In my living room there's a photograph of a beautiful young African woman holding my month-old son Paul. Seated beside her is a young man holding our daughter Mary and our son Dennis. The woman was Soraya Magid, the man her husband El Rasheed Abdel Magid. The image was taken in our Logan home 54 years ago while Rasheed was my graduate student.
Soon after the couple returned to the Sudan, Rasheed's wife and one of his sisters were kidnapped by Soraya's family because the bride price had not been paid. The women were sold into slavery. Rasheed never quit searching for his wife and sister. He became one of the most powerful men in the Sudanese department of agriculture and was able to travel widely in Arabian countries looking for his lost love. The last time I was in Sudan, about 1976, he was in Saudi Arabia where an acquaintance reported seeing a woman who might be Soraya.
A decade later, Rasheed was dead. He never found his wife or sister. Soraya is probably dead. Slavery is alive and well. On April 15, Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped more than 300 girls from a Nigerian school. The terrorists reportedly took some as wives, the remainder they intend to sell as slaves.