consanguinity in libya…

… is really, really high:

told ya!

mind you, i haven’t yet been able to find this u.n. report where these authors sourced the data from. so i don’t know where the u.n. got their data from. and their number for egypt 2009 — 40% — seems a tad high. a 2008 egyptian study found the rate to be more like 30%.

previously: cousin marriage conundrum addendum

update 04/03: i didn’t realize before today (duh!) that consang.net actually has some data for libya. they have listed a consanguinity rate for libya @ 37.6%. that’s from a study conducted in benghazi in 1982/85.

i also happened across another health study from tripoli conducted in 1985-87 which found that 52.04% of the population were in a consanguineous marriage, although the researchers didn’t state what sorts of consanguineous marriage (first-cousin vs. second-cousin, for instance.)

so there you have it — a consanguinity rate in libya apparently ranging anywhere from 37.6% to 52.04%. i guess the 46.5% rate that the u.n. gave is not far out after all.

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all tribes, all the time!

now that the msm — including cnn and the huffpost! — have caught up to hbd chick re. the importance of tribes in libya (~_^) …

In Libya, it’s all about the tribes“In Libya, the real power is in its tribal system.”

Libya’s tribal politics key to Gaddafi’s fate“[I]n Libya it is the much more opaque and complex tribal power structures that could decide how events play out.”

Navigating Libya’s tribal maze“Intricate tribal structure plays a crucial role in both Libyan politics and the current pro-democracy opposition.”

Libya’s Tribal Revolt May Mean Last Nail in Coffin for Qaddafi“Tribal loyalties form the bedrock of Libyan society.”

What’s With Libya? Who Are the Gaddafis?“The tribes and clans still play a silent but powerful role….”

Tribalism is key to the country’s future“‘It will be the tribal system that will hold the balance of power….'”

Libya tribes: Who’s who?“[T]he North African nation’s more than 140 tribes and clans … will likely determine the political future of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.”

… i thought i’d take a moment to reiterate the points i made about tribes and tribalism in north africa and the middle east.

the msm media has now figured out that tribes in libya (and, in case they hadn’t noticed, in places like afghanistan and iraq) have a lot of POLITICAL power, which some of them are now wielding in order to oust gaddafi.

in my post on tribes in libya, i was just repeating what kurtz|sailer| parapundit had pointed out about iraq several years ago now — that the existence of tribes in a place has SOCIAL repercussions.

i.e. because of the heavy inbreeding within the extended families|clans| tribes in libya (afghanistan, iraq, yemen, oman, egypt, etc…), the peoples of these places have divergent genetic interests and, therefore, do NOT get along. clans and tribes have been battling each other for centuries in these places. nepotism is rife in all of them — they favor their own ’cause they are MORE related to their relations than we are to ours. democracy in such societies doesn’t have a chance in hades.

THIS is the issue with tribes in these regions — the core reason why countries in north africa and the middle east are not going to develop into western-style democratic nations (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). not anytime soon, anyway.

“To enable one country to appreciate what another people really thinks and desires is both the most difficult and the most vital task which confronts us.” [John Bagot Glubb, Britain and the Arabs: A Study of Fifty Years 1908-1958.]

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“the arabs in tripoli”

by alan ostler. published in 1912.

here are some bits about, not the arabs, but the berbers in tripolitania (pp. 144-59):

“I am much intrigued by the Berber problem. Who are these people; whence did they come into the North African mountains and least fertile deserts; why does their race, so scattered and so broken, still keep for the most part aloof and distinct from its Arab vanquishers?

“The position of the Arab population of Northern Africa is very like that of the Teutonic conquerors of Britain, when the Saxons held the fertile plains, and drove the Britons to the hills and fens. The Arab hordes, sweeping westward over Africa with the impetus of their faith, dispossessed the people who then held the land, and drove them up into the mountains and the heart of the Sahara. So that, to-day, the population of the great Atlas range is Berber; Berbers (Kabyles) hold the mountains of Algeria and Tunis; Berbers (Susi and Tuareg) are the scourge of the Sahara and southern Barbary states….

“What I know of the Berbers has so many points in common with what is known of the pre-Aryan population of Europe—or at least, of North-Western Europe—that I have come to believe it more than probable that it was against the ancestors of these very Berbers that our Keltic forefathers fought for the possession of western Gaul, of Spain, and of the British Isles….

“Scattered all over Europe we find traces of this ancient woman-reverence—a cult which outside religious matters, in which prophetesses, sybils, and vestal virgins still held influence, was destined to be lost or greatly obscured until the rise of chivalry.

“Among the ancient Iberians, women were recognised as chieftainesses of the clans, and as heads of families.

“As late as in the eighteenth century women inherited property among the Basques, to the exclusion of males.

“The epitaphs of the Etruscans name only the mother of the dead—a significant tribute to the social standing of women.

“I believe that I am right in saying that the Georgians — non-European inhabitants of the Southern Caucasus from time immemorial — admitted women until comparatively recently to their councils, and in time of war left the administration of the villages in the hands of female authorities.

“Now, in the Berber world, woman holds a singularly high, if not the very highest, place. Her position is the more marked by contrast with that of her Arab sister, who, as is the case throughout the Mohammedan world, is, at best, the most useful animal known to man. I have on more than one occasion visited Berber villages, particularly on the border-land that separates the Djebala territory from the Gharb, in the north of Morocco, and have been received and entertained, in the absence of the sheikh, or kaid, by his mother, who appears to be invested with full authority and responsibility for the village and people of her son….

“In a purely Arab village the place of the absent chief would have been filled by a council of old men.

“The very title of a married woman amongst the Berbers is significant. In the Shilhah dialect the word is tamghart — the feminine form of amghar, which means sheikh, or headman. (Tamdort, the Djebala term for woman in general, is obviously the same word.)

“Incidentally one may add the significant fact that amongst the Tripolitan Berbers all manner of mystic and occult powers are ascribed to women, and that in many villages they are the keepers of the unwritten tribal traditional histories….

“It was the physical aspect of an individual Berber, as he trotted at the tail of a pack-mule through the great argan forest north of Agadir, that seemed to reveal to me in one momentary flash more of the history and qualities of the Berber race than any reading and research could teach me. I had known that ‘the Berbers are the ethinic substratum of the greater part of Northern Africa.’ But the knowledge was no more than just that dry, instructive phrase, until I looked into that strange, wild visage, with its light-hued, glittering eyes; and felt with a sudden shock that I was face to face with a type of perhaps the oldest of the races of mankind.

“He had been trotting before me, tirelessly, with bent knees, and long arms hanging, apelike. I had idly noticed his squat, yet smallboned frame, his slightly humped shoulders sparsely tufted with rusty brownish fell; his lobeless ears, faun-like and pointed beneath the shock of thick, coarse hair and the pale, dark hue of his skin. Then, unexpectedly, he looked back across his shoulder; his eyes met mine; and it seemed to me that, with a faintly uneasy qualm, I read at a glimpse the vast, forgotten history of his race. As those smallish eyes, of a chilling paleness, stared from above broad cheek bones into mine, my memory flew back at once to the misty western coast of Ireland. For there, where the last fragments of a race immeasurably old, pre-Celtic, pre-Aryan, still linger in the barren corner of a land once theirs from coast to coast (with many a richer land beside), I have stared uneasily into just such glittering inhuman eyes—eyes set in just such high-cheeked, narrow-chinned faces, peering through just such a tangle of coarse black hair. And I knew my man at once for the bloodbrother of those forgotten folk of whom Europe has lost almost all trace….”

previously: b*d*ss dorobo dudes

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folkways

how long can they** be an influence? ca. 200+ years. ca. 2000+ years?

there are three broad regions in libya: cyrenaica to the east, tripolitania to the west, and fezzan to the southwest.

these were provinces in the ottoman empire, and cyrenaica and tripolitania were parts of the umayyad caliphate before that. they were only joined up into a nation called libya in 1951.

by a guy who was from cyrenaica:

But [King] Idris himself was first and foremost a Cyrenaican, never at ease in Tripolitania. His political interests were essentially Cyrenaican, and he understood that whatever real power he had—and it was more considerable than what he derived from the constitution—lay in the loyalty he commanded as amir of Cyrenaica and head of the Sanussi order. Idris’ pro-Western sympathies and identification with the conservative Arab bloc were especially resented by an increasingly politicized urban elite that favored nonalignment.”

and then he was ousted by a guy from tripolitania.

and now he’s being ousted by — well, a LOT of people in libya — but the uprisings seem to have started (and it’s my impression have been strongest) in benghazi, which is back in cyrenaica.

so, while there’s all these gosh-derned tribes in libya, there also seems to be a broad east-west divide (plus fezzan which is mostly tuareg and other partially sub-saharan african folks).

cyrenaica was, very early on, settled by greeks:

tripolitania, on the other hand, by phoenicians:

now berbers and arabs are obviously very important if one tries to work out the “folkways” of libya. but my question is, could the greeks and phoenicians still be having an influence after all these years?

**of course, folkways are not just airy-fairy mores floating on the wind. they originate with folks and their various biologies.

update 02/27: according to this site

“Arabs, whether descending from Phoenicians or medieval tribes, constitute a minority in Libyan population. They mainly reside in Northeastern Libya, where Awlad Ali, the largest Arab tribe in Libya, lives.

“Some other major Arab tribes in Libya are Fawatir, Beni Selim, and Beni Hilal….”

so, there’s (possibly) an east|arab vs. west|berber divide in libya.

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more on all those tribes

see, it’s not just me! from reuters:

Libya’s tribal politics key to Gaddafi’s fate
February 22, 2011

By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent

“LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Powerful military elites ultimately decided the outcome of Egypt and Tunisia’s revolutions, but in Libya it is the much more opaque and complex tribal power structures that could decide how events play out….

“More important are the larger tribes who had been co-opted into his rule such as the Warfalla, who make up an estimated 1 million of Libyan’s more than 6 million population. Some rumours suggest the ferocity of Gaddafi’s crackdown on his own people may already be prompting tribal leaders to switch allegiance.

“This week leading members of the Warfalla issued statements rejecting Gaddafi and urging him to leave Libya.

“‘In Libya, it will be the tribal system that will hold the balance of power rather than the military,’ said Alia Brahimi, head of the North Africa programme at the London School of Economics….

“‘[P]ower is largely vested in a series of paramilitary formations, bolstered by groups of foreign African mercenaries, that have largely remained loyal to the Gaddafi family,’ he [Noman Benotman] wrote in a paper for Britain’s Quilliam thinktank….

“The presence of African mercenaries was the result of years of relationship building by Gaddafi in Africa, he said….

“Parts of the military had long appeared reluctant to use excessive force against their own people, she [Alia Brahimi] said. Popular rumour held that Gaddafi was forced to rely on Serbian mercenary pilots to bomb civilian areas during offensives against Islamist militancy in the 1990s….”

oops! there’s those serbians again. they’d BETTER get out of the country!

“Some say Gaddafi’s tribal strategy has effectively amounted to a system of divide and rule, buying off particularly established tribal leaders from key groups. In recent years, they say, control has been faltering and recent events may accelerate this.

“‘Gaddafi made sure to keep the people aware of their tribal divisions, winning the alliance of larger ones and hence keeping the population under control,’ wrote Jerusalem-based journalist Lisa Goldman after a Skype conversation with a Libyan contact she said was well placed to talk on some military matters.

“”Although the larger ones like the Warfallis and the Megrahees were privileged with power and money, his recent actions angered these tribes and for the first time in decades tribal barriers have withered away. People are uniting with other formerly rival tribes or even different ethnicities like the Amazeegh or Berbers.’

“If Gaddafi can persuade other tribes to stay loyal to him, most experts believe he will probably try to arm them directly, raising the risks of ethnic conflict that could tear the country apart, send refugees pouring into its neighbours and jeopardise oil supplies….

“‘We could see something more along the lines of Lebanon’s civil war — a prolonged period of violence and bloodshed.'”

rivers of blood.”

and this is from the arab paper, asharq al-awsat — and if anybody should know about the importance of tribes, it’s the arabs!:

Libyan Tribal Map: Network of loyalties that will determine Gaddafi’s fate
22/02/2011
By Abdulsattar Hatitah

“Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Libyan tribes played an important role in the country’s fight against Ottoman, and later Italian, colonialism, with many Libyan tribal members sacrificing their lives in this war. It is believed that there are currently around 140 different tribes and clans in Libya, many of which have influences and members outside of the country, from Tunisia to Egypt to Chad. However Dr. Faraj Abdulaziz Najam, a Libyan specialist in Social Sciences and History, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Libyan tribes and clans that have genuine and demonstrable influence on the country number no more than 30 [tribes and family clans].

“In a country that has lived under the brutal dictatorship of one man for more than forty years, namely Colonel Muammar Gaddafi –of the Gaddafi tribe – the majority of Libyans depend on their tribal connection in order to obtain their rights, and for protection, and even in order to find a job, particularly in the state apparatus. In a study conducted by Dr. Amal al-Obeidi at the University of Garyounis in Benghazi, it was revealed that the two largest and most influential Arab tribes in Libya originated from the Arab Peninsula, and these are the Beni Salim tribe that settled in Cyrenaica, the eastern coastal region of Libya, and the Beni Hilal that settled in western Libya around Tripoli. However other Libyan researchers and expert also revealed that around 15 percent of the Libyan population have no tribal affiliation whatsoever, being descendents of the Berber, Turkish, and other communities.

“The degree of political allegiance to the ruling regime in Tripoli varies from one tribe to the next, particularly over the forty years that Gaddafi has been in power. The tribe which has the strongest, and longest, ties to the Gaddafi region is the Magariha tribe, who which has yet to announce their position on the bloody demonstrations that have been taking place across the country for the past week. Former Libyan Prime Minister Abdessalam Jalloud, widely regarded as Gaddafi’s right-hand man for much of his reign, is a member of the Magariha tribe. Gaddafi’s own tribe, the Gaddafi tribe, had historically not been an important tribe in Libya prior to Colonel Gaddafi’s ascent to power, and the Gaddafi tribe was not known for playing a major role in Libya’s right against colonialism over the last 200 years….”

there’s a lot more dizzying detail on the libyan tribes in that article if you’re interested. LOTS more detail. but i’ll spare you those details.

ok. just a little bit more, maybe:

“Experts say that the Magariha tribe is in the best position to carry out a coup against the Libyan leader, as many members of this tribe are in sensitive and senior positions of the Libyan government and security services. Whilst the Zawiya tribe is also in a strong position, and has threatened to stop the flow of oil into western Libya unless the authorities stop their deadly crackdown against the Libyan protestors.

“Tribal influence in Libya is extremely important, particularly since the 1970s, with tribal affiliation being important with regards to obtaining employment in Libya’s General People’s Committees, as well as in the country’s security apparatus.

“The largest and most influential tribe in eastern Libya is the Misurata tribe, which takes its name from the Misurata district in northwestern Libya. The tribe has particularly strong influence in the cities of Benghazi and Darneh.”

benghazi is where the recent protests in libya started.

and, finally, from france24:

Tribes’ support ‘legitimises’ uprising

“In Libya, several tribal chiefs have lent support to the anti-government movement. France24.com spoke to Hasni Abidi, director of the Study and Research Centre for the Arab and Mediterranean World in Geneva, about the role of tribes in the events….

“FRANCE 24: What role to tribal chiefs play in Libya?”

“Hasni Abidi: There are several dozen tribes, subdivided into little sub-tribes, which exist all over Libya and are very active. Libya is one of the most tribal nations of the Arab world. And historically, the tribes played a very important role: they were, notably, the motor behind the struggle against Italian colonisation.

“Officially, according to the Green Book [the text written by Gaddafi in 1975 that sets out his political philosophy], tribal chiefs have no political influence. On the other hand, they are essential in maintaining the social cohesiveness and stability of the country.

“F24: What relationship do tribal chiefs have with Muammar Gaddafi?

“Hasni Abidi: After his coup d’état against King Idris in 1969, Gaddafi wanted to reshape Libya into a nation-state modelled on the Western example. That effort entailed a full-blown attack on tribal chiefs. He took away all their political power, but did not succeed in stripping them of their strength and influence.

“We see the result today: Gaddafi is reaping what he sowed forty years ago.

“F24: Do the tribal chiefs have any influence in the current revolt in Libya? If so, what is it?

“Hasni Abidi: The uprisings in Libya are popular, not tribal. But just like the army, tribal chiefs can have a crucial impact in this movement, even to the point of toppling the regime. They legitimise the anti-government movement and if they join it, they can considerably expand the movement’s reach. The tribal chiefs represent a sort of moral and social support, and a refuge, given the total absence of Libyan political institutions. The main Libyan tribe, Warfallah, counts nearly one million people and was the first tribe to support the current anti-government movement. It’s a very bad sign for Gaddafi’s regime. And the regime knows that.”

if you haven’t had enough of libyan’s tribes by now, here’s more: Libya – Tribes

update: you know it’s not good when your own family doesn’t support you anymore —

Clampdown in Libyan capital as protests close in

“Two air force pilots jumped from parachutes from their Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jet and let it crash, rather than carry out orders to bomb opposition-held Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, the website Quryna reported, citing an unidentified officer in the air force control room.

“One of the pilots — identified by the report as Ali Omar Gadhafi — was from Gadhafi’s tribe, the Gadhadhfa, said Farag al-Maghrabi, a local resident who saw the pilots and the wreckage of the jet, which crashed in a deserted area outside the key oil port of Breqa….”

another update: see also Qaddafi survival means weak army, co-opted tribes

previously: serbians being evacuated from libya!, libya – land o’ tribes and cousin marriage conundrum addendum.

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