italian colony

The myth(s) of North Africa, the Middle East and the « MENA »

In this post, I’d like to debunk a few myths about North Africa, the Middle East, and, overall, this « MENA » region that people are always talking about. Long story short, those three terms are inaccurate in various degrees, and behind them hide colonial and imperialist ideologies. They’re not neutral, nor are they factual — they send a message, and you should be aware of their meaning when you use them.

This is a long post so I’m putting it under a “read more”; I would also like to thanks @movingtospacesoon for being kind enough to correct my (numerous) English mistakes.

Keep reading

somali independence day

today is the 1st july 2017. 57 years ago, somalia gained independence from italy. it joined with northern somalia who gained independence from britain on 26th june 1960. 

together, they became the Federal Republic of Somalia - Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka Soomaaliya.

as it’s my country of origin’s birthday, i believed that it was a good day to provide y’all with some somali education. lets do this

where is somalia?

somalia is located  in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia has the longest coastline on Africa’s mainland

what language(s) do you speak in somalia?

the basic answer people say is somali and this is pretty accurate. it’s the most widely spoken language within somalia (approximately 16.6 million speakers of Somali, of which about 8.3 million reside in somalia) and you can pretty much confidently learn that language and survive in somalia. however, with languages, there’s dialects and believe me, some somali dilects are a completely different language. but despite this, you can learn a particular dialect and people are still able to understand you.

apart from dialects, some somalis can also speak another language in addition to somali. these languages are usually spoken due to their deeper ethnic background that makes them somali. these include af maay, booran and garre. 

people usually forget about other languages spoken within somalia by the ethnic minorities that live in somalia. there are bantus living in somalia and yes, they speak somali but they additionally speak their mother language which is something amazing because they haven’t forgotten their roots and still keep it close to their hearts. minority languages include the Bravanese dialect (also known as Chimwiini or Chimbalazi), a variant of the Bantu Swahili language that is spoken along the southern coast by the Bravanese people. Kibajuni is another Swahili dialect that is the mother tongue of the Bajuni ethnic minority group. Additionally, a number of Bantus speak Mushunguli as a mother tongue.

oromo is also spoken in somalia by the immigrant population (ngl i wanna learn oromo one day bYE)

arabic is used also by people and the media but despite having an official language status, it isn’t used as widely as somali.

being a langblr, imma get into the language history and indepth knowledge sometime if y’all want

how does the somali flag look like?

The blue field is the same shade used by the united nations. the five-pointed white “Star of Unity” is symbolic of the Somali race found in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and the former associated British and Italian colonies. when somalia gained independence, the italian flag was lowered in the mogadishu state house and this was resurrected. this symbol was a light for the somali people.

how does somalia look like?

when people think of any country that isn’t associated with europe, australia/nz or north america, they assume that the place is ugly. somalia is regenerating and it used to be a favourite holiday destination for many before the civil war occurred. thanks to the turkish people and its country in addition to the many somali diaspora that are returning to rebuild the country, somalia is becoming an amazing place. i’ve attached a couple of pictures to show you somalia and its coast i have found on instagram.

if anyone liked this, tell me and i might continue with a somali info series

anonymous asked:

Ciao Lavinia, I was wondering what do you think about appropriation of Italian culture and social justice warriors? Some social justice warriors deny that Italian culture can be appropriated because apparently according to them it is country that is oppressing other peoples and its old colonies. What's your opinion?

first thing italy had like three colonies in the 20th century only, it lost most of them except for somalia as a protectorate after WWII and it’s about the only country that’s not in somalia wreaking havoc rn or so said the president of a somali refugees association that came to the one where I worked last year so I’d like to know how exactly is italy *oppressing its old colonies* (especially given that we’re paying lybia hefty sums of money to keep in immigrants THAT’S something I’d complain about not *oppressing old colonies* go talk to about everyone else with a colonial *empire* about that) also when italy was a colony itself of half of europe before the unification BUT NEVER MIND

(ps: no I’m not denying the italian colonial empire was the worst idea we ever had I just fail to see who *we* are still profiting from it the way the french or british still do)

second thing: listen, cultural appropriation is a whole lot of a problematic topic (blergh i hate the p-word) but like, one thing is ‘native american headdresses* meant as a sacred thing that only NAs can give other NAs or other people and which has a meaning being used by kids at coachella without realizing that they shouldn’t, one thing is *italian culture*. like there’s literally nothing in italian culture that can be interpreted in such a way. opera is italian culture, do I only want it performed in italy or by italians? sure as fuck no. pizza is italian culture, do I care if people do it with pineapple? well, to me it’s a heresy but it’s not like I’m gonna go to people who enjoy it like OMG YOU CAN’T EAT THAT SHIT. or idk to me mac and cheese is the most horrid shit that was ever conceived and insult to pasta never mind that the pasta used in mac and cheese is not even maccheroni, but like… who cares? it’s food, I’ll live eating my pasta. it’s not appropriating italian culture. the divine comedy started off italian language, does it mean I don’t want people reading it when it’s translated? like, it’s bullshit. cultures are also built on sharing and going like ‘you can’t do x because culture y does it’ is dumb af because people from different sides of the world develop similar cultural practices without ever interacting, so what? the celts had dreads, spartans had dreads, jamaicans have dreads, a whole fucking bunch of cultures used dreads, now it belongs to just one? and it’s hair anyway, not taking the holy communion when you’re not catholic.

tldr: italian culture can’t be appropriated because there’s nothing in it that has a *sacred* meaning to any of us if not in the figurative sense and cultural exchange is what makes the world go around, and if there was, then it could be appropriated regardless of our colonial history.

I mean, according to sjw reasoning, dressing up as a catholic nun or priest or the pope on halloween if you’re not catholic would be cultural appropriation. but no one is ever gonna say that dressing like whoopi goldberg in sister act is appropriating nun culture, and my grandmother won’t kill me if I go to a halloween party dressed up as don matteo even if she’s catholic and I’m not. like. it’s not a conversation that can be had in these terms because it’s just too fucking ridiculous to.

tldr: if everyone thought like sjws the human race would have died out a helluva long time ago. *SHRUG*

other writers: “he got into his Porsche” / “she parked her black BMW” / “they took seats in the Lamborghini” / “he drove his Jeep” / “he was waiting inside his silver Aston Martin”

me: she was driving a nice red car

other writers: “Georgian” / “Italianate” / “Victorian style” / “colonial style” / “Romanesque” / “lodge-style”

me: it’s a house. with two stories. and windows.


Rashaida Tribe Woman Near Massawa, Eritrea by Eric Lafforgue Photography
Via Flickr:
The Rashaida tribe came to Eritrea from Saudi Arabia about 200 years ago, they live in the desert along the coastline of the Red Sea, are muslim, and their homeland extends from Massawa, Eritrea, to Port Sudan, Sudan; they are nomadic, the men are excellent camel traders and some even go to Emirates to take care of the rich people’s animals; Rashaida women always wear veils to cover their nose and their mouth, but not the hair, Rashaida live in isolated communities, preferring not to live with people of other tribes.

@ ethiopia-and-eritrea Agree with your note and made the needed changes from Eric Lafforgue comment. Thanks for pointing it out.



The Afar are a people found primarily in northern Ethiopia with smaller populations in Eritrea and Djibouti. Originally ruled by smaller states, they were unified under the Sultanate of Aussa in 1734. The sultanate slowly began to fall into the Colonial Italian sphere in the 19th century, being incorporated into Italian East Africa in 1936. Following the end of World War II, Ethiopia invaded and annexed the region in 1945. Despite this, the 1950s-1970s saw the former state and the Afar people hold onto a degree of self-governance within the Ethiopian Empire. This ended in 1974 following the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a Marxist-Leninist junta, prompting the Afar royal family to flee to Saudi Arabia. This resulted in the creation of groups such as the Afar Liberation Front and the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front, who sought to defend Afar interests, sometimes through violent means. Today the Afar have a degree of autonomy within Ethiopia, living primarily in the Afar Regional State. 

One of our newcomers to AskHistorians, an expert in Modern Italy & Italian Colonialism /u/Quirite, answers the question “What was life like for Italian settlers in East Africa as they attempted to colonize Ethiopia?”

Above: Contemporary Italian illustration of a victorious Italian soldier marking the end of the war against Ethiopia with a display of the Italian tricolor. Cover of La Domenica del Corriere, December 27 1936.

anonymous asked:

Is abel tesfaye aka the weekend pure ethiopian? He's not, right ? I mean he's so light skinned. There must be someone white down the line. And he looks so not african.

Yes he is pure Ethiopian, he speaks Amarinya fluently and has the distinct features of many Ethiopians, including lighter skin and big eyes. As am I, and people always say you don’t look African. As for having any “white down the line”, here’s a history lesson, Ethiopia alone remained unconquered during the European scramble for Africa. 100,000 men and women from 80 ethnic groups marched to Adwa and destroyed the invading Italians and their colonial ambitions. We have one official language, our own calendar, our own script, our own new years day, and absolutely no independence day to celebrate, we have remained independent for thousands of years  so fuck outta here with that white in our lineage, and fuck outta here with the notion that we have European features, we were here long before Europeans, the oldest human remains are found in my country, Europeans have our features not the other way around. So here’s a couple of things: 

Africa is the biggest continent, so much so that it’s scaled down 6 times on the map. Africa is the most ethnically, genetically, and culturally diverse continent on the planet, therefore do not expect the people to be homogeneous. Ethiopia alone has over 80 different ethnic groups. So you will have different types of physical appearances and skin tones. People from the horn of Africa have their own distinct look, just like people from North Africa, West, South, all have their own distinct physical appearances and even more so within the individual countries themselves. To expect a specific “African look” to which all people from Africa must fit into is just more European brainwashing into downplaying the ethnic and genetic diversity and beauty found within Africa.

…..Also it’s the Weeknd not the Weekend fam.