Asma Assad, 38, the wife of Syrian president Bashar Assad, used to receive glowing praise as an imitation of Princess Diana of Wales, a woman who cared about art and culture and was sensitive to the needs of her country.
When Vogue Magazine ran an article in March 2011, it described them as a wildly democratic couple who had changed Syria into the safest country in the Middle East and lauded her love of crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutin shoes and Chanel dresses, saying she cared about art, children, and women’s issues.
But Asma Assad is now viewed as an uncaring woman who spends astronomically high amounts of money on her personal shopping while tens of thousands of her countrymen are being slaughtered. She lives in a bomb-proof bunker and shops online for ridiculously expensive designer goods, food and health products. She recently ordered Bohemian crystal chandeliers from Prague, consistently orders Western food for her three children because she does not want them eating Syrian food, and posted photos on her Instagram account in which she was wearing a new blue Jawbone UP. The device records how many steps people take and how many calories they are burning.
Last year, Asma ordered furniture worth over $400,000 from a shop in London, where she grew up and went to King’s College.
Ayman Abdel Nour, a former adviser to Bashar Assad, said:
She is at the centre of a fool’s court . . . (she) continues to view herself as the respectable wife of a president. She is convinced her family will rule Syria for years to come. And she is particularly interested in growing the family wealth and making sure they keep it. She wants to be certain her son, Hafez, will take over as president one day, even if this means hiding him in a school or college in Switzerland or Britain for a time.
Nour said of Asma’s spending, “Asma Assad has no heart. She is obsessed by how chic and beautiful she looks. She continues to lead a life of utter luxury. That’s all that matters to her.”Other sources claim Asma has at least three Republican bodyguards, and is sheltered from seeing Western news or the Internet so she doesn’t get depressed.
Joan Juliet Buck, who wrote the original gushing article in Vogue, which was arranged and managed by an American PR company that was paid by the Syrian government, later wrote another piece in Newsweek, in which she wrote that when Asma opend a youth center, she told the children gathered there that it had to close for lack of funds. When the children started to cry, she laughed and said she was just testing them to determine whether they “cared enough” about the project.