Houda Al-Habash is not only seen driving her car in the opening scene of “The Light In Her Eyes,” but she is also steering hundreds of young Syrian girls and women to study the Koran. The 2011 documentary, airing on Thursday, July 19 on PBS’s Point Of View series, explores the impact studying the the Koran has on the girls and how it empowers them to become whatever they wish to be. Keep reading »
“Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue. The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms.”
–Vogue editor Anna Wintour on the profile the magazine did on Syrian first lady Asma Al-Assad. Assad’s husband Bashar al-Assad is responsible for Syria’s spate of violence against its own citizens. The March 2011 profile happened to coincide with the rise in violence in the country, and was unceremoniously removed from Vogue’s website in April 2012. Author Joan Juliet Buck explained that she chose to profile Assad because, “I think that Vogue is always on the lookout for good-looking first ladies because they’re a combination of power and beauty and elegance. That’s what Vogue is about. And here was this woman who had never given an interview, who was extremely thin and very well-dressed and therefore, qualified to be in Vogue. And they had – Vogue had been trying to get her for quite a long time.” [Fashionista]
Oh Vogue, you are so very good with the fashions, but the politics? Not so much. The high fashion mag’s latest gaffe is a poorly-timed profile of Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad, which ran in the mag’s March 2011 issue. It used to be searchable on Vogue’s website, but it’s since been taken off the site. Why, you might ask? Well, Asma’s husband, Bashar al-Assad, is responsible for a vicious crackdown on his own citizens that began last year — right around when the profile on Asma was published — and has resulted in more than 9,000 Syrians have died. And according to reports, Asma is far from innocent. She’s been characterized as a “Marie Antoinette” of the regime, shopping for jewelry and clothing online while the violent uprising occurred.
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Last week, we told you about the mysterious disappearance of Amina Abdallah, 35, a lesbian woman in Syria who penned the blog Gay Girl in Damascus. As Jessica initially wrote in that post, according to a post written by her cousin, on June 6, three men pulled up in a car and grabbed Abdallah. In a followup post, her cousin simply said she is “missing.” Shortly after word of her disappearance spread on the internet, along with various photos of Abdallah, a woman named Jelena Lecic, from the UK, came forward and said that the photos were actually of her. (The photo at left is Lecic and is one of the photos used to represent Abdallah on the internet.) This caused many to question not only the legitimacy of Abdallah’s disappearance, but also her existence as well.
And, as it turns out, those hunches were right. There is no Amina Abdallah. Keep reading »
UPDATE: A London woman, Jelena Lecic, has claimed that the “Gay Girl In Damascus” blogger has stolen her photographs to use as the public face of her blog. Lecic’s publicist said the woman knew before that a Syrian blogger had been using her pics, possibly taken from Facebook, as her identity. However, when blogger Amina Abdallah went missing recently, Lecic began seeing pictures of herself everywhere claiming they were of the missing woman. Now there is some doubt being cast on Abdallah’s actual identity. Summary: the whole thing is very weird. [MSNBC]
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A lesbian blogger in Syria, who penned a popular blog called “Gay Girl In Damascus,” was abducted, her family said. Amina Abdallah, 35, an English teacher, was a prominent voice in opposition to Syria’s leadership and had dodged other abduction attempts by suspected security agents, CNN reports. Keep reading »