Harem Life

The fate of many of the captured European women was to be sold into the harems of the Muslim of the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East and North Africa. Westerners imagined, incorrectly, that the harems were brothels. “Harem” is from the Arabic that means “forbidden or sacred inviolable place.”  The harem was the dwelling place of the female members of the family, concubines, servants and children of a polygamous household. The concept was reinforced by an art style of the 19th century, Orientalism, that depicted the sale of female slaves and the scenes within the harem. Some of the artists traveled in the Ottoman empire and depicted scenes that were more or less realistic.  Check these out. These formed the basis for Emmy’s experiences in the harem in HIS OBSESSION. There’ll be others later this month. Rita Bay

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