Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar

The Princess is herself a woman of high culture, and the story of her life is as instructive as history and as fascinating as fiction.” -Oscar Wilde

Born Salamah bint Said, Princess of Zanzibar, in 1844, Emily Reute grew up in a harem with scores of siblings. The royal family maintained it's fabulous wealth and luxury with a robust traffic in ivory, spices and human bondage. The Princess would venture beyond the palace, into the city and plantations where European traders, missionaries, and colonists exercised a growing influence.  There she met Rudolph Reute, a German trader,with whom she eloped to Germany. The Princess also converted to Christianity and took the name Emily.


While living in Germany, she attained the perspective to form a comparison of the lives of women in Muslim society with those of their European contemporaries. Originally published in 1886, Waterfall Productions, has adapted this remarkable autobiography for a theatrical presentation, where the audience will meet Princess Salamah and learn about her life in both Zanzibar and Germany as a royal, daughter, outcast,  wife, widow and mother.

Duration: 70 minutes with an optional talk-back afterwards. Ages 12 and up


Appropriate for:

  • March-Women's History Month
  • Women's Groups or events
  • Libraries
  • Colleges
  • Book Clubs
  • Students of Arabic, Islam, women studies
  • Those interested in Zanzibar & East Africa History


"Many thanks for bringing the Arabian princess to our's a wonderful piece in addition to being so very timely. We were transported into a world of wonders and stirring human drama." 


-Marc Clopton

Artistic Director

Actors Studio of Newburyport MA