“Sex sells — but can it sell a bloody Middle Eastern revolution pitting disparate armed factions against an entrenched autocrat?” asks Cara Parks over at Foreign Policy. The above photo accompanies the article.
It should be noted that the author is not responsible for the images, but she surely doesn’t offer any critical commentary on the sexualization and objectification of a violent struggle against a brutal regime. She argues towards the end that this meme could potentially bring the Syrian uprising to mainstream media headlines, drawing more needed attention to the conflict. But I struggle to understand how this sort of attention will do anything but turn the uprising into something it’s quickly evolving into: a spectacle.
Let’s set aside the implication of political interests from some of the world’s most powerful and corrupt regimes. The author perpetuates the idea that the Middle East is a region inhabited by two kinds of humans: the sexualized object that needs to be tamed, and the violent object that needs to be tamed. In this case, this image and article embodies both these kinds of humans in one well-packaged meme. I say object because the author effectively hijacked his identity, imposing her own definitions strictly limited to physical identifiers, such as “his nonchalant stride, close-cropped dark hair, chiseled chin, and steely-eyed intensity, this freedom fighter’s sculpted physique…” No mention of his struggle, his cause, his goals, his experiences, no mention of even his fucking name. 
Great work FP. Awesome job Cara Parks. 

Sex sells — but can it sell a bloody Middle Eastern revolution pitting disparate armed factions against an entrenched autocrat?” asks Cara Parks over at Foreign Policy. The above photo accompanies the article.

It should be noted that the author is not responsible for the images, but she surely doesn’t offer any critical commentary on the sexualization and objectification of a violent struggle against a brutal regime. She argues towards the end that this meme could potentially bring the Syrian uprising to mainstream media headlines, drawing more needed attention to the conflict. But I struggle to understand how this sort of attention will do anything but turn the uprising into something it’s quickly evolving into: a spectacle.

Let’s set aside the implication of political interests from some of the world’s most powerful and corrupt regimes. The author perpetuates the idea that the Middle East is a region inhabited by two kinds of humans: the sexualized object that needs to be tamed, and the violent object that needs to be tamed. In this case, this image and article embodies both these kinds of humans in one well-packaged meme. I say object because the author effectively hijacked his identity, imposing her own definitions strictly limited to physical identifiers, such as “his nonchalant stride, close-cropped dark hair, chiseled chin, and steely-eyed intensity, this freedom fighter’s sculpted physique…” No mention of his struggle, his cause, his goals, his experiences, no mention of even his fucking name. 

Great work FP. Awesome job Cara Parks. 

 
[via @HuffPostWorld] Tweet links to this.
Um, not sure that analogy works really well, HuffPo.

[via @HuffPostWorld] Tweet links to this.

Um, not sure that analogy works really well, HuffPo.

#Syria  
 

Joan Juliet Buck: My Vogue Interview With Syria’s First Lady ›

resistance-episteme:

Arguably the most vile Orientalism I have read in a long time:
“Sheherazade took me through Damascus; in the dark early-evening streets, I felt uneasy. Mustached men stood in our path, wearing shoes from the 1980s and curiously ill-fitting leather jackets over thick sweaters.” 
My biggest fear is that the fashion writer’s aesthetic sensibilities were insulted by the poor people’s shoes. I mean how inhospitable of us Arabs to walk in a rich westerner’s presence looking poor. And they weren’t even vintage 80s! Vulgarians. 
The real gems though were these musings: “”Syria. The name itself sounded sinister, like syringe, or hiss….Syria gave off a toxic aura…I met the devil and his wife…”
So vile is the piece of incoherent racist rubbish that even mainstream journos like CNN’s Hala Gorani have criticized it. The piece has even spawned a new hashtag on Twitter— #countriesbyvoguewriters—which parodies the article with such priceless tweets as “#countriesbyVoguewriters “They tried to make me go to Riyadh, I said, no no no.” And this one “#countriesbyvoguewriters Norway. Neither do they have the will.”

 

I didn’t know I was going to meet a murderer.

Joan Juliet Buck: Mrs. Assad Duped Me via The Daily Beast

I have no added commentary.

 

Syria is a lot like Iraq. Indeed, Syria is Iraq’s twin.

Syria is Iraq by Thomas Friedman

Where Friedman sort of misses one little detail in his super simplified comparison: um, Iraq’s rentier-based economy? Maybe? Just a little bit important?

 

Huffington Post | "Syria: The Battleground Between Sunnis and Shiites" by Alon Ben-Meir ›

The Syrian situation has bred a serious conflict at the expense of the Syrian people. One of the worst aspects of the Syrian situation has been mainstream media coverage. The reductionist approach to analyzing and evaluating the situation often leaves the Syrian people voiceless, while the old play on sectarianism feeds an old discourse shaped by the regime and its supporters. Case in point:

It has become increasingly clear that the Syrian uprising transcends Iran’s and Turkey’s strategic interests, as it has become the battleground between the Sunni and Shiite communities throughout the Middle East. The Syrian uprising has drawn a clear sectarian line: the Sunni axis led by Turkey and Saudi Arabia and the Shiite axis led by Iran. The new political order that will eventually emerge in Syria will determine not only the ultimate success or failure of Iran’s aspiration to become the region’s hegemon but whether or not the Sunni Arab world will maintain its dominance.

Read more

Continue reading that article and count how many times the author mentions the Syrian people. 

I’ll give you a hint. He doesn’t.