Saharan Arab in Mali

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

While there are several characteristics that determine whether or not a person is a true Arab. One trait is always evident: a proud sense of being an Arab. Their physical, geographical and religious aspects all vary greatly; however, the ability to speak Arabic (or an Arabic dialect) and identification with the Arabian cultural heritage are, perhaps, the two most essential elements. In the modern Arab world, traditional values have been altered for most Arab groups. This can be attributed to the pressure to urbanize, industrialize and de-tribalize. However, many of the Saharan Arabs still live as desert shepherds no matter where they live. The Arabs migrated hundreds of years ago from the Middle East into North Africa, and from there many of them live in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa like Mali and Senegal.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Saharan Arabs of Mali are mostly nomads. They are livestock herders who live in tents. They move their herds to the desert during the rainy season and move out of the desert during the summer. Food consists of yogurt, made from camel and goat milk. Bread and dates are their regular food. Clothes tend to be light weight and loose fitting. Men and women live in different parts of the tent. In recent years political unrest has become a problem. Some Saharan Arabs have joined the movement of Azwad, a separatist group that seeks to create an independent state for Mali's Saharan Arabs. The Azwad movement has at times taken control of towns in Mali, only to be driven out by French peace keeping troops.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Saharan Arabs in Mali are Muslims. They worship Allah and their beliefs are based on the Koran. Most Muslims believe Jesus is a prophet and not the Son of God who died for their sins. Those who live in the Saharan Desert are likely to seek protection from spirits that they cannot control. Few of them believe that Allah, the god of Islam, will intervene on their behalf.

What Are Their Needs?

There is a need for people to reach out to this people group with the message of salvation.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Saharan in Mali.

Pray for God to send abundant rain to the Saharan Desert as a testimony to the Arabs of his goodness and sovereignty. Ask God to open the hearts of the Saharan Arabs to the message of salvation. Pray for faithful workers to take the message of salvation to the Saharan Arabs. Pray for the formation of Bible believing churches among the Saharan Arabs of Senegal.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Arab, Saharan
People Name in Country Arab, Saharan
Natural Name Saharan Arab
Population this Country 51,000
Population all Countries 97,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Saharan Arab
People ID 14638
ROP3 Code 108511
Country Mali
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 24  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Widespread.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Mali
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 24  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Widespread..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Hassaniyya (51,000 speakers)
Language Code mey   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Hassaniyya (51,000 speakers)
Language Code mey   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Hassaniyya

Primary Language:  Hassaniyya

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2002-2005)
Bible-New Testament Yes
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Audio New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hassaniyya
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
General Gospel resources links
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Photo Source UN MIssion to Mali - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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