Saturday, December 1, 2012

The burden of beauty

Rula Jebreal (pictured at left) is drop-dead gorgeous. Though her name was faintly familiar, Jebreal's loveliness was top of mind when I first spied her on MSNBC discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum. Aha, I stupidly assumed, another beautiful celeb with questionable intellectual credentials (think Angelina Jolie) using her celebrity to spotlight a pet issue. I should have known better. So I Googled her to learn more -- and ended up on the road to Damascus. Jebreal, 39, is an award-winning journalist and novelist with duel Israeli and Italian citizenship (she was born in Haifa, Israel, to an Italian father). Right -- that Jebreal. Oops. Per Wikipedia, she has a masters in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Bologna. Jebreal became the first foreign anchorwoman in the history of Italian television, winning awards for coverage of the Iraq War (including the International Ischia Award for Best Journalist of the Year). She worked as a journalist in Italy for 12 years, earning a reputation as a tough interviewer. Her first novel "Miral," written in 2003, sold millions of copies worldwide, and was eventually made into an award-winning film. Oh, and Jebreal is fluent in five languages: Italian, English, Arabic, Hebrew, and German. In short: She is no air-head. That honor belongs to me for assuming that she was. Even in 2012, men reflexively tend not to take beautiful women seriously. Hopefully, bright lights like Jebreal will slap some sense into us. And, ladies, please use a two-by-four. Lord knows we deserve it.

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