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8 May 2008 14:39

A chapter in a book called "Sudanic Africa", a sort of journal presenting academic researches about "the sudanic belt", the use of the word "sudan" entails a link with arab culture..journal n° 16 contains strangely a chapter about Morocco,

"The true traveller is without goal, it is the absence of goals which creates the ultimate traveller."Gao Xingjian 'Soul Mountain'
8 May 2008 14:41
the chapter is made of 11 pages, it is worth printing and you can read it at home...
"The true traveller is without goal, it is the absence of goals which creates the ultimate traveller."Gao Xingjian 'Soul Mountain'
28 July 2008 13:13

This is not a topic that is normally welcomed in the Arab world. I'm curious as to why you presented it in this forum. I've read this same article a long time ago. An interesting read.Zen
29 July 2008 10:48
Salam Neoifriq

well, this goes back to last May, let me just make a little bit of rewinding ...

i think if we confine ourselves to what is welcomed in what you called "the arab world", we will be talking about belly dancing and stuff like that...

As to you question, i just found this chapter very interesting from a sociological historical point of view but unfortunately nobody was caught by it, maybe because it is quite long...Does my answer suffice ??

"The true traveller is without goal, it is the absence of goals which creates the ultimate traveller."Gao Xingjian 'Soul Mountain'
24 August 2008 08:34
Greetings Hicham,

The research is out there. However, there are very few authors who deal with slavery specific to Morocco. Most of the books that I've found deal with this issue in the broader Islamic world. There is book titled "Serving the Master,Slavery and Society in Nineteenth Century Morocco"
by Mohammed Ennaji Trans. from French by Seth Graebner.
It was origianlly published in French and then translated into English. I do not recall the year when it was published. There is also Dr. Chouki El Hamel, a Moroccan scholar who teaches at the University of Arizona. He has published several articles and hosted several academic forums related to this topic.

Here is an exerp from the review of the book:

"By making extensive use of the Moroccan State Archives, Ennaji, a Moroccan scholar, can provide a perhaps unprecedented richness of detail in sketching the institution of slavery in a Muslim country. He finds the practice of slavery bewilderingly diverse, as slaves of the elite dispose of skills and consume goods far beyond the reach of the average free person (for example, accompanying their master on the pilgrimage to Mecca). One particularly educated and pious slave won "the deepest respect" of all who encountered him—indeed, most would kiss his hand! At the other extreme, field hands toiled away in distant obscurity under conditions not too different from those of the American South. The rich trained and cultivated their slaves, both for economic purposes and for personal pleasure; the poor merely made do. The most highly prized slaves were the geisha-like women who could entertain their masters in public and private; they sometimes enjoyed more benefits than the wife. Badly treated slaves constantly ran away—"fugitives were part of the traveling landscape"; in contrast, those well treated were "canine" in their fidelity, as one French observer carelessly put it. As a symbol of the slave's powerlessness, the master would haphazardly change his name from one year or one day to the other. Female slaves served their owners as both concubines and breeders. Females outnumbered males among slaves 2-to-1. Emancipation was fairly rare."

I hope this helps to enrich your knowledge of the topic. I've always been facinated by this topic not because I'm of African descent, but because of the ensuing racism which accompanied it. In order to defeat anything you have to know its source. What was a surprise to me was the role of Arabs and Muslims in propogating the idea that people of African descent were designated to be slaves. During the early years of Islamic expansion, Al-Jahiz wrote a book in defense of "Blackness". It's a fascinating read. Its desturbing that perhaps the most prolific writer of Arabic prose would write such a book. But he did it because of the wide-spread belief at that time that Africans were meant to be enslaved. Please be mindful that this was very early on in the history of Islam. Even in Morocco, there was a period in which "blacks" although had been free for generations, were enslaved because of their skin color...Yes they were Muslims. Look at all the "nice" words in the Arab world used to describe Africans.

There is so much out there. But once again, much of the literature contradict everything the Arab world says about its historical relationship with Africans.

"In time all that is hidden will come to Light"
24 August 2008 12:00
Salam NeoIfriq

Thank you very much for these countless tips, you gave me so many tracks for research,

the fact that slavery was prohibited by Islam and the yet cohabitation of the two in the muslim world for centuries was the reason why i was interested by this topic..but as in the exerp you quoted, it was a difficult kind of slavery, what is worse was people's attitude towards people from different colour, and from different origin, discrimination sometimes was triggered by the fact that you have a different accent or a different language (Arabic Vs Tachelhit) or simply by the fact of being different..

Thanks again

"The true traveller is without goal, it is the absence of goals which creates the ultimate traveller."Gao Xingjian 'Soul Mountain'
29 August 2008 10:45

You are very welcome. I hope it helps in your research. Although many peoples of the earth have practised some form of slavery, racism is something that's very new in human history. Most people do not even understand it.
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