Arab dictators’ wives

Via Mark Koyama, I found this Guardian article fascinating, here is one excerpt, concerning Syria:

The pinnacle of Asma’s international media charm offensive was a gushing piece in last March’s American Vogue, just before the Syrian uprising began and was met with a crackdown. The article has now mysteriously disappeared from the magazine’s website. Described as a “rose in the desert”, “the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies”, Asma, dressed in jeans, heels and a T-shirt with “Happiness” emblazoned on the back, describes how her home, a triplex apartment, is run “on wildly democratic principles” – seemingly far from the brutal one-party state oppression going on outside.

Looking at her three children, she says: “We all vote on what we want, and where.” Pointing to the dining room chandelier, which is constructed from cut-out comic books, she says: “They outvoted us three to two on that.” Against a backdrop of designer bags, private jets and SUVs, Asma tells Vogue her “central mission” is “to change the mind-set of 6 million Syrians under 18”, encourage them to engage in what she calls “active citizenship.”


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