Syrian dictator Assad’s British-born wife Asma, 43, attends event in a headscarf after undergoing treatment for breast cancer
- Asma al-Assad started treatment for cancer in August after a tumour was found
- 43-year-old was pictured in hospital next to dictator husband Bashar al-Assad
- British-born Mrs Assad wore a headscarf during an education event yesterday
- She was all smiles as she met children, viewed their art and posed for photos
The wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has attended an education event in a headscarf after undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Asma al-Assad vowed to tap into the ‘determination’ of the Syrian people when she started treatment for the disease in August after a malignant tumour was found in its early stages.
Yesterday, the British-born 43-year-old met children, viewed their art and posed for photos at a graduation ceremony of teachers from Damascus University.
In August, dictator Assad, whose regime has been accused of launching deadly chemical attacks during Syria’s brutal civil war, posted an official photo to Facebook showing the couple smiling as his wife sat in hospital with an IV in her left arm.
Asma al-Assad, the wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, has attended an education event (pictured) in a headscarf after undergoing treatment for breast cancer
The British-born 43-year-old met children, viewed their art and posed for photos as they attended the event, run in collaboration with the University of Damascus
In August, Assad posted an official photo to Facebook showing the couple smiling as his wife sat in hospital with an IV in her left arm
‘I belong to the (Syrian) people who taught the world steadfastness, strength and how to face difficulties,’ read the caption in Arabic. ‘My determination comes from your determination and strength in the past years.’
Cry for help that shames Britain: Syrian refugee…
‘President Trump is Saudi Arabia’s b**ch’: Hawaii Rep and…
Saudi showdown: Trump faces backlash from outraged Senate…
Share this article
It was not specified where the first lady was being treated, but the word ‘military’ was printed on a blanket visible in the picture. State news agency SANA said later the first lady is undergoing treatment at a military hospital in the Syrian capital of Damascus. It gave no further details.
Such public health announcements are uncommon in the Arab world, where cancer is considered a taboo.
Asma Assad’s parents, a cardiologist and a diplomat, are from the central province of Homs but she was born and raised in London before moving back to Syria after meeting the president.
Asma al-Assad vowed to tap into the ‘determination’ of the Syrian people when she started treatment for the disease in August after a malignant tumour was found in its early stages
Syria’s First Lady Asma al-Assad (centre) poses for a picture during a graduation ceremony of future teachers of a Syrian Organisation for Persons with Disabilities, in Damascus yesterday
Bashar al-Assad’s regime has been repeatedly accused of launching chemical weapon attacks during Syria’s brutal civil war
The two have been married for 18 years and have three children, Hafez, Zein and Karim.
The couple’s marriage was announced by state media six months after he assumed the presidency in July 2000 following the death of his father Hafez.
The former investment banker styled herself as a progressive rights advocate and was seen as the modern side of the Assad dynasty.
Since Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011, Mrs Assad has mostly been seen in public receiving families of fallen soldiers, or hosting people wounded in the conflict, now in its eighth year, which has killed more than 400,000 people.
Before the crisis began in March 2011, she was the subject of flattering profiles in Vogue and other fashion magazines.
As Syria’s conflict worsened, the first lady became a target of contempt for many opposition supporters who saw her as whitewashing atrocities carried out by the government.
When her husband faced calls to be tried as a war criminal, Mrs Assad was widely criticised for saying accusations against him were ‘propaganda’ against the regime.
She even used her Instagram account, where she regularly posts propaganda images of her husband with government forces, to accuse the west of lying over his use of Sarin gas on his own people.
On her Instagram account, she wrote in Arabic: ‘The presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic affirms that what America has done is an irresponsible act that only reflects a short-sightedness, a narrow horizon, a political and military blindness to reality, and a naive pursuit of a frenzied false propaganda campaign that fueled the regime’s arrogance.’
Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, talks to a disabled child during the graduation ceremony yesterday
Mrs Assad’s parents, both Sunni Muslims, moved from Syria to London in the Fifties so that her father, who is now based at the Cromwell Hospital and in Harley Street, could get the best possible education and medical training
Mrs Assad’s parents, both Sunni Muslims, moved from Syria to London in the Fifties so that her father, who is now based at the Cromwell Hospital and in Harley Street, could get the best possible education and medical training.
Though a Muslim, she was educated at a Church of England school in Ealing before attending a private girls’ day school — Queen’s College, Harley Street.
After studying computer science and French literature at King’s College London, Mrs Assad worked as a banker at JP Morgan in the Nineties when she met her future husband.
At the time, Assad was training at a hospital in London to become an eye surgeon.
Those who knew her said that, given that she spent the first 25 years of her life in London, Mrs Assad had liberal western values.
In 2012, she was banned from travelling to Europe and last year MPs called for her British citizenship to be revoked.
Nadhim Zahawi, a Conservative MP on the Commons foreign affairs committee, said: ‘The time has come where we go after [President] Assad in every which way, including people like Mrs Assad, who is very much part of the propaganda machine that is committing war crimes.’
Source: Read Full Article