March 23, 2005

by Reb Yudel
We are the World (Bank): Wolfowitz' Arab romance raises neighbors' eyebrows, ire

What Will the Neighbors Say? Wolfowitz Romance Stirs Gossip (washingtonpost.com):
Social Washington has been buzzing for months about the discreet romance between Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Shaha Riza, an Arab feminist and a communications adviser at the World Bank. Now that he's been nominated to head the bank and their relationship has become public, some of Riza's neighbors have become irked enough to dish.

Turns out that some Iraq war foes in the diplomat-heavy neighborhood south of American University don't seem to appreciate that Wolfowitz regularly spends the night at Riza's home. Two residents told us that Wolfowitz's guards wait in a car outside until he departs early in the morning.

Wolfowitz, 61, and Riza, who's said to be in her mid-fifties, are both divorced. They have declined to publicly discuss their relationship but share a desire to democratize the Middle East. Riza, an Oxford-educated British citizen, was born in Tunisia and grew up in Saudi Arabia. She's known for her expertise on women's rights and has been listed on the bank's Web site as a media contact for Iraq reconstruction issues. Acquaintances say Riza and Wolfowitz have been a couple for nearly two years.

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