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Black Palestinians shrug off racism

Racist taunts toward Gaza’s African minority are not uncommon, despite centurieslong African migration to Palestine.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — “Hey, chocolate,” “Hey, cappuccino,” “Hey, Galaxy [brand of chocolate],” “Hey, brown one” and “Hey, black one,” are jocular expressions used by some in Gaza when a man, woman or child of African descent passes by. Sometimes the racism is expressed nonverbally through looks. Gazans, however, seem unaware of this racism.

Al-Monitor met with political activist Samah al-Rawagh, 33, at her home and asked her whether she experienced any discrimination due to her skin color. She made light of the matter. Yet, when her father Ahmad al-Rawagh, 80, recounted incidents he had experienced involving racism, Samah was shocked. “That’s the first time I’ve heard such stories from you,” she said.

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