Saturday, June 06, 2009

NYT covers fashion

The young women of Baghdad acknowledge that there are more serious concerns in Iraq these days than hair, clothes and makeup.
But they also say that there might be nothing quite as exhilarating as stepping out of the house in a pretty dress, hair flowing freely behind them, behaving as if their country had not been shattered by war and dominated by religious conservatism for much of their lives.
"For girls," said Merna Mazin, a 20-year-old Baghdad University engineering student, "life would be tasteless without elegant fashion."
What Ms. Mazin calls elegant fashion bears little resemblance to couture or to the skin-baring summer street clothes of the West, of course.
It was 104 degrees in Baghdad on a recent day, but Ms. Mazin was wearing a multicolored sleeveless dress over a pair of jeans. A long-sleeve black shirt covered her arms.
Her black hair, with subtle blond highlights, was free of a head covering, however -- not a small victory for Ms. Mazin, a Christian who wore the traditional Muslim woman's head scarf for two years to avoid being singled out by Islamic militias.

The above is from Timothy Williams and Abeer Mohammed's "What Not to Wear, Baghdad-Style: Fashion Rules Begin to Change" which appears in today's New York Times. There's not a great deal to add to that story except to note that Baghdad is not Iraq, it is the heavily protected and occupied section of Iraq. Good luck to Mazin and may it spread throughout Iraq.

Patrick Hennessy (Telegraph of London) reports that with Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister, under attack and his cabinet revolting, he's finally decided to make a move on the inquiry into the Iraq War but any investigation determination "-- which coulld be potentially politically damaging for Tony Blair, Mr Brown and other senior Labour figures -- would still almost certainlly not be known until after the next general election, which must be held by early June 2010."

May 24th the DoD released a statement:

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 21 near Baghdad, Iraq of wound sustained when their unit was attacked by enemy forces using improvise explosive devices while on dismounted patrol.

Killed were:

Maj. Jason E. George, 38, of Tehachapi, Calif. He was an Army Reservist assigned to the 252nd Combined Arms Battalion, Fayetteville, North Carolina.

1st Lt. Leevi K. Barnard, 28, of Mount Airy, N.C. He was a National Guardsman assigned to the 252nd Combined Arms Battalion, Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Staff Sgt. Paul F. Brooks, 34, of Joplin, Mo. He was a National Guardsman assigned to the 935th Aviation Support Battalion, Springfield, Missouri.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

The Joplin Globe reports Paul Brooks "was honored during the funeral with the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and his second Army Commendation Medal. In addition, Brig. Gen. Stephen Danner read a proclamation by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, honoring Paul for his sacrifice."

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