The current exhibition at the Women’s Museum in its Bait Al Banat Gallery features a retrospective of the life of Muneera bint Salem bin Ahmed Al Mazrou, Exceptional Lady with Extraordinary Skills, displaying her photography, collection of cameras and guns, and her hand-crafted traditional children’s toys.
Born in the Emirates of Sharjah in a family where her father was a traditional healer, Muneera Al Mazrou learnt the skills of her father’s trade as early as in her childhood. Later in life, possessing exceptional characteristics she evolved as a master marksman and gunsmith as well as an enthusiastic photographer. Her desire to capture the social scene through the lens of her camera was so deep that she became one of the earliest female photographers from Sharjah.
Unique in the Arab World and the Gulf Region, the Women’s Museum is a place for people to investigate and celebrate the lives of UAE women of the past and present, to meet and appreciate their achievements. Bait Al Banat Gallery showcases the art of female artists, emerging and established, from across the Emirates.
Rafia Ghubash, one of the UAE’s most influential women, created the museum. “Women here were empowered a long time ago, but haven’t had a chance to tell our story,” said Ghubash, also noting that her grandmothers’ generation contributed far more to the politics, economy, education and literature of the region than has been recognized.
A room dedicated to the Emirati woman poet, Ousha Bint Khalifa, known as the Girl of Arabia, Bait Al Banat gallery with temporary art exhibitions, a collection of Arabian fragrances and oils, traditional jewellery and a women’s study centre can all be found at the Women’s Museum.
Sheikh Mohammed, who inaugurated the Women’s Museum, signed the museum’s guest book stating, “I am glad to see Emirati women excel in such creative work that reflects our national identity. The museum is the fruit of an outstanding effort led by Dr Rafia Ghubash, which shall introduce Emirati culture and heritage to visitors and tourists. Reviving women’s history will revive the memory of our people and the history of our nation. We support this creative effort.”