She is on a mission to promote women’s rights in the Middle East, but not everyone is happy to see her. Laura Bush, the wife of the American President George W, was heckled and shouted at as she visited a number of holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City and the adjacent Dome of the Rock Mosque. Israeli police and US secret service agents were close at hand to keep the crowds back – some who chanted “you are not welcome here!”.
She continued regardless, often simply being the focus of curious onlookers. Her trip is part of a five day visit to the region, which has already taken her to Amman and Jordan. Next she will head for Egypt. During the trip, America’s first lady acknowledged her country’s image had been tarnished by the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq and a recent story in Newsweek claiming US soldiers had desecrated the Koran, a report was later retracted.