Video | Iraq: Black Iraqis Allege Discrimination

Most Black Iraqis descend from sailors and slaves brought from East Africa. Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania gave the name Zanj to the descendants of these slaves. Slave trade begun by early Arab traders began in 9th century and lasted over a millennium. Most of these slaves were imported to work in large date and sugarcane plantations. To protest their treatment, Zanj slaves from Basra staged a successful revolt against Baghdad, the Muslim capital, for 15 years. During this period, they created a city called Moktara. In 883, an army from Baghdad was able to put the revolt down, but as a consequence, locals did not engage in large scale plantation slavery after that.  Slavery, however, endured until the 19th century. Unlike in the Americas of the 19th century, slaves in the Middle East were allowed to own land and their children were generally not born into slavery. Conversion to Islam precluded further servitude. Today, many activists among Black Iraqis complain that they are unable to find opportunities to improve their social condition.


Click here to watch video from Al Jazeera English.


    Same Sh–t all over the world. Legacy of American Slavery and is it too incestious to overcome?

  • Agreed. It’s essentially the same in many parts of the world. But the issue of those in Iraq do not have anything to do with the American legacy of slavery. They are connected to the Arab slave trade which was well underway before the formation of the United States.