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Arab slave trade - Arab captors and Zanzibar Black workers. During the Arab slave trade, many ruling class Arabs enslaved European whites as well as sub-Saharan (aka Ethiopian) blacks. According to Robert Davis, between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans, including many Quakers, were captured between the 16th and 19th centuries by Barbary corsairs, who were vassals of the Ottoman Empire and sold as slaves.