En discutant hier soir avec un réfugiés érythréen, et en parlant de sa sortie du pays pour aller au Soudan... il m’a dit :
"Au #Soudan, tout le monde nous appelle « #habasha ». Habasha sont les personnes d’Érythrée et d’Ethiopie. Si la police t’identifie comme un Habasha, il te demande de l’argent en te menaçant de te renvoyer en Erythrée si tu ne paies pas. Habasha sont les personnes qui ne parlent pas arabe. Tu as donc intérêt, dès que tu arrives au Soudan à apprendre l’arabe, si tu ne le sait pas".
Habesha peoples: Ge’ez: ሐበሻ /Habesha/ or /Abesha/ ((rarely Habeshat: Ge’ez: ሐበሻይት), or rarely used exonyms like “Abyssinian people,” "Aithiops: Greek: Αἰθίοψ," “Cushites: Hebrew: כאשיטאס, [not the be confused with the larger group — Cushitic Peoples — that includes but is not limited to Habeshas],” or "al-Ḥabaš (al-Habash): Mehri-Arabic: الهباش/al-Ḥabaši (al-Habashi): Mehri-Arabic: الحبشي ~ ‘incense gatherers’ ~”. Habesha (Ge’ez: ሐበሻ) ) is a common term used to refer to both Ethiopians and Eritreans as a whole . Certain definitions considered the Ethiosemitic-speaking and Agwa-speaking Cushitic peoples inhabiting the highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea as the core ethnic groups that historically constituted the pan-ethnic group Habesha peoples, while this notion is only partially accepted. They historically include a linguistically, culturally and ancestrally related ethnic groups, conservatively-speaking mostly from the Ethiopian Highlands Members’ cultural, linguistic, and in certain cases, ancestral origins trace back to the Kingdom of Dʿmt, the Kingdom of Aksum, among other kingdoms that preceded or made up the Ethiopian Empire in the Horn of Africa. Some Scholars have classified the Tigrayans and the Amhara as Abyssinians proper under an ultra-neo-conservative theory postulated by a few scholars and political parties but not widely accepted by the general public or by most indigenous scholars of the region.
Not black, but Habasha : Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants in American society
In this article, I examine the identity choices of Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants of Amhara, Tigrayan and Tigrinya ethnicity within the context of the larger debate on how non-white immigrants are being incorporated into American society. I argue that these immigrants resist racialization even while their actions and attitudes potentially reinforce America’s racial divide. They implicitly challenge American racial categories by thinking of themselves as Habasha, which they view as a separate non-black ethno-racial category that emphasizes their Semitic origins. Meanwhile, they often distance themselves from American blacks through pursuing transnational connections, producing Habasha spaces, displaying the attributes of a ‘model minority’ and preserving Habasha beauty through endogamy. By remaining relatively isolated within their ethnic communities in Washington, DC, which is the focus of this study, they may succeed in differentiating themselves from American blacks, but they are not likely to join the American mainstream on a par with whites.