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March 14, 2011

al Qaeda Glamour

So this is the cover of the new Al Qaeda magazine reportedly patterned after Glamour, Cosmo or Elle. (By the way, are those mags equivalent?)

(And here she is, front and back. This is closer view of the cover with title translations.)

Called Al-ShAhamikha or “majestic woman,” I feel cross-culturally challenged to really understanding this cover.  Based on the backstory, the articles, in equal measure, emphasize modesty, beauty/self-care and jihad.  Certainly, what looks like a clipping or sticky note top left of a woman fully veiled, the size and design actually makes her one of the more distinctive cover girls I’ve ever seen. I suppose the scale does a good job of balancing the tradeoff between modesty and “you.” On the other hand, though, I’d say the real beauty object, with the light shimmering off of it and the gleam of light shining through it, is that sexy piece of jihad hardware.

Bottom line, though, I’m wondering, what with al Qaeda going Cosmo (if we’re still keeping score nearly 10 years after 9/11) if the West has finally won.

  • Megan

    I can’t tell from your pictures, but you know that Arabic books open left-to-right? Are you sure which is the front and which is the back?

  • Robert

    Actually, the masthead reads Ash-Shankhah. Al-Ahamikha, I believe, means The Idiot.

    • Michael Shaw

      Not sure where I picked up the other spelling. Thanks.

    • Linda

      It’s al-Shaamikha. A calligraphic logo.
      Alif Lam. Shiin, then Alif swoops all the way over to the left and up. Then in the middle is a Miim above the Khaa, which makes a counter-clockwise loop before ending in a Taa marbuta just inside the Alif.
      There isn’t a Nuun.

  • Linda

    It looks to me like the magazine is “al-Shaamikha” (the Elevated, in the feminine), connotation primarily height, loftiness.

    re Megan’s comment, the front cover is on the left and the back cover on the right, as if you pulled the cover from a magazine stapled on the right and opening on the left and spread it out, front on the left, back on the right.

    The front indicates that the cover story is “Interview with Wife of a Jihadist.” Right underneath the end of the gleaming gun-barrel is a wee picture of the bonus supplement “Bayti” “My House” with a little house on the cover that makes me think of Goldilocks.

  • tinwoman

    Muslim women are supposed to be above all, feminine. This is therefore acceptable (not much else is). Way too much pink for this tinwoman–I’m an adult.

  • alen lvovich
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