Asma al-Assad no longer en vogue, Anna Wintour says
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's wife, Asma, has not been heard from since the violence began.
June 12th, 2012
11:45 AM ET

Asma al-Assad no longer en vogue, Anna Wintour says

More than a year after Vogue magazine published a gushing profile about the first lady of Syria, the magazine's editor in chief has released a statement condemning the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

A statement from Anna Wintour appeared Monday on

"In 2010, we set up an interview with the Syrian leader's wife, Asma al-Assad, a Western-educated former banker and a woman with a reputation as a force for reform in the Middle East. Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue. The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable, and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms."

The profile of Asma al-Assad appeared in the print March 2011 version. Vogue apparently removed the story from its website later.

The piece called Asma al-Assad a "rose in the desert" and described her as "the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies." The British-born first lady was portrayed in the story as a progressive and modern woman who fought for the rights of children, the poor and those who are oppressed. Read CNN's story on Asma al-Assad and the Syrian uprising here.

Syria's first lady faces sanctions

In March, the EU imposed new sanctions on Asma al-Assad.

Asma al-Assad to end Syria conflict?

In April, wives of top U.N. diplomats urged Asma al-Assad to speak out.

The Vogue story came out as the al-Assad regime was cracking down violently on an uprising in the country. The United Nations estimates that more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have died since the crisis erupted in March 2011. Opposition groups give estimates ranging from at least 12,000 to more than 14,000. Human Rights Watch reports that at least 1,176 children have been killed since February 2011.

In April, wives of top U.N. diplomats banded together to publicly call for Asma al-Assad to do something to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

The first lady has not been heard from since the violence began.

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Filed under: Syria
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    With the Houla massacre pinned firmly on 'rebels' Bashar's regime is no longer solely in control of the blood shed and mayhem . Not much that Asma can do there.
    Its purely a game between the meddling powers.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • darr247

      *what* "meddling powers" would that be? You mean the muslim brotherhood and al-queda?

      June 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dj

      now we see how far this rabbit hole goes.. there's obviously underlying motives.. at what level of these motives is the question.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Obama Mama

    @Saywhat-The rebels you speak of are pro-government, Shabiha. They came into Houla after the tanks and heavy artilery had damaged and killed. Then the pro- government regime moved in for the ground kill of women and children.
    Apparently Asma has done nothing but shop. She does not use her influence as a mother, care giver, or first lady to help her country. She is as useless as teats on a bull. Happy Guicci, Asma, home shopper of the Syrian people.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • kuduson

      meddling powers are US ,UK , Nato, Qatar,Saudi ,turkey and Israel
      the rebels are al queda and islamic Jihadists brought in from the region
      creating sensational false propagnda is the hallmark of the west
      one saw that in the invasion of Iraq,Afghanistan and Libya
      the rest of the world knows the truth
      except for the war mongers and child killers

      June 13, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    I have zero respect fot Asma, and even less for her brutal husband.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • less than zero

      Logical paradox above.

      June 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fernace

    It doesn't matter that Asma al-Assad was Brittish born, educated abroad or "very progressive"! She's a woman in a Middle Eastern country & she's married to the Dictator! Shopping is probably all she's Allowed to do, which pleases her tyrant hubby, since it is a sure sign of His wealth & standing! She hasn't been heard from in 18 mos!? Is she in hiding? But thanks to Anna Wintour for calling her out on it, though!!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maya

      This is an absolutely ridiculous comment. I've been to Syria several times and Asma's contribution to civil society is noticeable. She's contributed to several economic and health initiatives, set up an entrepreneurship program for youth, created the Syrian Trust for Development, and is currently building the Massar Children's Discovery Center for underprivileged children. Please be a little informed before trying to make comments like this that have no point.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama Mama

      @Maya- Why do you think this all started because there are certain sections of Syria that were poor and hungry. I guess she set up the programs in the wealthiest parts of the city? Just because she set some of these up does not mean it was all of the people, maybe for the select few in one of the largest like Damascus.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Oh, yes, she cares so much for the underpriviledged children and youths that nearly 1200 have been slaughterd so far.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • kuduson

      if tested I am sure anna wintour will test positive
      there are lots of morons in the fashion industry

      June 13, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Austin Inyang

    What can she do? Like fernace has said, she's married to a Middle Eastern dictator. Short of divorcing him (which i doubt any woman in her position has ever done in the history of the world has ever done, considering that women crave power and its perks as much as men do), all she can do is be an obedient Middle Eastern and look out for her own kids.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      If she was a woman of character or moral strength she would have done something. At the very least, seeing the writing on the wall, she could have got herself and the kids out, distanced herself from the regime and spoken out against her husband. Instead she is complicit, if she can stay and still love a man like that, it says a lot about her own character. She married the son of a tyrant, I think the rest is obvious.

      June 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • EVN

      Divorce the SOB or just leave in disgust would be a start. Better yet, kill him in his sleep and then she'd be a hero.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • kuduson

      she can bomb the lights out of innocent women and children in afghanistan and pakistan
      and call them ruthless terrorists

      June 13, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Obama Mama

    @banasy Word!
    @ fernace- She seems to be quite modern. Fernace she does look thin in the picture? In agreement of Anna Wintour calling her out.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lulu

    Disgusting, dirty, heartless, malicious family..The entire Assad family and the Alewite community in Syria should be slaughtered just like the way they did to innocent Sunni's including the children and babies. This monster man and his military killed 2, 3 months old babies. Military men cut their throat...This regime is the most brutal regime. I can't wait to see Bashar's wife , his children and Alewites burning in front of him. He should be left to be killed last. How? This man should be hanged live on Al-Jazeera by the Syrian Free Army!What I know that this will soon come true. I just can't wait for it.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maya

      Anyone who wishes that an entire religious sect be slaughtered is disgusting. Shame on you.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • kuduson

      the people of Afghanistan wish the same on the US regime and NATO regime and their families

      June 13, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Brad Williams

    I feel very sorry for the dictator, his wife, and family. All the money and power will not save them or bring them happiness and love any more. I wonder what it would be like to be rich and hated, laughing at the world and wondering 'why dont my people love me anymore'. They are prisoners of their own demise.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimmysi

      Brad...people like that are delusional...they're surrounded by sycophants who tell them that this will all pass over, stay tough,'s ALWAYS been this way. They don't believe that their people could ever turn on them and hang on to power until the bitter end. Assad may have an escape hatch courtesy of Russia and China...if he's smart he'll pull the cord sooner rather than later.

      June 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LiberalNN

    LOL at another liberal finally getting a clue.

    June 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. guido ambrosi

    when assads head rolls on the street so will hers

    June 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • kuduson

      and yours too

      June 13, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. EVN

    Good to see that Asma's out of favor after having been fawned over, but just exactly what are Vogue's values? Isn't it a glamour magazine the glorifies fashion and other meaningless things and glorifies beautiful but largely empty people?

    June 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bob

    "The British-born first lady was portrayed in the story as a progressive and modern woman who fought for the rights of children, the poor and those who are oppressed."

    How naive is Anna Wintour?

    Not sure how you get into a position like that, editor, in charge of Vogue, in a very influential position, and not be able to see how a woman could marry a man like that..the acts of his father speaks volumes; did Ms. Wintour think Asma could change years of deceit, corruption and genocide.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • kuduson

      vogue is garbage
      vogue is junk
      and its people on junk

      June 13, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ross Longbottom

    Wow! Vogue is so out of vogue.
    Slow, and slow-witted it appears.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. citizenmn

    After over a year of bloodshed, Vogue finally does the right thing. Maybe they can now explain why it took so long.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ♚Mmmmm♛

    al-assad's head looks likes a question mark...i guess his wife likes a man who really likes accentuates his punctuation marks...letmie guess wife must have been an english major...

    June 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
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