Mahbuba – An Oromo Slave who won the heart of a German Prince

She was exceptional beautiful girl. Her parents called her name “Bilillee” which literally means well shaped, pretty. She was born in Guma, current Eastern Oromiyaa, Ethiopia in 1820 G.C. Unfortunately when she was 15 age, the civil war out broke in that particular area in 1835/36. It was during that war period she lost her father and six brothers. She left only with her mom. She was enslaved with her mother and taken by the conquering group to Gondar (about 500 KM from Addis Abeba to the North of Ethiopia) for the rampant slave trade. Then, she departed from her mother for trading purpose, and they never met each other again in their life.

Later, Birillee was taken first to Khartoum (Juba or Sudan) and then to Cairo (Egypt) in 1837 by slave traders to be sold. At that moment, the son of German king, Paklar, was visiting Southern parts of the world starting from 1935, and he reached Egypt the same year, 1837. One day, he went to the market to visit and to buy slaves and he saw Birillee among thousands of slaves. On that day, she was ready for selling. The God given beauty of Birillee touch Paklar’s heart and he became eager to buy. He bought and took her to his residence. He admired her beauty and interested to make his wife instead of his slave. He succeeded and called her by the name “MAHBUUBAA”, which means “My love” in Arabic. Her extra-ordinary goodness and optimistic thinking, loyalty, transparency and calmness more attracted his attention, he loved her. He said, “I spent my days with truth person, and I became truth person after many times”. He continued his visit with Mahbuubaa (the former slave who became his wife, no matter her willingness) for consecutive three years.

Paklar returned back to Europe with Mahbuubaa in 1840. They settled in Muska town while his first wife was in Berlin. Later on, Paklar went Berlin to visit his former wife. In the meantime, Mahbuubaa felt lung disease. He wrote a letter for her with silver made necklace writing “Mahbuubaa” on that necklace. Unfortunately, when that letter and necklace reached Muska on 27 October 1940, Mahbuubaa was dead. She couldn’t see even her gift.

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