Friday, 11 January 2013
Video - arab slave market of the 1960's

I was pointed to this film clip of a 1960s documentary about the Arab slave trade. Slavery was officially abolished in Saudi Arabia in 1962 but it still continues.

It starts with the open air market in a town on the Persian Gulf - black slaves, naked men and women for sale being examined. Then we are told the trade is not just of Africans. The film moves to Qatar where local girls (veiled) are enticed from their homes into the street to watch some entertainers. The slavers can then view the girls and decide who they will buy from their parents and who they will  kidnap. Children are shown in an 'orphanage' run by a brothel keeper for his prostitute's children. They are viewed by a party of Arabs and two small girls are taken off to be part of a harem or another brothel. On a flight to Jeddah children are being trafficked on one-way tickets. After a hard stint buying and selling the men of the trade relax watching a European strip-tease.

The narrator has an American accent. My first thought was a National Geographic documentary, but if any readers recognise the voice, or the programme I would be interested to know more. 

Posted on 01/11/2013 1:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
7 Jan 2013
Send an emailjewdog

"A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men."

  -Winston Churchill, from "The River War", 1899

11 Jan 2013

After watching that brief video clip, I am more curious about the source, or the original title of the film from which it was cut.  Characterized as a documentary filmed in the 1960's, I also wonder who was it's target audience given it's contents provide material unfit for televised viewing during that era.  I'd be interested in any additional information you could provide on this documentary.

11 Jan 2013
Send an emailJamesG

It's been suggested to me that the clip might be from Mondo Cane a 1962 Italian"documentary" full of sensational stuff. If you have an hour and forty-seven minutes to spare you can check it out. It is dubbed in American English.

11 Jan 2013
Send an emailwtd

As I continued my search online for more information about this video clip on slavery, I discovered that Youtube has terminated the link to a duplicate clip posted at BareNakedIslam on January 4th.   In the comments at that post, a link to the entire documentary was provided:   Slave Trade In The World Today, 1964 - Full Documentary

Given the termination of the video clip to this documentary was already pulled from one YouTube account, may I suggest  it would be beneficial to have this full documentary mirrored on additional video servers beyond YouTube's control.

11 Jan 2013
Send an emailwtd

Here are some more details about the documentary:

An Italian French Co-production

Le schiave esistono ancora/Les esclaves existent toujours 


Release Date:27 June 1964 (Italy)

Narration written by ELIHU WINER



Based on book:   "The Slave Trade Today" written by Sean O'Callaghan (also published another book "The White Slave Trade" in 1965)

Movie Poster for English Version

Extensive comparison and Discussion about the 2004 "Digitally Remastered" & "Re-edited & Color Enhanced" version of this documentary notes selective editing was done when compared to the Italian version

Note: Film interviews a British female,  Eve Kenneth, a British prostitute who spent 2 years in a sultan's harem, and is featured in another poster for the documentary film here.

12 Jan 2013
Esmerelda Weatherwax

Thank you.

I know that one or several of our knowledgable readers from around the world would be able to assist. All I knew for sure was that it was nothing our English Alan Whicker had produced; although noted for satire and humour he did work on some serious investigations, but this obviously wasn't one of them.

I have passed the link to the complete film back to the group who pointed me to the clip and will give them the rest of that information shortly.

Thank you again. Es

1 Feb 2013

Intrigued by the uninhibited expose of this documentary video, I purchased the book upon which it is based, "The White Slave Trade" by Sean O'Callaghan,
 and found the following details quite revealing.  Beginning at the bottom of page 52:

“An even more remarkable case of the use of aeroplanes for the transportation of white slaves was told to me by an employee of one of the large oil companies who works in Kuwait. I had first met him in Aden and ran into him again in Beirut. We were discussing my last book “The Slave Trade” when he said: “you know, Sean, by an amazing coincidence I had just finished reading your book when I saw as brazen and lawful a piece of slave trading, if one can use the word lawful for anything in this filthy racket. As you know I work in Kuwait and come here for enjoyment. Part of my job is to order stores from local merchants. I met one who had often invited me to his house. I went mainly because of boredom, for he was a terrific bore, a name-dropper. He was forever telling me to look up this and that night-club here in Beirut and to mention his name. Eventually I did so, and received a royal welcome. Every one of them were brothels. However, on my last trip I met Ali, accidentally at the airport. He seemed embarrassed to see me, as he was accompanied by four veiled women whom I took to be his wives, of course he didn’t introduce me to them, and I left him after a few minutes conversation. As we left the plane at Kuwait I was right behind one of his wives. When we got on the tarmac she turned to me and said in a perfect cockney accent, ‘Bloody hot, ain’t it?’ Ali heard her and grabbed her, pulling her away.
After that I made discreet inquiries about Ali. I discovered that in addition to his legitimate business he ran a racket in white slaves. It was a perfectly simple one. As a Muslim he was entitled to have four wives. When he got tired of one he simply said, “I divorce thee’ three times and then he was entitled to take another wife. He sold the wife he had divorced, went to Beirut, bought another one, and repeated the procedure all over again. The English girl was one he had just bought. She was probably a drug addict with no hope of escape. After he tired of her he would sell her too.”

From my own experience I knew that my friend’s story was absolutely true. The all covering gowns the women wear cover a multitude of sins.”

This book was published 1965.

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