Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Asma al-Assad

Asma al-Assad (Arabic: أسماء الأسد‎); born 11 August 1975; née Asma Fawaz al-Akhras (Arabic: أسماء فواز الأخرس‎), is the British-born First Lady of Syria. She moved to Syria to marry President Bashar al-Assad in December 2000, having previously pursued a career in investment banking.

Early Life, Education and Finance Career
Asma is the daughter of Fawaz Akhras, a consultant cardiologist at the Cromwell Hospital, London, and retired diplomat Sahar Otri al-Akhras. Her parents are Sunni and of Syrian origin, originally coming from Homs. Assad grew up in Acton where she went to a local Church of England state school. She finished her schooling at Queen's College in London, attended King's College London, and graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Diploma in French Literature.

After university, Assad started work at Deutsche Bank Group in the hedge fund management division with clients in Europe and the East Asia. In 1998, she joined the investment banking division of J.P. Morgan, specializing in mergers and acquisitions.

Personal Life
Asma met Bashar al-Assad during a holiday to Syria. After Hafez al-Assad's death in 2000, Bashar took over the presidency of Syria. Asma emigrated to Syria in November 2000 and married Bashar in December. They have three children: Hafez, Zein and Karim.

First Lady
Asma has been described by analysts and in media as an important part of Syria's public image. She was also credited with taking progressive positions on women's rights and education, and liberalizing the Syrian economy. Her designer outfits have also garnered media attention.

Asma remained largely silent during the 2011–2012 Syrian uprising, issuing her first statement to international media in February 2012 through a representative. The representative sent an e-mail to The Times in London on her behalf stating: "The President is the President of Syria, not a faction of Syrians, and the first lady supports him in that role."

From : www.wikipedia.org