Vogue Salutes Syria’s Dictator’s Wife Asma al-Assad For Being Thin
A FAINT sneery rustle of controversy over US Vogue‘s embarrassingly timed profile of Syria’s first lady, Asma al-Assad, 35. As Middle Eastern and north African regimes topple all about its borders and beyond, and Syria itself beats down rioters and restricts internet access, here comes a piece of scented puffery which lauds the wife of President Bashar al-Assad, who won 97% of the vote in the 2000 election.
You can’t buy that kind of charisma. Or may be you can.
Apparently, the first lady is the nation’s Mother Theresa. Wisely, she leaves the jewels at home while ministering to the dirt poor. She’s a strange kind of saintly figure, however. The Vogue piece recounts how she cruelly tells a bunch of children that their school is to be closed down. As infantile blubs start up she reveals she’s only joking – ‘I just wanted to see how much you care about Massar,’ she says of her charity.
It’s a very telling anecdote. Living saints should not be overly conscious of the favours they do unto others. Note to the first lady’s PRs.
As for Vogue, oh dearie dear. Yet another cock up. Why they ran the interview is revealed in the opening lines. She is ‘glamorous, young, and very chic… a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement.’ Yes, she is thin: this will have endeared the first lady to editor Anna Wintour who most certainly would not have commissioned the profile had the subject resembled the late Golda Meir or some other aged gargoyle. We all know about Anna’s obsession with thin.
If only she had read the astrological Old Moore’s Almanack, which from the vantage point of January 2010 foresaw the current revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and elsewhere, while secular seers had their antennae up their arses. If only.