To me this picture evoked the thought - new white slave for
Although the picture shows the most common occurrence in a Middle East slave
market, a white buyer (in this case a high ranking soldier wearing a Persian
style military helmet) buying a white slave, black masters also frequented the
slave markets, particularly those of Zanzibar, buying white slave girls - reversing
the popular conception of white masters owning black slaves.
Below is a short extract from Harem Girl where Sheik Ali tries to buy
Sapphira from Sheik Ahmad.
I could persuade you with three thousand qirsh.”
“Ten thousand,” was the instant reply from Ahmad.
“Ahmad, old friend, you have taken too much hookah, may the blessings
of Allah be upon you. I can buy three or four beautiful well breasted
girls from Salim the Turk for that price,” said Ali, feigning
shock at Ahmad’s asking price.
“He is an unscrupulous
scoundrel, his girls are only fit for Turkish brothels, not for your
harem; they have sores,” replied
“Yes, that may be so, but look at Sapphira’s breasts. They are already
softening and on their way down, and her stomach sags like a mare’s,” countered
Ali. “Slow to learn too. She will be an old woman long before
she bends to the ways.”
“There are ways to hurry along a
however, let me show you something you seem to have forgotten.
unbutton your choli, show him your bosom,” commanded
Ahmad. “Show Sheik Ali what I am offering him. Lower your
chalwars; I believe his memory needs to be refreshed. “Now
Ali, be honest to yourself, is that not an offering worthy of a
place in your harem? Would she not lie well on your bed?” said
Ahmad, gesturing in my direction with a wave of his arm.
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