White Slave

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White Slave for Sale

To me this picture evoked the thought - new white slave for his harem.
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.

“Perhaps 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 Ahmad.
“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 slave’s learning, however, let me show you something you seem to have forgotten.
“Sapphira, 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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2011-04-26