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Rosita Forbes (1890-1967), Traveller and writer
(Joan) Rosita Forbes (Mrs Arthur T. McGrath)
Sitter in 17 portraits
Her first journey was in Libya in the winter of 1920-1, becoming the first non-Muslim woman to enter the closed city of Kufra. She dressed as a Muslim woman, 'Khadija', and took photographs with a concealed camera. She journeyed by camel-train with an Egyptian explorer, Hassanien Bey, though her account, The Secret of the Sahara: Kufara (1921) reduces his actual role. 'Khadija' then visited Yemen. In 1925 Forbes published From Red Sea to Blue Nile: Abyssinian Adventures. She interviewed leading figures in the Middle East, who also featured in her lectures. She visited India and, with her second husband, went to South America. They settled in the Bahamas and she died in Bermuda.
by Anthony Wysard
pencil and watercolour, 1933