UAE Female Falconers: Breaking Stereotypes

Falconry, which has historically been a male-dominated pastime among Arabs in the Middle East, is now experiencing a boom in female interest in the sport, similar to how the camel, the Saluki, and automobile racing have evolved in line with social changes. Though falconry has existed throughout history, it is especially important in the culture of the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East, where nomads have long used falcons to hunt for food, and where falconry is now popular in the UAE as a heritage sport that was inducted into UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016.

Women find it difficult to hunt in the desert since falconry is a physically demanding hobby. Furthermore, the rough landscape of the desert made it difficult for women to engage in falcon hunting excursions in ancient times. That is why, for centuries, males have dominated this profession, despite the fact that women indirectly assist men in falconry, which subtly excludes women.

When Ayesha Al Mansoori, the UAE's first female falconer, became interested in falconry, she proved her male counterparts wrong. She has been a trailblazer in teaching Emirati women and girls about falconry and ensuring that the sport and tradition are handed down to future generations. She expressed a desire to demonstrate that women from the UAE are capable of smashing preconceptions and pursuing careers as professional falconers. She was named head trainer of the women's division of the Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, a government-owned organization dedicated to the development of falconry in the United Arab Emirates, in 2011. Despite the many challenges she has experienced since beginning her falconry training, her passion for the sport has given her perseverance, allowing her to overcome her critics and persevere.

Throughout history, falconry was transferred from generation to generation, from fathers to sons, but now this is slowly changing in the UAE. The transfer of skills has altered from mother to daughter. Her daughter, Osha Khalifa Al Mansoori, follows in her mother's footsteps. She gives stunning performances at a variety of festivals and exhibitions.

Emirati women are pushing the boundaries to break stereotypesPOS VC 282 01
Falling in love with falconryPOS VC 282 02
Our DNA is all about the desert and falconsPOS VC 282 03
Ayesha Al Mansoori attaches a GPS transmitterPOS VC 282 04
Revival of the art of falconryPOS VC 282 05
POS VC 282 06
Women are now taking up falconry in the UAEPOS VC 282 07
Afrah with her falcon during a rabbit huntPOS VC 282 08
Taming the FalconPOS VC 282 09
POS VC 282 10
Hooding the FalconPOS VC 282 11
Ayesha Al Mansoori drives with her falconPOS VC 282 12
Developing unique bond between falcon and falconer is key for falconryPOS VC 282 13
Unwind after their training sessionPOS VC 282 14
Falconry for next generationPOS VC 282 15
Falconry bridges the past, present and futurePOS VC 282 16
Young Falconer in the UAEPOS VC 282 17
Osha, training with her falcon at twilightPOS VC 282 18
Falcons are a member of the Emirati familyPOS VC 282 19
Falconry connects peoples and deepen relationshipsPOS VC 282 20
Falconry creates a strong bond between the mother and childPOS VC 282 21

Xposure hosts solo exhibition spaces for acclaimed photographers along with group exhibitions for professional institutions. All exhibiting photographers will be present during the festival, enabling you the opportunity to meet and talk to them about their work.