Rashaida people


The children from a family of the Rashaida tribe in the Eritrean lowlands
Total population
(220,000 - 270,000)
Regions with significant populations

Saudi Arabia, Sudan:

Eritrea: 100,000 [1]
Hejazi Arabic
Sunni Islam

The Rashaida, Rashaayda or Bani Rashid (Arabic: بني رشيد, الرشايدة) are a tribe populating Eritrea and northeast Sudan.[2] In 1846, many Rashaida migrated from the Hejaz in present-day Saudi Arabia into what is now Eritrea and northeast Sudan after tribal warfare had broken out in their homeland. The Rashaida of Sudan and Eritrea live in close proximity with the Beja people. Large numbers of Bani Rasheed are also found on the Arabian Peninsula.

Map with the extent of the Rashaida people.

The Bani Rashid are related to the Banu Abs tribe.[3]

The Rashaida keep their traditional dress, culture, customs, camel breeds and practice of Sunni Islam.[4] The racing camel breeds of the Rashaida tribe are prized all over Sudan and the Arabian Peninsula and fetch very high prices.


Some Rashaida have been heavily involved in trafficking Eritreans to Israel. Since the 2012 fencing of the Israel-Egypt border some Rashaidan have been cooperating with some criminal Bedouin elements on the Sinai peninsula. The Bedouin hold the Eritreans hostage and demand ransom, this is known as refugee kidnappings in Sinai.[5]

See also


  1. Eritrean Census,
  2. Young, William C., "The Rashaayda Bedouin - Arab Pastoralists of Eastern Sudan", 1996.
  3. Rashaida People History, Niaz Murtaza The pillage of sustainability in Eritrea 1998, p.177
  4. Snap Shots, Al-Ahram Weekly, 29 December 2005 - 4 January 2006, Issue No. 775
  5. UNHCR Report , Refugees and the Rashaida: human smuggling and trafficking from Eritrea to Sudan and Egypt
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