Definition of Beja in US English:



  • 1A member of a nomadic people living between the Nile and the Red Sea.

    • ‘Eastern Sudan has been the homeland of the Beja since the days of the pharaohs 4,000 years ago.’
    • ‘Lesch herself realizes this fact as she says: ‘Fur and Beja [who are non-Arabs] see themselves both as African culturally and as devout Muslims.’’
    • ‘Their crown of fuzzy hair (tiffa) has characterized the Beja for centuries.’
    • ‘One Beja said, "When Badadil first came to us, we did not trust him because we thought he was a missionary… Later, when he spoke our language, dressed like us and acted like us, we knew that we could trust him whether he was a missionary or not."’
  • 2The Cushitic language of the Beja.

    • ‘He knows all the hills and valleys by name, and can speak Beja better than a native.’
    • ‘In the north, the greatest contrast was between Khartoum province, which was 96 percent Arabic speaking and Kassala, where 36 percent spoke Arabic as their indigenous language, 50 percent spoke Beja, and 11 percent spoke West African languages.’
    • ‘Other linguistic minorities include a few thousand Berber speakers in Siwa oasis, the easternmost outpost of Berber speech, and the small population of Beja (Ababda and Bisharin) in the eastern desert east of Aswan.’


  • Relating to the Beja or their language.

    • ‘He has worked closely with the Beja opposition for the last ten years.’
    • ‘Many Southerners, Beja, and Nuba leaders joined the Mahdiya and led armies as influential emirs.’
    • ‘The Beja Congress, which has functioned as a social movement for the Beja people since the 1950s and whose members are drawn from Beja clans native to the Sudan-Eritrea border region, is a third armed force with bases in western Eritrea that has been militarily active there.’
    • ‘A Beja tribesman, wearing a traditional belt and knife, stands outside the farm where he works in the eastern Sudan area of Oker, on November 15 after returning from a displaced persons camp near Port Sudan.’
    • ‘Simultaneously, if oil or natural gas is discovered in the Beja land, they have to be the main beneficiaries of such minerals.’
    • ‘Fighting broke out in the eastern part of the country between Sudanese government forces and members of the Beja people.’