Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Genocide (By Default)

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Photo credit
Caption: "Gonga Petro perches on a rock in the Yaeda Valley, where the Hadzabe still hunt with hand-hewn arrows."
The left is forever pointing out the evils of Western colonialism but, for the most part, is silent about the Arab extermination of African tribes.

Excerpt from this article, which appeared in the June 10, 2007 edition of the Washington Post:
YAEDA VALLEY, Tanzania -- One of the last remaining tribes of hunter-gatherers on the planet is on the verge of vanishing into the modern world.

The transition has been long underway, but members of the dwindling Hadzabe tribe, who now number fewer than 1,500, say it is being unduly hastened by a United Arab Emirates royal family, which plans to use the tribal hunting land as a personal safari playground.

The deal between the Tanzanian government and Tanzania UAE Safaris Ltd. leases nearly 2,500 square miles of this sprawling, yellow-green valley near the storied Serengeti Plain to members of the royal family, who chose it after a helicopter tour.

A Tanzanian official said that a nearby hunting area the family shared with relatives had become "too crowded" and that a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family "indicated that it was inconvenient" and requested his own parcel.

The official, Philip Marmo, called the Hadzabe "backwards" and said they would benefit from the school, roads and other projects the UAE company has offered as compensation.

But dozens of Hadzabe interviewed deep in the scruffy hills surrounding this valley said that while they are ready to modernize, slowly, they were not consulted on the deal, which is a direct threat to their way of life because it involves hunting.

While they have through 50,000 years survived the coming of agriculture, metal, guns, diseases, missionaries, poachers, anthropologists, students, gawking journalists, corrugated steel houses and encroaching pastoral tribes who often impersonate them for tourist money, the resilient Hadzabe, who still make fire with sticks, fear that the safari deal will be their undoing.


The Hadzabe are believed to be the second-oldest people on Earth, and they still hunt and gather as a way of life...


Government efforts over 40 years to forcibly integrate the Hadzabe into modern society have mostly failed. Instead, the Hadzabe seem to have preferred changing at their own pace, adopting bits of modern life over centuries.

A program to move families into a village of metal houses ended with Hadzabe fleeing to the bush after only a few days. "When it rains, those houses make a lot of noise," said Sarah Makungu, who tried them. "In fact, to be honest, we don't want to live in iron corrugated huts, but we would keep our plates and such in there."

The introduction of standard time has also come slowly. "What is the need for time?" Kaunda asked. "You wake up, you get honey. What do you need time for?"

Though some Hadzabe children attend primary and secondary boarding school in the valley, programs to build new schools and provide medical care and water have mostly benefited neighboring tribes and have lured more people to the overpopulated valley.

Missions to spread Christianity have also failed. "We just go to church as if we are pictures," one man said. "Our hearts and minds are not there."

Though the Hadzabe have managed to survive for millennia, Gonga and others said the UAE deal is particularly worrisome because it comes on top of the other pressures they are facing and because the newcomers will be hunting with the support of a government that seems hostile to the tribe's complaints.

"If we had been involved from the beginning, the issue could have been resolved mutually," Gonga said. "We need development, but when things are done this way, it gives us the feeling we are being cheated or used for other people's benefit."

He wondered why this tribe, the Arabs, did not seek his opinions....
Read the entire article.

What Gonga doesn't understand is that Arabs (i.e., Muslims) don't seek the opinions of others. After all, Muslims view themselves as Allah's chosen people and thus entitled to squash all others in their way or, as in this case, elected to take their pleasures wherever they find them.

Gonga and the Hadzabe are learning a very hard lesson, one which they won't be able to tell to their grandchildren if the UAE and Tanzania continue on the same path.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 6/11/2007 08:38:00 AM