In London and Paris, a few professional photographers such as Claudet and Bissons Frères were already making fine daguerreotype portraits by 1843. They worked in studios where the preparation, development and finishing of the plate could be carefully controlled. They had reasonable and regular access to supplies of clean water and the necessary chemicals. Their female clients could be advised about what to wear in order that their dresses would register clearly in the portrait and, perhaps most importantly, they had an assortment of stands and props designed specifically to clamp the sitter into rigid submission as they endured the long exposure.
Girault de Prangey had no such luxuries and yet in this beautiful portrait he manages to achieve a result that in its clarity and composition could have matched work from any one of those studios. The young woman is described as a member of one of the nomadic Bedouin tribes (from the word badawi meaning desert dwellers) who had existed for thousands of years. She seems to have moved on, as she is photographed at Cairo, and her dress and jewels suggest a wealth that would be unlikely considering the poverty of the nomads. She wears no veil, shows off her décolletage and appears relaxed in the company of the European man who requests her portrait.
The preceding number in the series is of "Ayoucha", and those from number 165 onwards are all architectural subjects. This suggests, at most, one other study was possibly made.