In a rare TV interview in 2003 on CBS News's 60 Minutes, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani the Emir of Qatar discussed the reforms he was implementing in his country. To Qataris and other Gulf Arabs watching TV at home, that 60 Minutes interview was a complete shock, and not because of the emir's ruminations on freedom and democracy. Qataris, rather, were focused on the woman sitting beside him. It was the first time the vast majority of them had seen any of their first ladies.
The second of Sheikh Hamad’ three wives, (He married a cousin, which cemented a problematic political alliance. He married Sheikha Mozah, because she caught his fancy. And he married yet again, solidifying another alliance with another cousin), Sheikha Mozah is the first and only Qatari ruling spouse to show herself in public. A rarity in a region where most wives, consorts, and queens remain firmly under wraps. But that is just the start of it.
With a BA in sociology and holding several posts in Qatar and internationally, that include Vice-President of the Supreme Education Council and UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, this mother of seven finds herself in a constant state of travel and conferences. Whether meeting with the President of France or speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, she is always impeccably turned out in custom couture outfits by Dior, Gaultier, and Chanel to name a few.
Clockwise: In Gaultier Paris, Fall 2005; In Christian Dior couture, Fall 2005; In Gaultier Paris, Spring 2005; In Dior couture, Spring 2005; In Chanel couture, Spring 2005.
© THE POLYGLOT (all rights reserved) CHICAGO-PARIS