Introduction / History The Shuwa Arabs are commonly referred to as the "Baggara." This name is derived from the Arabic word bagar, meaning "cow," and refers to the Arab tribes in West Africa who are cattle herders. They are spread from the Lake Chad region eastward to the Nile River in the countries of Sudan, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic. They live in a hot, semi-arid climate with zones ranging from sparse shrub lands to wooded grasslands.
The Baggara tribes are of Arab descent and mainly speak the Shuwa dialect of the Arabic language. They entered western Sudan between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and have gradually moved east and west from there. By the eighteenth century, they were concentrated primarily to the north and east of Lake Chad. Their tribes continued moving eastward until they became widely scattered across the horizontal plains of West Africa. They have intermarried with the tribes who lived close to them. This mixture of blood has given the Baggara darker skin and thicker lips than other Arabs.
In recent decades, war has been a constant plague in the central African lands where the Shuwa Arabs live. Many have had to flee to safer lands like Canada where a small number of them are adjusting to an entirely different life.
Where are they located? Shuwa Arabs in Canada live in Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary, and other urban centers.
What are their lives like? Many Sudanese Arabs in Canada are unemployed due to a lack of language or job skills. Pray for them to get the training they need to thrive in Canada.
What are their beliefs? The Baggara have been Muslims since the thirteenth century. They wear the clothes prescribed by the Muslim religion, and bury their dead facing Mecca, the "holy city" of Islam. The Baggara strongly believe in evil spirits. Each morning, a man sneezes in order to rid his nostrils of the evil spirit who slept there the night before.
What are their needs? The Shuwa Arabs in Canada need people to help them with language and work skills so they can adjust to their new urban environment.
Prayer Points * Pray for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done among the Shuwa Arabs in Canada.
* Pray for a movement of Shuwa Arab households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Shuwa Arabs to the arms of Jesus.
* Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Shuwa Arabs in Canada.