From The Highlands to The Hajj



Lady Evelyn Cobbold, daughter of the 7th Earl of Dunmore, embraced Islam at the age of 65 and in the following year, 1933, achieved celebrity when she performed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, being the first British woman to do so.

From the ‘Highlands to the Hajj’ is a celebratory look at the life of this extraordinary individual who transcended social norms, not only as a fiercely independent women, but also as a proud convert to Islam. Although by no means unique in her conversion or as an avid traveller, Lady Cobbold’s achievements nonetheless remain significant and worthy of attention.

The film will take the form of a biopic tracing Lady Cobbold’s life from growing up in Egypt, captivated by the tales of her Aunt Jane Digby and her adventurer father, Lord Dunmore 7th. We will witness her marriage of convenience into one of the wealthiest families in Britain and the subsequent deterioration of the relationship as Lady Evelyn struggled to come to terms with a traditional life of domesticity.

Compelled by her thirst for travel and a passionate desire for independence Lady Evelyn would ultimately break free from these confines. It is this force of personality and Lady Evelyn’s determination to live life on her own terms that would ultimately result in her enduring legacy of being the first British women to complete the Hajj pilgrimage.

Told against the backdrop of early twentieth-century Britain and Arabia, the film will be an invaluable insight into the uniqueness of Lady Evelyn’s life whilst also capturing this remarkable period of British history. From declaring herself a Muslim whilst only a young girl during a chance meeting with the Pope, to the forging of friendships with such characters as T.E. Lawrence, the Saudi Royal family and St John Philby, amongst many others, hers is a truly fascinating story.

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