February 25, 2011: Vogue
calls her "a rose in the desert": "Asma al-Assad
is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies."
(Wikipedia about her husband
: "He has been criticized for his disregard for human rights, economic lapses, sponsorship of terrorism, and corruption.")
November 2010 in Italian Vogue
: "Mihriban Aliyev, First Lady of Azerbaijan, tall and slim, a minimal style, H.R.H. Lalla Selma, wife of Mohammed VI King of Morocco, who wears the best designer clothes with a preference for a sober and elegant look. Sheikha Mozah, Queen of Qatar, who has own personal style with her magnificent turbans and miss-match of colors. The wife of the Syrian President, Alma Al Assad.
It's nice to see that each one of them with their beauty, class and sophistication, has her own way of interpreting fashion. (...)
Any criticism? They get some because they are so exposed, the media never let down a detail or a mistake. It's part of their role and they keep on smiling and looking beautiful, charming and convincing."
The Guardian rudely calls some of these chic fashion leaders "Ice Queens
How and why did Vogue get access to the First Lady of Syria? Has Syria learned something
from the way Libya courted Western press and people of influence? After all, back in 2007, Professor Lord Anthony Giddens wrote
, after meeting Muammar Gadafy:
"If Gadafy is sincere about reform, as I think he is, Libya could end up as the Norway of North Africa. (...) As one-party states go, Libya is not especially repressive. Gadafy seems genuinely popular. (...) Will real progress be possible only when Gadafy leaves the scene? I tend to think the opposite."