Bashar al-Assad was born on September 11, 1965, in Damascus, Syria, to Hafez al-Assad, the former President of Syria, and his wife Anisa Makhlouf. He was the second son of the couple and was raised in a politically active family. Bashar al-Assad attended the University of Damascus, where he studied medicine and graduated in 1988.
After completing his education, Bashar al-Assad worked as a doctor in the Syrian Army. In 1994, he was sent to study ophthalmology in London, where he lived for several years. He returned to Syria in 1998, after his older brother, Basil al-Assad, died in a car accident. This event made Bashar al-Assad the heir apparent to his father’s presidency.
In 2000, Bashar al-Assad became the President of Syria after the death of his father. He promised political and economic reforms, but his rule was marked by repression, human rights violations, and corruption. The Syrian Civil War, which began in 2011, further intensified the situation in the country. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions.
As the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad has accumulated a considerable amount of wealth. According to Forbes, his net worth is estimated to be around $1.5 billion. Much of his wealth comes from his ownership of several businesses and properties in Syria, including a 50% stake in Syriatel, the country’s largest mobile phone operator.
Bashar al-Assad has also been accused of using his position to enrich himself and his family. He has been accused of diverting state funds for personal use, including the purchase of luxury goods and real estate abroad. In 2016, a leaked cache of emails allegedly belonging to Bashar al-Assad’s wife, Asma al-Assad, revealed her lavish spending on designer clothes and jewelry.
Despite the accusations of corruption and the ongoing conflict in Syria, Bashar al-Assad remains in power. His regime is supported by Russia and Iran, and he has managed to withstand international pressure and sanctions. The future of Syria remains uncertain, and the legacy of Bashar al-Assad’s rule is likely to be remembered as one of repression, violence, and wealth accumulation.
Here is a timeline of key events in the life of Bashar al-Assad:
- 1965: Bashar al-Assad is born on September 11th in Damascus, Syria.
- 1988: Bashar al-Assad graduates from the University of Damascus with a degree in medicine.
- 1994: Bashar al-Assad is sent to London to study ophthalmology.
- 1998: Bashar al-Assad returns to Syria after the death of his older brother, Basil al-Assad.
- 2000: Bashar al-Assad becomes President of Syria after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad.
- 2007: The United States accuses Syria of supporting terrorism and imposes economic sanctions on the country.
- 2011: Protests against the Assad regime begin in Syria, sparking the Syrian Civil War.
- 2013: The Syrian government is accused of using chemical weapons against civilians in a suburb of Damascus.
- 2015: Russia intervenes in the Syrian conflict, providing military support to the Assad regime.
- 2018: The Syrian government retakes control of the rebel-held city of Aleppo.
- 2021: Bashar al-Assad is re-elected for a fourth term as President of Syria amidst accusations of electoral fraud and voter intimidation.
Throughout his time in power, Bashar al-Assad has been accused of human rights violations, corruption, and war crimes. The Syrian Civil War has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions.
5 Interesting Facts about Bashar al-Assad:
- Bashar al-Assad is a trained ophthalmologist and worked as a doctor in the Syrian Army before becoming President.
- He was not initially the heir apparent to his father’s presidency, but rather his older brother Basil al-Assad was groomed for the role until his untimely death.
- Bashar al-Assad is married to Asma al-Assad, a British-born former investment banker, who has been heavily criticized for her lavish lifestyle.
- In addition to his native Arabic, Bashar al-Assad also speaks English and French.
- Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected as President of Syria three times, with the most recent election in 2021 amidst allegations of voter fraud and suppression.
5 Quotes from Bashar al-Assad:
- “What we are facing in Syria is fundamentally an external aggression, partly by proxy forces and partly through direct foreign intervention.”
- “I’m not a puppet, I was not made by the West to go to the West or to any other country.”
- “The best way to solve any problem is through dialogue, and we have repeatedly said that we are ready for dialogue.”
- “We don’t have a policy of attacking civilians. This is not our policy. We have some mistakes as a government, but we don’t have a policy to kill people or to destroy cities or to make them homeless.”
- “The only thing that could have been done better is avoiding the war. This is the only regret that we could have as Syrians.”