The first person narrator is an Arab African of Indian decent in his early 20s. His family has lived on the eastern coast of Africa for generations. He is an observer and an analyzer.
He went to the local English language college until he was 18 and was accepted at the University in England.
A family servant who is sent to live with Salim after their hometown is attacked. He is half African. His real name is Ali, but local people call him by the French word for someone of mixed heritage.
A merchant from a fishing tribe who is Salim's first customer.
He is tall and heavier than the men of the region. His face is long and firmly modeled; his features are chiseled as if from an African mask.
A Belgian who runs Ferdinand's school. He is in his forties...
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