Omar: The opera that tells the story of an enslaved Islamic scholar

As an enslaved intellectual

While Ibn Said’s intellect is impressive, it is far from unique. According to historian Sylviane A. Diouf in American Slaves Who Were Readers and Writers, Islam had been present in West Africa for 500 years by the time the Transatlantic slave trade began in 1501, providing the backdrop for a flourishing intellectual culture.

As an enslaved Muslim

There are two aspects of Ibn Said’s enslavement that are important because of the period in which he lived.

The Muslim musical

Omar is not the only musical or opera to delve into the lives of historic Muslim personalities.



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Journalist with an affinity for all things ‘African Diaspora’ and Islam. You can @ me via or twitter/@adamajmunu