Ruba Bouzan

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type



Faculty of Arts and Sciences




This thesis examines African Muslim slaves and their Arabic writings that influenced their enslavement. The first part of my research considers the historical context that weaves two American presidents together with their distant interaction with Muslim slaves. It also discusses three prominent Muslim slaves in American history: Ayyub bin Suleiman, Abdul Rahman Ibrahima, and Omar ibn Said. Throughout the discussion of the lives of these three men, I analyze their Arabic writing and their use of mimicry throughout, and the ways in which this influenced their patrons’ views of them. The second part explores their differing levels of Arabic literacy and how they were subject to varying degrees of Arabization and exoticization. The last part discusses the absence of their writing in the field of American literature and the American slave narrative genre while arguing for their inclusion in these areas.