Is it Fair to Scrutinize Arab First Ladies?

In a recent article, Nesrine Malik discusses the scrutiny placed upon the wives of Arab leaders in relation to revolution in the Arab world.  Designer-clad extensions of their husbands’ regimes, Malik points out the focus placed upon their lifestyles. Mostly, she draws upon the example of Tunisia’s Leila Ben Ali, Egypt’s Suzanne Mubarak, and Jordan’s Queen Rania. Critiqued as symbols of the greedy and corrupt antics of their husbands, they also represent some of the confusion about what a progres … [Read more...]

Queen Bees: Queen Rania on Oprah

When I heard that Queen Rania of Jordan appeared on The Oprah Show not too long ago, I was a bit skeptical. Don’t get me wrong--there isn’t much to dislike about Queen Rania. Oprah said it herself: Queen Rania is a “gorgeous mother of four” and “international fashion icon” whose mission is to “make the world a better place for women and children.”I just had one fear: that the discourse of cosmopolitanism would take over, and a Muslim woman would, in fear of being marginalized, begin to undermin … [Read more...]