|ca. 2,158,400 |
|Regions with significant populations|
|Middle east, North Africa|
|State of Palestine||7,200|
|Domari, Persian, Arabic (also various dialects), Azeri, Kurdish, Turkish, Pushtu, Syriac, Hebrew, Armenian|
|Romani religion, Islam, Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Romani people, Lom people, Domba, other Indo-Aryans|
The Dom (also called "Doma" and "Domi"; Arabic: دومي / ALA-LC: Dūmī , دومري / Dūmrī ; Egyptian Arabic: هناجره Hanagra ) of the Middle East, North Africa, Caucasus, Central Asia and India are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group. Some authors[who?] relate them to the Domba people of India.
They have an oral tradition and express their culture and history through music, poetry and dance. Initially, it was considered that they are a branch of the Romani people, but recent studies of the Domari language suggest that they departed earlier from the Indian subcontinent, probably around the 6th century.[not in citation given]
The world-wide used name for Gypsies to identify themselves was the term “Rrom”, which in Romani language means a man. The words Rom, Dom and Lom were used to describe Romani people who split in the 6th century. Several tribes moved forward into Western Europe and were called Rom, while the ones who remained in Persia and Turkey were called Dom.
Among the various Domari subgroups, the Ghawazi are the most famous for their dancing and music. The Ghawazi dancers have been associated with the development of the Egyptian raqs sharqi style which ultimately gave rise to Western schools of belly dance.
The majority of the estimated population of 2.2 million live in Turkey, Egypt and Iran with significant numbers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Smaller populations are found in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Syria and other countries of the Middle East.
The actual population is unknown as some Dom are excluded from national censuses and others label themselves in national terms rather than as Dom. Nowadays, they speak the dominant languages of their larger societies, but Domari, their national language, continues to be spoken by more insular communities. Iranians and Afghans called them gurbati or kouli, both meaning "foreigners".
Another group of Dom origin in Iran are the Lori, who are found in the Baloch regions of southeast Iran. Doms also exist in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan in small numbers as well as the Chitral, Swat, Kohistan and Ladakh regions of Pakistan and India. In Gilgit, Dom are coupled with the Kameen and Mons, who are also musicians, blacksmith and do similar menial jobs.
There is a large concentration of Dom/Gypsies in Jordan. Researchers claim that, "they accommodate Arab racism by hiding their ethnic identity," as they would not be accepted into Arabian society once their true identity is revealed.
In popular culture
The Iranian singer Googoosh made a song "Koeli", where she mentions the Dom people, the gypsies of Iran.
- Thomas A. Acton; Donald Kenrick and Allen Williams (May 2005). "Dom Population Chart". DOM Research Centre – Middle East and North Africa Gypsy Studies. Dom Research Center. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- BOERGER, Brenda H.; Lewis, M. Paul (ed.) (2009–2012). "Domari A language of Iran". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics). Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Professor Yaron Matras (December 2012). "Domari". [romani] project. School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures The University of Manchester. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Ian Hancock (2007–2008). "ON ROMANI ORIGINS AND IDENTITY". RADOC. RADOC The Romani Archives and Documentation Center The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- http://lovari.hr/gypsy-history/[dead link][dead link]
- Donald Kenrick (2004). Gypsies: From the Ganges to the Thames. Univ of Hertfordshire Press. pp. 24–. ISBN 978-1-902806-23-5. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Gypsies and the problem of identities: contextual, constructed and contested, Volume 2003, Volume 17 of Transactions S, Volume 17 of Transactions (Svenska forskningsinstitutet i Istanbul), Gypsies and the Problem of Identities: Contextual, Constructed and Contested, by Adrian Marsh, Elin Strand, Svenska forskningsinstitutet i Istanbul, editors Adrian Marsh, Elin Strand, published by Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 2006, p. 207 
- Dom Research Center
- "The Gypsies of Jerusalem: the Forgotten People" By Amoun Sleem
- Domari The society of Gypsies in Jerusalem
- "The Gypsy People of Israel, Gaza & the West Bank" by Valery Novoselsky
- "Evolving, educating: Israel's Gypsy community" by Roi Mandel
- "The Dom People and their Children in Lebanon" by Terre des Hommes