Do you recall watching the Disney movie franchise Aladdin as a child? What many people don’t know is the Aladdin story, as well as other African and middle eastern literature figures like Ali Baba and the forty thieves and Sinbad the sailor were all based on a real African warrior named Antar.
Antar was born into slavery sometime around the 6th century. He was the son of a wealthy chieftain and a slave mother. Throughout his life, he would become a chieftain, warrior, lover, poet, and hero to his people. Antar was commonly referred to in Arab history as “Abul Fouaris” which means the father of heroes.
At 15 years old Antar witnessed a fight break out between someone in his tribe and a rival tribesman. When Antar decided to jump in the fight and actually came out the victor, his people labeled him a hero. In later years, he would become the leader of the abs tribe.
Oher tribes laughed at the Abs for not just having a young leader, but a black one at that. Antar would take these insults personally, usually ending up in a physical altercation with anyone who challenged his authority. Antar died in 615 AD when a poisonous arrow pierced his chest in battle. He was 90 years old.