ENG 12 – 1862
February 18, 2009
Through a Slaves Eyes
Slave: My True Story by Mende Nazer is a story of a Nuba girl torn from her life and her family and thrust into the world of slavery. The story reveals Nazer’s heartbreaking experiences as her life violently changes forever when she is captured and violated at the tender age of 12. Through this work, it is apparent that slavery dehumanizes and destroys all that it touches.
Nazer reveals that before killing an animal, it is custom to chant “God is Great [Allahu Akhbar]” or it will be unholy to eat. Men who destroyed her village chanted it over her and the others. “But why were these men now shouting “Allahu Akhbar” after burning our village, raping and killing? Did they think it was halal [Holy] to do this?” (Nazer 99-100). This goes beyond human trafficking. Nazer loses her entire life in one night and becomes cattle. There is no hope of a better life then the one she had with her family. Nazer, at the age of 12 obviously had a difficult time understanding how people could treat other people in such a manner. I’m ten years older then Nazer was at the time, and I continue to have a difficult time understanding unjustified hatred. So many questions rise from reading this excerpt. How can this be done to such young children? Why do these attackers consider themselves above the people they destroy? To read of someone treated less than human is beyond my understanding.
Nazer writes of how the army officer sold girls to other men. “The army officers came to our tent again, this time with two Arab men. They looked around and started to pick out ten girls” (Nazer 107-108). How could Nazer go from a playful and happy student, to sexual property? Within a blink of an eye she is considered merchandise, a product that is used to gain profit. Slavery isn’t supposed to exist. Slavery was supposed to have been abolished under the constitution. This is a reality check. At 12 years old she understands that she would never be going back to the life that she had. She reveals strength and a bravery that is difficult to have at such an age in life. But one must admit that no matter how much one sympathizes, one will never truly understand what it is like to sit in a tent after being abused and watch as someone purchases you and the people around you.