Syria’s ‘Very Chic’ First Lady Asma al-Assad May Have Fled Syria

Psst: wear this hat, it will help you blend in.

Well, well, well. We won’t believe it until we see the Vogue write-up on what she wore on the private jet out of Damascus, but according to The Telegraph, Syria’s First Lady Asma al-Assad is in London (she is a dual citizen of Britain, where she was born, and Syria) with her children. Arab news organizations claim that she may have been there for 3 weeks. {via Gawker}

Perhaps she caught royal wedding fever, but the Telegraph suggests that due to the increasing violence against protesters by her husband, President Bashar al-Assad, she was warned “to get out as soon as you can.” Since the Syrian ambassador was uninvited to the wedding, that seems more plausible.

Profiled in a puff-piece in American Vogue as a “rose in the desert,” the Syrian First Lady was introduced to readers just after the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, not long before unrest in Libya began. At the time, we pointed out the sheer stupidity of running a piece highlighting the “wildly democratic” life of the first family, while people who complained about human rights faced the risk of arrests without cause and torture. Particularly given that similar complaints were part of what sparked the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, and that spirit of protest seemed to be spreading.

Print is a bit different, given that magazine content is often closed 3-4 months ahead of time, but online? Looks like Vogue has scrubbed the profile from it’s site – better late than never, perhaps – but thanks to the internet where nothing ever really dies, we’ll always have those quotes for posterity.

“The household is run on wildly democratic principles. ‘We all vote on what we want, and where,’ [Asma] says.”

While his wife and children are safely in London, Basha al-Assad has reportedly sent tanks into multiple Syrian towns to crush mostly peaceful protests. So far, it’s estimated 750 Syrians have been killed. {AP} Eyewitness accounts are difficult to verify since journalists have largely been banned from entering the country.

Not that they’d really want to be there: when the tanks roll in, electricity and telecommunications are cut, and those trapped report being too scared to go outside for food or water for fear of being mistaken for a protester and shot.

Odd from “a precise man who takes photographs and talks lovingly about his first computer,” but maybe we’ll get to those little discrepancies and a review of the best Syrian restaurants in London when President al Assad’s GQ profile comes around.

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