When you think about women in the Arab world, the picture that comes mind is of a woman who is covered from head to toe, with no identity of her own. Some women, however, are breaking all such shackles and are stepping out to make the world hear them loud and clear. Filmmaking, like most other fields is a man’s territory everywhere in the world. Where women in all cultures fight to find a place for themselves in Cinema, Arabic women are not behind. Forbes lists a few of these women.


Nujoom Alghanem is an Arabic poet and film director from the United Arab Emirates. She has published six poetry collections and has produced and directed four films so far and lives in UAE. Her latest feature-length documentary Samma Qarribah (Nearby Sky), won Alghanem theMuhr Award for Best Arab Non-Fiction Film at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2014. The film was based on a middle-aged Bedouin woman camel herder Fatima Ali Alhameli.


Afia Nathaniel, from Pakistan, is another talented filmmaker.  Her debut film, Dukhtar based on the true story of a mother rescuing her daughter from being bartered as a child bride by her husband, was highly successful and Pakistan’s official entry to the Oscars. Hind Shoufani’s film, ‘Trip Along Exodus’ is another great example of powerful films made by women. ‘Trip Along Exodus’ is a feature documentary about Elias Shoufani, an academic writer and former leader of the leftist PLO.


Even though there are just a small number of female filmmakers like these, the fact they are slowly coming out and making cinema that is speaking volumes to people all over the world, gives all of us hope.


[Featured Picture Courtesy: Vision]