'Asma, your husband murders and you worry about style?'
Ongoing Syria violence leads diplomats’ wives to launch creative initiative with goal of appealing to heart of Damascus’ first lady Asma Assad. ‘For the sake of your people. Stop your husband’
The violence in Syria continues and the international community’s failure to take action to solve the crisis and bring an end to the killing of innocent civilians has led a group of women to launch a creative initiative with the goal of appealing to the heart of the Syrian leadership - the first lady of Syria – Asma Assad wife of Bashar Assad.
A four-minute clip, posted on YouTube by the wives of the ambassadors of Britain and Germany to the UN call on Asma to stop her husband from continuing the killing in Syria. The Daily Mail reported that the clip alternates pictures of the stylish 36-year-old Asma Assad with horrific scenes of Syria’s conflict and its victims. Graphic photographs of children killed or tortured in the more than year-long conflict in which more than 9,000 people have died also appear.
Youtube clip calls on Asma to take action
The petition letter which accompanies the clip states: “Some women care for style… and some care for their people. Some women struggle for their image and some women struggle for survival. Some women have forgotten what they preached about peace and some women can only pray for their dead. “Some women pretend that they have no choice and some women just act. What happened to you, Asma? Hundreds of Syrian children have already been killed or injured. One day, our children will ask us what we have done to stop this bloodshed. What will your answer be, Asma?”
Struggling for her image? Asma Assad
"Stand up for peace, Asma. Speak out now. For the sake of your people. Stop your husband and his supporters. Stop being a bystander. No one cares about your image. We care about your action," the petition letter read. If that is not enough, the ambassadors’ wives also tried to pull at Asma’s heartstrings: “Asma, when you kiss your own children goodnight, another mother will find the place next to her empty. These children could all be your children. They are your children.”
In response to the clip the wife of Britain’s ambassador to the UN Lyall Grant told the Al-arabiya network: “This started as a private, personal initiative from Huberta and me - independent of the UN or our governments. We only launched it this morning and since then it’s grown exponentially, which shows how women all over the world, from all walks of life, have supported this message.”
Asma and Bashar Assad vote in last week’s referendum Photo: Reuters
Reedited video shows footage from 2009 interview with Syria’s first lady commenting on Operation Cast Lead applied to massacre in Syria
A video blogger reedited segments from a CNN interview Syria’s First LadyAsma Assadgave in 2009 during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza to make it seem as if she is in fact referring to the current violent crackdown in her own country.
In the remixed video uploaded to Youtube, Assad is seen declaring that “the barbaric assault on innocent civilians has been horrific,” and, “this is the 21st century, where in the world could this happen?” as images of the massacres in the city of Homs are displayed.
Readers should be aware that the clip includes some extremely graphic images.
Remixed video exposing Asma Assad’s hypocrisy
In its report of the video satire, the New York Times said it was not clear who made the remix, but that it was uploaded to YouTube last week by an anonymous video blogger who had posted video of a protest in the Syrian capital, Damascus, in January. Before that, the same person uploaded a series of brief comedy sketches, apparently shot in Britain.
British-born Asma Assad’s silence on the violence in her country received much focus by the UK press. The Independent newspaper quoted a Syrian citizen who said that the First Lady did not comment when told about the attack against protesters and the abduction of the injured. “It was like telling her something that happens every day,” the man said.
Last week, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported that Jordan’s Queen Rania recently phoned Asma to ask about the situation in the battle-torn country. Assad’s wife responded: “Our situation is excellent and we have no concerns, thanks to allah.”
Letter Of Note of the Day: Less than a year after its debut as a half-hour show, The Simpsons was already stoking the ire of some of the country’s most prominent people. In a 1990 interview, Barbara Bush was quoted as saying The Simpsons was “the dumbest thing I had ever seen.”
Not one to take that sort of slight lying down, Simpson family matriarch Marge penned a letter to the First Lady, expressing dismay at the comment.
This response from Bush soon followed:
How kind of you to write. I’m glad you spoke your mind; I foolishly didn’t know you had one.
I am looking at a picture of you, depicted on a plastic cup, with your blue hair filled with pink birds peeking out all over. Evidently, you and your charming family — Lisa, Homer, Bart and Maggie — are camping out. It is a nice family scene. Clearly you are setting a good example for the rest of the country.