Smokers’ corner: Sindh’s African roots – Newspaper


Illustration by Abro

On August 13, during the Sindh Assembly’s inauguration session in Karachi, Tanzeela Qambrani — who is associated with the left-liberal PPP — became the first-ever Sindhi Sheedi woman to become a lawmaker in a Pakistani legislature. Sheedis belong to a community that has its ancestry entrenched in Africa.

According to a 2003 feature by S. Jayasuriya and R. Pankhurst in Africa World Press, the word Sheedi is derived from the Arabic word ‘sahibi’ which was used by the ancient Arabs for ‘respectable men’ of North Africa. Other etymologies trace it to the word ‘Syedi’. Yatin Pandya and Trupti Rawal in their book Imprints of a Millennium write that the Sheedis first arrived in South Asia with the armies of Arab commander Muhammad Bin Qasim in 712…

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