Huma Abedin: Mystery Woman

Wait, wait! Is that headline Islamaphopic? By calling Huma Abedin a “mystery woman”, am I turning Ms. Abedin into ‘The Other’? Hasn’t poor Huma had enough with the mean attackes, this aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who made news when Rep. Michele Bachmann asked questions about her (clear & provable) ties to the Muslim Brotherhood?

Well, I’m not the one saying it. Blame this fascinating New York Observer article from 2007, Hillary’s Mystery Woman: Who Is Huma?

Which gets at another facet of the cult of Huma: She’s something of a mystery, even to the people who have worked in her proximity for years.

Very little is publicly known about her, which of course leaves plenty to talk about. And the rumors abound. According to various accounts from Huma acquaintances interviewed for this story: She’s Lebanese, she’s Jordanian, she’s Iranian, she’s 26, she’s 36, she has two children, she lives with the Clintons.

“No one knows anything about her,” said one political aide. “She’s like Hillary’s secret weapon.”

In point of fact, many people from countless different corridors across the globe know something of Huma Abedin. But apparently she has a rare knack for letting people in without really letting them in.

Well, that’s comforting to know. Especially in the wake of the Benghazi coverup, having a mystery woman at the Secretary of State’s right hand is a smart move. Makes those questions by Congresswoman Bachmann seem totally…wait. What?

The article gives some straight bio info:

The back story, as it were, begins 32 years ago in Kalamazoo, Mich., where Ms. Abedin, who declined to participate in this article, lived until the age of 2. Her family then relocated to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she lived until returning to the States for college. She attended George Washington University. Her father, who died when she was 17, was an Islamic and Middle Eastern scholar of Indian decent. He founded his own institute devoted to Western-Eastern and interfaith understanding and reconciliation and published a journal focusing on Muslim minorities living in the diaspora. Her mother, a renowned professor in Saudi Arabia, is Pakistani.

Another section discusses her dress habits. I’m not much of fashionista but there’s some mystery here, too.

According to a friend, her favorite designers are Mr. de la Renta, Catherine Malandrino, Charles Nolan and Prada. “And she has a weakness for Marc Jacobs bags,” said the friend. “She is known for her bags.”

Robert Barnett, the Clintons’ longtime attorney, said that in 11 years of knowing her, he has never seen her wear the same outfit twice. He also said he holds Ms. Abedin’s intellect in the highest regard. “She has extremely good instincts and extremely good judgment,” he said. “She is also gorgeous and the most terrifically dressed young woman you will ever encounter.”

Let’s add that up.

Her parents are academics who run a small obscure journal. Doesn’t seem like a path to riches. Their daughter who loves Marc Jacobs bags (here’s one at Bloomie’s for $1400) isn’t seem in the same outfit twice. I’m told this sort of fashion sense is a way to break into Washington. It gets you accepted. It’s also, obviously, extremely expensive. Someone was paying for those outfit. Were her parents independently wealthy? Who was paying to get Ms. Abedin to break into Washington D.C.?

It’s a mystery.


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