Asma al-Assad (36) is the glamorous First Lady of Syria, a Londoner from a privileged background who graduated from King’s College and worked in international finance at JP Morgan before marrying the wealthy and westernised eye surgeon whose father was the then President of Syria. She must have known at the time that her new father-in-law conducted the (original) Hama massacre back in 1982 when an estimated 20,000 died in a single night.
Despite that, the latest unrest in Syria has taken Asma by surprise. Due to bothersome international sanctions against her adopted country, she is unable to get the (northern) summer collection of the jewel-encrusted Louboutin shoes she is so attached to. It is also reasonable to assume that she has by now emptied her last musical tin of Fortnum & Masons English Digestive biscuits. Worse, the once dubbed ‘English Rose of the Desert’ is today whispered to rank alongside Elena Ceaușescu, or Lady Macbeth, perhaps even one of the “tricoteuses” of the French revolution who knitted in their front-row seats through the daily performance of another trendy Madame – the guillotine. Continue reading