Child Slavery on the Arabian Peninsula

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It is perhaps the most pernicious of evils. The words “child slavery” would cause most people nowadays to recoil in horror, but in the oil-rich countries of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, it apparently still doesn’t.

The most recent and revolting incident shedding light on the continued existence of this murky and most heinous of crimes involves a thirty-five-year-old Pakistani mother who bravely refused to sell her two boys to a slaver in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates. But this heroine, whose name, Azim Mai, deserves to be mentioned, paid a high price for her courageous stand. Her husband, angry at her refusal to condemn her sons to such a cruel fate, threw acid in Mai’s face, seriously disfiguring her.

But there are still many other parents among Pakistan’s large, poverty-stricken population willing to sell their male offspring into the Persian Gulf. Boys as young as three are bought from poor parents, and sometimes simply kidnapped from the street, principally in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and sent as slaves to these oil-rich states for one purpose only: to win camel races for their new Arab masters. The boys are expected to do this after being trained as riders under very brutal conditions for what is a very popular sport in that region.

“As many as 6,000 camel jockeys …languished in hidden slavery on ouzbah farms where their masters beat them and starved them to keep their weight down,” wrote E. Benjamin Skinner in his book, A Crime So Monstrous, before the use of boy camel jockeys was officially banned due to international pressure in 2005. A 2004 documentary about the boys’ plight, shown on HBO, was chiefly responsible for making Americans aware of this modern-day barbarism.

Great fanfare was made at the time about replacing the child jockeys with robots. But humanitarian organizations, like the Ansar Burney Trust, never believed all racing camel owners stopped using slave boy jockeys after abolition. Such a law, they say, would never affect the rich and powerful in the Emirates, especially members of the different Gulf royal families. The races, in which children are still made to ride, simply went underground.

As evidence, the Ansar Burney Trust cites the fact that of the estimated 6,000 camel jockeys at the time of the so-called abolition, one thousand are still missing. And even then, some of the ones repatriated back to their countries were resold and resent to the Persian Gulf to race camels again, while still others wound up in the madrassas of Islamic extremist organizations in their home countries.

The unfortunate boys kept on an “ousbah,” an isolated camel farm, are caught up in a nightmare of hellish proportions. After experiencing the trauma of suddenly being separated from their families, they are made to work 18-hour days. A camel jockey-in-training is also starved, beaten and sometimes sexually abused. Serious injury, even death, is a fate that also awaits many of the child riders, some as young as five, when training or racing over distances between four and 10 kilometres atop of 800-900 pound animals that can run as fast as 40 miles per hour. Even if the rider does not fall, damaged genitals is one of the serious wounds the slave boys often suffer.

“They used to wake us at two or three in the morning. If we didn’t get up or thought we were lazy, they would beat us with sticks,” one former child camel jockey told a British newspaper. “We had to clean up the camel dung with our hands.”

Another boy, Zufiqar, 10, said that race day represented the worst time due to the injuries and deaths he saw the camel jockeys suffer when thrown from their fast-moving mounts. And if the camel was also injured, Zufiqar stated “They always look after the camel first.” The reason for this is that the camel may have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars while the slave boy may only have cost a few hundred. Also for this reason, there are camel hospitals, and a Dubai prince was reported by an American paper to even have a swimming pool for his racing camels.

Along with the boys, young girls from South Asia and other impoverished countries are also trafficked to the Arabian Peninsula but for the sinister purpose of sexual exploitation. In the book Princess Sultana’s Circle, a sensitive and modern-thinking princess of the Saudi royal family gave American authoress Jean Sasson damning testimony concerning this evil.

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  • esperantominoria

    For those who are interested in Joel Richardson's ideas check this out:

    "The 2nd Joel Richardson Interview,and he gives More Reasons why the Antichrist will be the Muslim Mahdi"


    A grim reality,but when one is used to it it seems normal.

    Check out:

    "BBC Video about Temporary Marriage in Iran:Habib(65) marries Leila(17)for 6 Months"

    "Oriana Fallaci,Italian Feminist,Atheist,Probably the World’s Most Famous Journalist,was Anti-Islam"

  • PhillipGaley

    The barbarism here mentioned—and, many of its variants which are not mentioned—would not be all that difficult to bring down. You'd have to rule with a rod of iron—which, with satellite positioning coupled with missiles could most easily be done: commence targeting of key people and places on a time schedule which would inculcate superstitious conditioning; open up employment offices where present occupiers of leadership positions might apply for work; turn the oil production and ports over to some company such as KBR; in a word, realize the elements of conquest.

    The lesser and barbarous nations are to continue only at the grace of those nations which are superior. And for this reason, the USA need put forth no reason whatsoever before working conquest on Iran or Saudi Arabia. And sure, people may die. That's a part of what conquest is all about, . . . When the Australian general first encountered the Buin People, in the presence of their leaders he caused a pig to be shot, and gave them to understand that, if there were any more heard about eating each other, the same means of death would be brought upon them. And, that's just how cannibalism came to an end in New Guinea.

    But, mired down with this present crowd of corrupt cowards and crooks, I think that, the only grave problem to be dealt with is, our own lack of decent resolve in a dearth of real leaders, . . .

    • StephenD

      Bravo! I think you are onto something here. But you are also correct in your assessment that a lack of resolve prevents us form doing anything positive.

  • Paul B.

    Superb article that sheds light on an evil situation.

  • StephenD

    Excellent post. I wonder what our State Department has to say about all this. Would they defer to the UN? Would they make a bold statement with ultimatums? Or will they condemn the actions, look for hope and change, blah, blah, blah.

    Why is it that whenever REAL leadership is needed by the US we are seen giving a speech and stepping back? If we truly stand for the best this world can offer why do we stand down to tyrants and slave traders? Woe to us that can do something to stop this but do not.

    Then again, I wouldn’t expect Obama to do anything against this since he has granted waivers for 4 countries to continue to receive US Tax Dollars in aid even though they use CHILD SOLDIERS. In this light, slavery may be the milder crime.

    • Patrick Notestine

      Obama or no US administration would openly condem Saudi Arabia. George W. Bush and his father both had and still have millons of dollars of buisness with the Saudi royal family.

      So this is not about Republican or Democrat. The Bush family has been in direct buisness with Saudi, Even going so far as to invest 500 millon in George W’s failing oil buisness when his father was president.

      • StephenD

        Wait. What?
        We're talking about Slavery and child soldiers and you go off on who has money in oil?
        None of that matters now. Obama is in office. Deal with it NOW. I have no love for the Bush family and what they may or may not have done. That is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

  • LindaRivera

    The founder of Islam, Mohammad, married a six year old child when he was in his fifties. Mohammad was a HUGE slave trader. Mohammad murdered/beheaded several hundred Jewish men because of the Jews enormous love for, and allegiance to our Wonderful Creator. The Jews refused to follow another god and the new religion of Mohammad. The Jews' wives and children were seized for slaves.

    Mohammad is regarded as the PERFECT man and role model for devout Muslims who follow their religion. And that is the problem. There is no love, no mercy, no compassion for innocent humanity in Islam.

    It is impossible for representatives from Muslim countries at the UN to protect the human rights of non-Muslims. The UN should be abolished. Americans and other non-Muslims should not be forced to finance the RABIDLY ANTI-HUMAN RIGHTS Muslim/Leftist dominated UN.

    • Patrick Notestine

      Very well stated. You stated facts about Islam that most are that know this are afraid to voice. From my years in the Kingdom I can honestly say. Everything you stated was true.

  • LindaRivera

    Hundreds of thousands of Black Sudanese Christian children and women have been taken for slaves by Sudan's Arab Muslims.

    Jihad Slavery in Sudan, with Dr Charles Jacobs

    May every slave be free one day!

  • Patrick Notestine

    I wrote about this in my book “Paramedic to the Prince”. As a Paramedic in Saudi Arabia, I treated these children who were lucky enough to be brought to the hospital. The traffic in these children is big buisness in the Middle East.
    Many never make it to the hospital when they fall and injure themselves while racing Camels. Most are just left to suffer and die.

    Check out the book on Amazon. It will open your eyes to the Middle East.

  • joy52

    It will take a great and brave person to at least keep their barbarism to the other side of the world. I don't expect them to change, because islam has ingrained inhumanity in them. Lucky ones who escape towards the light will get out.

  • UCSPanther

    Saudi Arabia "outlawed" slavery in the 1970s, but it was mainly for optics.

    Slavery is still practiced and tolerated on the Arabian peninsula, but in more "under the table" ways.

  • Ron Carnine

    An interesting read is Mark Twain's visit to a slave market recorded in his book "Innocents Abroad". I believe that he visited a slave market that had gone underground in Turkey and records how the slave girls were stripped naked so some fat, rich Arab could see what they were buying. It was horrible then, it is horrible now. How can the "powers that be" ignore such a disgusting practice that is part and parcel of Islamic behavior? Mohammed made the practice legitimate and though they swear it has been outlawed, they speak out of both sides of their mouths.

  • Jay

    Why anyone Black in America or Africa would ever think Islam is the black man's real religion is shocking. They do not know how badly Black Africans were treated, how it was the Arab Muslims who sold them to slavery.

    Why too would anyone from the Indian subcontinent/South Asia be Muslim either since millions of their people have been enslaved and continue to be enslaved.

  • mohammed

    lol !