Laura of Arabia – Alone among Men

WDR ‘Worldwide’
A film by Frank Sieren
30 minute documentary
First broadcast: Wednesday, 16.11.2016, 22.55 on WDR
In the emirate of Qatar with its 2.5 million inhabitants she is by far the best known female foreigner, but also the most controversial. She shares the greatest passion of the men of Qatar: Laura Wrede hunts with falcons. In a completely male dominated sport she is the only woman. Strictly speaking it is impossible, “But’, says the Munich natively self-consciously, ‘this rule I broke a little seriously.” She has also already been spat on, but she reassures that this rarely happens. Also the turban that she wears is technically only for men. However her only reply to a sheik who severely reprimanded her for this was: “Yes but now I am also wearing one.”
The thirty year old has been living in Qatar for five years and manages the office of an international marketing agency. Early in the morning at 4.00 a.m., long before the working day begins, she trains her falcons Rahmat and Shekat. Her main goal is to compete in Al Galayel which is the biggest falcon hunt on the Arabian half-island – of course as the only, and above all, as the first woman ever. Will she succeed in doing so? Will the sheiks give her the permission to do this? Will she be able to prove that she can hunt just as well as the men? WDR Worldwide accompanies ‘Laura of Arabia’ in a country that unrelentingly struggles between tradition and modernity.