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NINE years ago I conceived the idea of writing down some facts for the information of my children, who at that time knew nothing about my origin except that I was Arabian and had come from Zanzibar. Exhausted in body and in mind, I did not then expect to live until they were grown up, did not think I should ever relate to them verbally the happenings of my youth and the course of my fate. Hence I determined to record my story on paper. My memoirs were not at first intended for the general public, but for my children, to whom I wished to bequeath them as a heritage of faithful motherly love. Finally, however, upon urgent persuasion, I consented to have them published. I finished these pages some years ago, and only the last chapter forms a recent addition, made because of a voyage I undertook to my old home, Zanzibar, with my children. May my book go out into to the world, and may it meet with as many friends as was my happy lot to find.

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