“A Rose in the Desert”
From Imelda Marcos of the Philippines to Asma Al-Assad, the western media has had a long love affair with foreign first ladies. Perhaps this is the result of some subconscious attachment to the disappearing world of queens and princess. Indeed there is a touch of the royal in Vogue’s well-written profile of Asma Al-Assad, First Lady of Syria. As written the courtship between the future first lady and President Bashar Al-Assad seems to be missing only a glass slipper. The author’s profile includes a visit to the presidential residence in Damascus where the Al-Asad family makes decisions “on wildly democratic principles". The reporter also steals a few moments to chat with Syrian President. In a candid moment, the former eye-surgeon and rock fan characterizes the world of ophthalmology: "it’s very precise, it’s almost never an emergency, and there is very little blood” he says. The reader is left to wonder how Al-Asad would characterize the world of Middle Eastern politics.