Ayesha and Osha Al Mansoori, a mother-daughter falconry duo, are redefining what it means to be falconers. Following in her mother Ayesha’s footsteps as the first female Emirati falconer in the UAE, Osha’s interest in falcons began to show at just 8 months old. In Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Ayesha and Osha shared this traditional Emirati craft with Americans – who even get a chance to hold falcons on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
Ayesha: “I am the first female Emirati falconer and Osha is the youngest one in the country. We are so proud to be representing the UAE and we are honored and privileged to be sharing our craft here in Washington, especially as female falconers. People have been so curious about our craft and why we do it. We have a lot in common – especially falcons!”
Osha: “I started when I was much younger. I learned more and more about them as I got older, and falconry eventually became more than a hobby. I love birds. I will never forget the first one I ever owned, I played and played with it until it became a part of me.”
Ayesha: “My daughter, Osha, started at 8 months old, whenever I would bring my falcon home, she used to wrap herself around the bird to familiarize herself with it, and that is where it all began. I never forced this craft on her, she happened upon it and now she is the youngest – and I will say – a talented falconer.”