The Republic of Bou Regreg where Emmy in my novel His Obsession was taken and sold into slavery in a pirate’s harem is located on the west coast of Morocco. The area has been settled for thousands of years – Phoenecians, Romans, Berbers (including the Tuareg like Tariq, the harem master), and later Morisco refugees fleeing persecution in Christian Spain.
In the 17th century, the small towns of Sale and Rabat united to form the Republic of Bou Regreg, named for the river that flowed between the two towns. Later, it became associated with the Ottoman Empire . (See pics of ancient & modern Sale /Rabat – including the docks where Emmy and Tariq met and the streets they would have walked to her new master’s house.)
The republic became a center for trade and supported the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain, and other areas. The walled cities and the gated harbor were very useful to the pirates, providing safe harbor and a market for their captured treasures. Those treasures included plundered gold, silver, spices, silks, fabrics, and slaves which were brought back to the city-state by the pirates after raids on European shipping vessels and towns. In one decade they took 6,000 slaves and the equivalent of about $5 billion dollars in goods.
Great news!! His Obsession is officially released today. Someone has actually bought one already. Hope they like it. I have a sales history now. Click on the cover of His Obsession to read excerpts or buy.
Tomorrow, the Sallee Raiders. Rita Bay