The Queen & I: Rania Told Me She Has Always Wanted to Visit Bangladesh.
Last week I had the tremendous honor of attending an event with Her Majesty, Queen Rania of Jordan. She was in Washington to promote a great initiative for girls education called “10×10.”
The fact that around the world millions of girls are still denied an education, unable to go to school for reasons ranging from having to walk thousands of miles to fetch water for their families to lack of security to their menstrual periods is one of the most frustrating aspects of working in the field of women’s rights.
If girls are still unable to access education, what does that imply for the future of the global feminist movement, not to mention the economic development of countries?
One of the most electrifying outcomes of the recent protests in the Middle East & North Africa has been the shattering of myths about Arabs & Muslims that have for too long been fed to the West: the women are voiceless, passive creatures apathetic to their country’s political processes, and democracy is something we are not only incapable of handling, but do not desire to begin with.
Of course now the truth is out, and the whole world has witnessed the opposite: the deep yearning for democracy actually permeates the Arab world, and women are front and center of the protests. The youth from Tunisia to Egypt to Yemen to Libya have shown us they are willing to die for freedom.
Asma al- Assad's Designer Accessories Only Act As a Cover for Syria's Ruthless Dictatorship. Image Credit: Huffington Post
But Vogue has no interest in that. The iconic fashion publication has made it clear that when is comes to the Middle East they are more interested in the choice of designers of dictators, or more specifically their wives, as the recent profile of Syria’s First Lady Asma al-Assad proves.
The Wall Street Journal points out that the magazine, whose characterization of Asma (aptly titled “The Dictator’s Wife Wears Louboutins”) which concentrates on her couture and Chanel accessories, clearly missed the memo that tyrants are no longer trending in the Middle East:
The Assad family—first Hafez and now his son Bashar—has ruled Syria since 1970. In that time, they’ve killed 20,000 Syrians to put down an uprising in Hama, provoked civil war in Lebanon and then occupied the country to “keep peace,” built a secret nuclear-weapons facility modeled on North Korea’s, and established Damascus as a hub for terrorists from Hezbollah to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. All part of keeping their countrymen under foot for 40 years.
Let's Talk About Dior, Not Democracy: Like Asma, Queen Rania Does a Similar Job for Her Husband. Image Credit: Flickr
Posted in Politics Not As Usual, Women's Rights=Human Rights
Tagged Asma al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad, democracy, Dictator's wives, Dictators, Jordan, King Abdullah, Middle East, Middle East protests, Muslim women, Queen Rania, Syria, Vogue