Wednesday, November 28, 2007

249)The Genographic Project of the National Geographic Society: How I discovered my ancestry from 10-15 thousand years ago.

The National Geographic Society's worldwide Genographic Project asks the following questions:

"Where do you really come from? And how did you get to where you live today? DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who-about 60,000 years ago-began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you, as written in your genes" :

I joined this study in 2004 and discovered my remote heritage. Genetic analysis of the Y-chromosome extracted from the DNA inside my inner cheek cells reveals that I belong to the H1a Haplogroup of the M17 Genetic Marker; furthermore, 35% of all the people who live in Gujarat State in northwestern India(millions of people) have the same genetic marker as me. Another 10% are descended from a completely different genetic group, the Dravidians of South India. Most of the remainder of people in Gujarat are a mixture of these two and other groups. On the basis of this information and the information I received from the project head, this is how I constructed the Heritage section on my Facebook profile:

"Based on a genetic analysis done in 2004 of the Y-chromosome extracted from my cheek cell DNA, which shows that I belong to the R1a haplogroup of the M17 genetic marker, my remote ancestor was a man of European origin born on the grassy steppes in the region of present-day Ukraine or Southern Russia 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. This man's descendants(known also as the Kurgan people) became the nomadic steppe dwellers who eventually spread as far afield as India and Iceland. I am descended from the Indo-European branch of this clan, which is thought to be responsible for, among other things, the domestication of the horse and the development of the Proto-Indo-European language, leading eventually to the development of English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, other Romance languages as well as Sanskrit-based languages like Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati and Urdu. Many of the Indo-European languages share similar words for animals, plants, tools and weapons. My more recent ancestors were originally Hindus living in Chotila, Gujarat, India. They were converted to Shia Ismaili Islam by Persian Sufi Mystics(Pirs) around the 14th century CE. My great-grandfather and his 3 brothers travelled by ship and train from India to Pretoria, South Africa around 1894. Thus, having originally left Africa 60,000 years ago during the big migration, my ancestors had once again returned to Africa. I emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada from Pretoria, South Africa in 1973. My wife has a similar heritage to me but she was born in Mbale, Uganda and lived in Kampala, Uganda. Both our children(son 23yrs, daughter 14yrs) were born in Canada. I am very proud of my heritage."

Easy Nash aka easynash

Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4(2006)
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3(1952)
Our interpretation of Islam places enormous value on knowledge. Knowledge is the reflection of faith if it is used properly. Seek out that knowledge and use it properly:Aga Khan 4(2005)
All human beings, by their nature, desire to know(Aristotle, The Metaphysics, a few hundred years BC)