follows. Images repeatedly associated with a word through media can affect our association with the word. The images associated with "Israel"/"Jew" are so diverse, however, mainstream media does not do justice to the diversity.

    I am interested to know about your viewpoint on how African culture is tied in to Biblical verse. Are there certain passages that stand out to you?
     
  14. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    So amazing how much a map can change whether or not you acknowledge a people group in existence..
    I agree - as it'd be like studying what the color red is like outside of examining the entire spectrum of color/seeing where it stands and how it's often used.
    Very true - and whoever controls the media can often control how others think on a situation, with them eventually being able to influence the REACTIONs others give....telling them what to react to and what to refrain from getting involved in even while the people being manipulated think that they are in 100% control/not being influenced since they are seeking to see the images before making a decision (rather than stopping to consider "Have the images I've sought out - and been presented with - really the full options out there...or have I been given select options ahead of time so that I'm influenced to think I've done my research/found what I'm looking for?").


    The ways people are visual learners is often taken for granted - until you take a word used to descibe someone, place an image next to it often (Without those people hearing it/seeing it knowing where the original image came from) - and then seeing how people accept...and then DEFEND that image as if they were a part of it. With the ways the term "Jew" has been type-cast to mean one thing has always amazed me - and saddened me.


    It's not like I don't rejoice (for example) when seeing European Jews or Jews from the area called "Middle East" thriving/doing well rather than persecuted - but something is VERY off when Jews within Africa (like the Igbo Jews) are either seen as less "Jewish" or not really to be connected with Biblical Judaism as with the European Jews or Jews from the area deemed "Middle East"......
    I believe I mentioned some of them earlier (and linked to where I shared more in-depth - especially as it concerns places such as Egypt or other parts of Middle Africa). If it was missed, one place you may wish to investigate would be here in #6. To me, it's fascinating enough to see how Joseph married an Egyptian woman, Asenath ( Genesis 41:44-46 /Genesis 46:19-21 ) - someone who was Hamitic ( Genesis 10:5-7 )....with the strong possibility that Asenath was black, which impacts the reality of what was present when seeing how she was the mother of Ephraim and Manasseh.

    As noted best elsewhere (here), Genesis 14 tells how Abraham’s experiences in Canaan and Egypt brought him and his family into areas inhabited by peoples who were very likely black - as both archaeological evidence and the account in 1 Chronicles 4 tell us that the land of Canaan was inhabited by the descendants of Ham. Moreover, it is the case that further black presence can be found in the accounts of Hagar the Egyptian, Ishmael and his Egyptian wife, and Ishmael’s sons, especially Kedar ( Genesis 25:12-14,1 Chronicles 1:28-30, Song of Solomon 1:4-6, Isaiah 42:10-12, Isaiah 60:6-8, Ezekiel 27:20-22 ). ..for the Kedarites are mentioned many times in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Nehemiah, and the word kedar means "blackness." There are also other groups within the Bible from African nations who stand out (as well as individuals such as Moses's wife and Sheba)...but the aforementioned ones are some of the basics.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  15. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    Seeing the ways maps are from a Biblical perspective (when the people groups differed in perception) is a big battle that needs to be engaged in.
     
  16. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    Outside of what was shared earlier, one excellent work I'm going through is entitled Africa and the Bible by Edwin M. Yamauchi and Kenneth Kitchen which was given to me by another student of Early Judaism/Hebraic history....fascinating read on the ways that Africa was highly prominent within the culture of the Hebrews, with more than 80 photos, maps, and charts included in this insightful exploration of the African presence in Scripture.

    [​IMG]

    As it is, Africa is pretty fascinating when seeing the ways that the culture has always been very rich - for in example, there are 7 Medieval African Kingdoms Everyone Should Know About since while Europe was experiencing its Dark Ages ( a period of intellectual, cultural and economic regression from the sixth to the 13th centuries), Africans were experiencing an almost continent-wide renaissance after the decline of the Nile Valley civilizations of Egypt and Nubia - with the leading civilizations of this African rebirth being the Axum Empire, the Kingdom of Ghana, the Mali Empire, the Songhai Empire, the Ethiopian Empire, the Mossi Kingdoms and the Benin Empire.

    [​IMG]

    And when it comes to the actual scope of what Africa is about, going back to the concept of maps, many are not even aware of how extensive Africa really is.





    As another noted:

    "The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of it."
    -George Kimble
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    But prior to that amazing history (already forgotten due to stereotyping on how Africa was compared to Europe), the Biblical history helps in many ways to shape the stage for those things coming to pass - and the aforementioned book is an excellent resource on the matter to consider.​

    In addition to that, one excellent resource which may bless you on the matter:

    To see the ways that Jewish populations are all throughout Africa - that is something which always makes me pause when reading the scriptures and considering the ways Jews from African culture would see many things.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  17. sevengreenbeans

    sevengreenbeans Remember Yosef

    822
    +40
    Non-Trinitarian
    Married
    "no other lands are as important as the real estate which lay between the Blue and White Niles of Egypt and the Euphrates river of Iraq" (quoted from The Middle East or Northeastern Africa? « Natural Culture Natural Culture)

    When the above is viewed on a map, it does not only contain the sliver of land known as Israel today, but Yemen, Oman and everything in between, as well as parts of countries to the east of the Nile River. It is interesting to look at on a map, because there are many people groups in these areas who have a Torah tradition, a tradition of being "sons of Israel", or folklore of ties with ancient characters of the Bible, such as Solomon, as previously mentioned.

    I am still reading through the articles you have posted here. What these articles have caused me to question is, if these lands were to be included in what is known as Israel, why are people groups from these areas being relocated to a tiny piece of land, forced to convert (even though they claim descent from the forefathers of the Bible)? It reminds me of the Native Americans, forced to move to tiny pieces of land (reservations) in comparison to the land they once occupied, forced conversions, etc. It causes assimilation, loss of custom/identity, and culture dilution.

    Hmmm...:confused:
     
  18. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    Indeed.....all of it interconnected...

    The imagery does make you ponder on the ways that others are considered not to truly be who they are if/when they do not go with a governmental position for one area of land when they say they're content with where they are - and as much as things are done in the name of helping out their ancestors for whom one area of land belonged, it's odd when the descendants of those ancestors others say they're concerned with are treated as less than what they are........

    The conversion aspect is but one factor that makes me pause when considering the full scope of how things are..


     
  19. Supreme

    Supreme British

    +442
    Protestant
    Single
    I consider Egypt to be part of Africa- of course it is its people are Africans, with African history, in Africa. However, it's still part of the Middle East. It's cultural affinity is strong with Arab peoples, in terms of religion, language and skin tone.

    There are many different definitions of what the Middle East is, but it isn't an exclusive identity, and certainly much of the Middle East is in Africa, just as much of it is in Asia.
     
  20. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +1,041
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    US-Others
    I'd argue that it is a part of the Middle East only in the sense that others from that area (Arabs) have become a significant part of Egyptian culture and brought with them their culture as a dominate factor. Of course, there has been debate for a long time when it comes to how Arab culture spread throughout Africa and many have been claiming lands for Arab solidarity rather than acknowledging the African side of things..

    Similar to saying that all land that was inhabited by Native Americans/First Nations groups is really a matter of being owned by Europeans because Europeans moved in/took over - and thus, the Native Americans are seen as being European simply because of a dominant group settling/influencing - but the roots have to be examined as well as the present.

    Sadly, for many, the Middle East has been consistently noted as being exclusive - and people have fought over that when it comes to arguing over identity.
    True..