After over 10 years of analyzing DNA samples from hundreds of people, the National Geographic Genographic Project (NGGP) surprisingly uncovered the fact that Egyptians are not Arabs as most of them believed.
The study presented graphs that show the global genetic makeup of nationals in each country. These help answer people’s questions about ethnicity, race, and the overall origins of the human population.
As the graph below shows, only 17 percent of Egyptians are Arabs, while 68 percent of the indigenous population is from North Africa, four percent are from Jewish ancestry, three percent are of East African origins, another three percent from Asia Minor and three percent are South European.
The Egyptian population presented by genetic origin
“This reference population is based on native Egyptians. As ancient populations migrated from Africa, they passed first through northeast Africa, then to southwest Asia. The Northern Africa and Arabian components in Egypt are representative of that ancient migratory route, as well as later migrations from the Fertile Crescent back into Africa; with the spread of agriculture over the past 10,000 years, and migrations in the seventh century, with the spread of Islam from the Arabian Peninsula,” the NGGP study said.
The East African component in the Egyptian genes reflects the localized movement up the navigable Nile River, according to the NGGP; while the Southern Europe and Asia Minor components reflect the geographic and historical role of Egypt as a key player in the economic and cultural growth of the Mediterranean region.
The DNA samples proved that Kuwaitis are mostly Arabs, as their genetic makeup is as follows: 84 percent of Kuwaitis are Arabs, seven percent are from Asia Minor, four percent are North African and three percent from East Africa.
The NGGP said that as ancient migrants passed through the Middle East when moving from Africa to Asia, some of them decided to stay, developing their genetic patterns that were passed down to other generations. While there is small percentage from North and East Africa, maybe due to the Arab slave trade which was common from the 8th to the19th century.
Meanwhile the Lebanese society is the most diverse among Arab countries, as 44 percent are of Arab origins, 14 percent are Jewish, 11 percent are from North African descent, 10 percent are from Asia Minor, five percent are South European and only two percent are East African.
The Tunisian population had the lowest percentage from Arab descent, as only 4 percent are Arabs, while 88 percent are North African, five percent are from Western Europe, and two percent from West and Central Africa.