Africans in Palestine self-identify deeply with both their original African ancestry and the Palestinian nationality. A minority of African Palestinians which number around 400-500 reside in the Muslim quarter located in the city of Jerusalem. There are also thousands of Palestinians of African descent in cities all over historic Palestine: Gaza, Akka, Tulkarm, Jenin and most notably Jericho.
People of African ancestry were present in Jerusalem dating back to as far as the 7th century. Africans migrated to the city of Jerusalem when the second caliph Umar Ibn Al Khattab conquered the city of Jerusalem. Traveling from Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, and Senegal with the goal of entering the holy city of Jerusalem after performing the Muslim pilgrimage Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.[dubious ]
The Holy Guards of the Mosque
This neighborhood has been around since the 13th century and is marked by the Mamluk time architecture. African slaves were the protectors of Al Aqsa mosque. During the end of the Ottoman rule Of Palestine, the present day compounds were made into a prison compound for those who rebelled against the Ottoman power.
After Ottoman rule the buildings known as al-Ribat al-Mansouri and Ribat Aladdin al-Bassir became a part of the religious trust waqf. Proving their loyalty as protectors of al-Aqsa mosque, Palestinian leader Sheikh Amin al-Husseini rented out these compounds to the Africans.
The Muslim African migrants who traveled to Jerusalem prior to 1947 found themselves in one of the most troubled areas in the region. With no diplomatic ties, many of these migrants had no other choice but to stay, leaving their families behind. Some chose to stay and fight alongside Palestinians. Falling in love with the city of Jerusalem and its deep ties to Islam they married Palestinians and continued to identify as Palestinians.[dubious ] The African Palestinians who now live in the two compounds near al-Aqsa mosque, have called them home since 1930.
This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Baker, Joharah. "The African-Palestinians: Muslim Pilgrims Who Never Went Home." Alaraby. N.p., 26 Dec. 2014. Web. <https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/features/2014/12/26/the-african-palestinians-muslim-pilgrims-who-never-went-home>.
- Baker, Joharah. "The African-Palestinians: Muslim Pilgrims Who Never Went Home." Alaraby. N.p., 26 Dec. 2014. Web.
- Love, David. "In Jerusalem, Afro-Palestinians Are the Hardest Hit in the Israeli Occupation - Atlanta Black Star." Atlanta Black Star. N.p., 29 Mar. 2016. Web. <http://atlantablackstar.com/2016/03/29/in-jerusalem-afro-palestinians-are-the-hardest-hit-in-the-israeli-occupation/>.