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When Byzantine forces captured her brother, this warrior poet donned the outfit of a black knight and went on a bloody rescue mission.
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While her initial escapades had Khawlah dressed as knight, the part of the story that really spoke to me — where she led a bunch of middle-aged women to take on their Byzantine captors using nothing but tent-pegs — was the one I decided to illustrate. So I split her outfit half-and-half. She’s not in full armor, but she’s wearing pants.
The captured women are here all in a circle, knocking Byzantines off horses as they ride around. The cooler darks of their outfits are in visual contrast to the saturated reds of the Byzantines.
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Tossed off the expectations of Victorian society to become an expert mountaineer and archaeologist, traveled the Middle East by herself - later teaching Lawrence of Arabia how it's done - and became one of the most influential women in the English empire, advocating loudly for Iraq's self-governance.
Independent, bold wife of the Prophet Muhammad, she led armies in the Battle of the Camel and was one of the central figures of the Shia/Sunni civil war that continues to this day. (Note: this entry's image follows Islamic artistic conventions to depict its figures respectfully)