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Thread: How are some Arab people White?

  1. #1
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    How are some Arab people White?

    I just tried to get an answer for this via Google, but the only results I got were articles relating to racial identity or racism among Arabs. My presumption is that the reason why some Arabs are White is due to the fact that White people were captured as slaves from the maritime regions of Europe. Some may have came via the expansion of the Roman empire into Britain. The Vikings certainly traded slaves from the British Isles to the Arabs and more recently there were the raids done on the British Isles by Barbary pirate from North Africa.

    Nevertheless, is slave ancestry the only explaination? I've noticed that Whiteness is more common in certain parts of the Arab world than it is in other parts. e.g. the Levant or among the Berber tribe.

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    No offense, but this is not really a well-posed question. You'd have to tell us what "white" means first. Your question doesn't really make sense.

    And Arab is an ethnolinguistic term that applies to very genetically distinct groups of people, so you need to be more specific about who you're talking about. If you're curious why West Eurasians living in temperate areas are lighter than West Eurasians living in extremely UV-rich areas, shouldn't that be pretty obvious?
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    Slave ancestry is not the explanation for the phenomenon you are describing, period. There is very little to no Western European ancestry present in Levantine populations. There is a possibility that there was Greek ancestry which found its way there but that’s it.

    Also what does the word “white” even mean? Based on your thread you seem to be talking of phenotype. The perception of who looks white and who doesn’t varies massively with people in the Americas and Asia and Africa having a far lower bar for what counts than actual Europeans.

    From the genetic perspective, there are no Levantines or North Africans that plot with any Europeans. They are unambiguously and demonstrably not "white". Even the north Caucasians like Chechens, Circassians, and Dagestanis who are erroneously considered white or European by some people are not in any meaningful way. They don't cluster anywhere near Europeans and even their culture has far more in common with that of Iran and Turkey.

    Europeans are a people who are predominantly ANF, WHG, and steppe in varying proportions with some other minor admixtures in certain areas(Baltic/EHG admixture in the east, CHG in the Balkans). All Levantines and North Africans have substantial Levant_N and Iran_N, all North Africans have Iberomaurisian and SSA.
    Last edited by Cynic; 07-06-2021 at 08:12 PM.

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    "White" is synonymous with Northwestern European; by extension, a white person is one whose ancestry consists solely of EEF, WHG, ANE, and CHG. Some traits can simply be selected within a population, and this without an outside influence. This Syrian girl scores 93% MENA on 23andMe, and her results do not differ from the average Syrian with dark skin, eyes, and hair.

    https://www.facebook.com/AncestryDNA...9925304384446/
    Last edited by Ajeje Brazorf; 07-06-2021 at 04:31 PM.
    [1] "distance%=2.9299"

    Ajeje Brazorf

    EEF,51.4
    BALTIC_BA,12.6
    GANJ_DAREH,10.8
    CHG,10.4
    MIDDLE_EAST,10
    ANE,2.4
    TAFORALT,1.8
    WHG,0.6

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    Skin pigmentation is determined by a large number of genes regulating melanin production and turnover. There are lots of steps in the pathway subject to variability depending on inherited alleles. Seeking “reasons” based on environmental influences and selection alone fails miserably, though selection is important. Just as important are random events, bottlenecks, and, possibly, social factors.

    I am wondering why one would wonder about skin pigmentation variability in Arabs when the same is true in so many areas, including North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

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    "White" is a very subjective term, and only exists in its current meaning since the 19th century or later. West Eurasian populations generally cluster together on a global scale. There is a "European sub cluster" but where the line gets off is subjective. Transition zones are also present in these clusters, which used to be stronger before the Slavic expansion into southern regions of Europe in the historical period among other migrations.

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    Skin pigmentation is a complex trait, so many SNPs make a difference. There are a few large-effect variants that we know about that are relevant for West Eurasians. These are rs1426654 and rs16891982, found on the genes SLC24A5 and SLC45A2, respectively. The former variant has the largest effect, explaining 25-38% of the skin color variation between Europeans and West Africans (see here for more). The derived allele exists at fixation or near-fixation in most West Eurasians. Even in West Eurasian groups at the margins (like Arabians, North Africans, Ural-Volga folks, and NW South Asians), the ancestral allele is vastly outnumbered by the derived allele on the frequency charts I posted below. Keep in mind most of the groups that are not at derived-fixation live at contact zones and therefore have some degree of admixture from groups characterized by the ancestral allele (i.e., East Asians, Tropical Africans, AASI). Account for that exotic admixture and you can imagine the ancestral version's representation in these peripheral groups would probably be even lower than it already is.

    So if most West Eurasians are fixed/nearly-fixed on that SNP, why are Europeans on average lighter than West Asians/North Africans? Well, the SNP on SLC45 is where you see the big differences. Compare the allele frequencies of Northern Europeans and Arabians at this SNP and the difference is night and day. Still, most West Eurasians fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. Look at how the Cypriots and Turks score here, then the Adygei, Levantines, Mesopotamians, and Iranians, then the North Africans. Clearly there's a cline here, so if you want to this SNP to be the litmus test for whiteness, you're not going to have an easy time deciding where to draw the line. Southern Europeans will blend right into Cypriots who will blend right into mainland West Asians, etc.

    Allele frequency charts for the two SNPs mentioned above:

    Europeans
     


    Asians
     


    Africans
     
    Last edited by Michalis Moriopoulos; 07-07-2021 at 12:45 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michalis Moriopoulos View Post
    You'd have to tell us what "white" means first. Your question doesn't really make sense.
    Depigmentated skin or skin with very little melanin. Have a look at the indigenuous people of Europe - particularly the northern parts - then you will know what a white person look like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michalis Moriopoulos View Post
    And Arab is an ethnolinguistic term that applies to very genetically distinct groups of people, so you need to be more specific about who you're talking about. If you're curious why West Eurasians living in temperate areas are lighter than West Eurasians living in extremely UV-rich areas, shouldn't that be pretty obvious?
    I am actually referring to the people of North Africa and the Middle East. I've seen people in these places who resemble Europeans. i.e. people with light coloured hair, sometimes red, along with blue eys and of course the depigmentated skin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RP48 View Post
    Skin pigmentation is determined by a large number of genes regulating melanin production and turnover. There are lots of steps in the pathway subject to variability depending on inherited alleles. Seeking “reasons” based on environmental influences and selection alone fails miserably, though selection is important. Just as important are random events, bottlenecks, and, possibly, social factors.

    I am wondering why one would wonder about skin pigmentation variability in Arabs when the same is true in so many areas, including North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
    When I said 'Arab' I was specifically referring to the peoples of N. Africa and the Middle East. Yes, I've noticed that some Indians and Pakistanis are white and IMO that is probably due to the migrations of Yamnaya into that region about 3 to 4 thousand years ago. R1a occurs among many Indian and Pakistani males.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulin View Post
    "White" is a very subjective term, and only exists in its current meaning since the 19th century or later. West Eurasian populations generally cluster together on a global scale. There is a "European sub cluster" but where the line gets off is subjective. Transition zones are also present in these clusters, which used to be stronger before the Slavic expansion into southern regions of Europe in the historical period among other migrations.
    OK then - for the sake of arguement - lets abandon the term 'white' and substitute it with the term 'light skinned caucasian'.

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