I, Arab: from Noble to Slave in My Own Land

How the Arabization of Persians, Slavs and Turks led to the demise of the Original Arab…



A long time after the Prophet (sA’a&s) lived, and after the 15th century when historian Ibn Khaldun and others spoke of them being zones of the Sudan, Hijaz and the Nejd (Central Arabia) came under the rule by the Turks and became a region mainly settled by bedouin of biologically “white Syrian” affinity, much modified through intermixture.

(l) Yemenite Bronze, Kingdom of Sheba, 715 CE?; (r) modern Arab youth
(l) Yemenite Bronze, Kingdom of Sheba, 715 CE?; (r) modern Arab youth

But, due to greater awareness among 19th century Europeans of the relatively recent influx of Arabicized Syrians, Persians, Turks and others into the Arabian peninsula, it would seem it was at least in that period evidently easier to imagine that the Khudar or darker-skinned Arabs -now universally scorned for their blackness – were remnants of those men of whom myths were made – the peoples of Danaus, Minos, Egyptos, Cepheus, Epaphus, Daris and Cadmus, i.e. the populations who introduced many of the elements of civilization, arts and culture to the Mediterranean, Aegean, and in fact the Middle East.

alabaster 5


Supporting this rather unenlightened view of the ancient and early aborigines of the Middle East is the fact that since the 1700s the trend in the slave trade of the Islamic world was to make use of slaves of sub-Saharan descent, as the Black Sea trade had been all but cut off.  Consequently, many Middle Eastern individuals and regions have developed their own master-slave narrative where descendants of the real or originally black Arabs are now presumed the descendants of slaves, or else peoples of low-caste and outcast status. Those that live amongst fair-skinned Middle Easterners, like descendants of recent slaves brought into the Near East within the last few centuries are treated like pariahs. Even the Quraysh of the modern Israel complain that they “are too black” and need to stay out of the sun! (This was told to me by a personal acquaintance).

true arab 02

And that stuff, sad to say, will probably remain much to the chagrin, or more likely the worst nightmare of many of those now engaged in its study.  For, if we are to believe certain 21st century “historians” on Africa, “there were few blacks” either slave or otherwise “outside Africa in the ancient world”(Wright, 2007, p. 13). Furthermore apparently the layman should feel relieved to be informed that even if they were black like the Ethiopians of Herodotus, it can be adduced that “the Ethiopians Herodotus mentions were probably black, but not negro” (Wright, J., p. 13). (As you might want to notice “but not negro” is unfortunately one of the misleading phrases some in Western academia still like to employ when it comes to Africans who’ve made an unwanted appearance in historical texts.)


true arab 3

The nearly proverbial Zanj slave rebellion itself is a good example of another apparently unwarranted fabrication that has taken place as a result of the current white master/ black slave i.e. “Negro” narrative (see National Geographic for official definition and a “Tarzan” episode for more details on “Negro”) that tends to view every population of sub-Saharan African as the receiver of civilization – or, as in the case lately with some African American historians, of victimization and colonial oppression.


M.A. Shaban, specialist in Abbasid history, had to say this to his peers – “To equate Negro with slave is a reflection of nineteenth-century racial theories; it could only apply to the American South before the Civil War.” He had to remind them that, “in Islamic society there were white as well as black slaves”and that slave labor was in fact, not an important “factor in the economy” of this period like it had been in Roman society.

arab woman 2


From Addendum to The African Heritage and Ethnohistory of the Moors published 1991 in Golden age of the Moor D. W. Reynolds-Marniche 2013.  Retrieved 19.05.1435 from http://www.afroasiatics.blogspot.com/2014/03/addendum-to-african-heritage-and_14.html



2 thoughts on “I, Arab: from Noble to Slave in My Own Land

  1. The woman and photos you have posted with excerpts from my article about original Arabs is not black or even near black, and Ibn Mandhour and others referred to the original Arabs as people that were near black with kinky hair, and even woolly hair. The Arabs referred to in my paper which you have excerpted in various places above were originally identical to people of Ethiopia Nubia and other parts of Bilaad es Sudan and according to the Arabs themselves did NOT look like dark skinned Mediterraneans or darkened Syrians like the photos you have attached to my writings. If you do not believe what is written in my blog or if you have a problem with how the ancient Arabs were said to have looked than you shouldn’t post distorted views of ancient Sudanic Arabs with anything from my article. I am trying to correct such inaccuracies, not add to more to the confusion and lies. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

    • Dear Dr. Marniche,

      You are correct. I failed to search with sufficient diligence for accurate representations of the people in question. I intended no disrespect whatsoever to your work and have changed all the photographs. Please indicate, if you find time, whether you approve of these changes.


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