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Oman Online Salon on Saturday, 21.10.2023, 16.00 hours

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Our member from the USA, Ms Andrea Emily Stumpf, lawyer and author, will speak about Sayyida Salme / Emily Ruete and her memoirs, newly translated by her into English.

Sayyida Salme, or Emily Ruete as she later called herself, is the great-great-grandmother of our speaker Andrea Emily Stumpf. She has re-translated Sayyida Salme's memoirs into English and published them as Memoirs of an Arabian Princess: An Accurate Translation of Her Authentic Voice.

"Sayyida Salme, born Princess of Oman and Zanzibar, raised in Islam, later baptised Christian and married as Emily Ruete, is already known to many. Her memoirs are not only historically important for understanding the significance of Oman and Zanzibar in the nineteenth century, but they also contain perspectives and insights that still speak to us today.

As the first Arab woman to publish a book, she gave us a read that still informs and fascinates us today - about conditions in the harem and Zanzibar, including school, food, customs, women's rights, slavery, colonial politics, political machinations in the Sultanate and much more. As an extraordinary woman who, following her love, eventually found herself in self-exile, so to speak, she enriches our understanding through her unique East-West lens.

Her book was enthusiastically received in Germany in 1886 and translated into English in 1888, then again in 1907 by Lionel Strachey, and a third time in 1993 by Professor Emeri van Donzel, as part of the Brill "Arab History and Civilization" Series. Was it really necessary to create yet another English translation of the memoirs? The answer is apparently "yes," as we shall hear".

Memoirs of an Arabian Princess: An Accurate Translation of Her Authentic Voice (English Edition) eBook : Stumpf, Andrea Emily: Kindle-Shop

A „modern" German edition of the memoirs was published by Professor Dr Annegret Nippa in 1989 under the title: Leben im Sultanspalast: Memoiren aus dem 19. Jahrhundert: Emily Ruete née Princess of Oman and Zanzibar.

Portrait of Emily Ruete (Sayyida Salme) in traditional dress as Princess of Zanzibar (taken between 1856-1880. Public domain photograph by Heinrich Friedrich Plate (* 1824, † 1895), photographer in Hamburg - Original print in possession of the Foundation Eastern Institute in Leiden.