Suheir Atassi’s swimsuit and our moral bankruptcy


Suheir Atassi Image

Syria’s Suheir Atassi

Millions of women around the world do this daily without attracting much attention, but recently, Suhair Atassi, a prominent, secular Syrian opposition figure was spotted wearing a swimsuit at a Turkish resort. When photos of her appeared in social media, a vicious campaign, mainly in Arabic, was unleashed.

It was shocking and painful to read the comments on Twitter by many, both men and women, pro and anti-Syrian regime, pro and anti Islamic State, openly insulting Atassi and describing her with disgusting descriptions. It was as if Atassi’s body became a unifying figure for most Syrians, regardless of political stances. They indulged in demonizing and demeaning her, with varying arrays of excuses.

In a brutal civil war, as in Syria, it is perhaps expected that Atassi’s opponents, the Assad regime’s supporters, would brutally attack her politically as part of their campaign to discredit their opponents. What…

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