11 June, 2007

Abu Dhabi royals and Tanzanian tribe

SamuraiSam recently posted on this here at UAE community blog. Sunday's Washington Post also covered the story on page A01:
50,000 Years of Resilience May Not Save Tribe
Tanzania Safari Deal Lets Arab Royalty Use Lands

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.
Although the Hadzabe characteristically avoid confrontation by fleeing into the bush, a group of men recently greeted a passing convoy of Land Cruisers with bows drawn. "I don't even know what an Arab looks like," said Kaunda, who was among them. "Maybe he's black. Maybe he's another color. I don't know. But we are ready to die."
Even if the tribe came up with a solution, it remains unclear whether the Tanzanian government or the UAE company would be willing to compromise. Marmo said the Hadzabe -- who until recently had no use for money, organized religion or standard time -- are "the one backwards group in the country."
Messages left with the UAE Embassy in Washington and a company representative were not returned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how unfortunate!!! and we want to "civilize" them... our kind of civilization that is fueled by caffiene... no thanks, i'll pass!

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here