"The Sun" has published an interesting article about Her Excellency Mrs. Asma Al-Assad, Syria’s First Lady, by Oliver Harvey; here are some excerpts from the article published on July the third, 2009:

  Born in the west London suburb of Acton, she speaks with a cut-glass English accent and her childhood friends called her Emma.

 Proof of that came yesterday when she invited President Barrack Obama to visit the Syrian capital, Damascus, in a move seen as a step to lowering tensions between the Middle East and the West. Mrs. Assad, recently named the most stylish woman in world politics by France's Elle magazine, is the wife of President Bashar al-Assad.

 Mrs. Assad, 33, who holds dual British-Syrian citizenship, is seen as key to helping her former eye specialist husband as he struggles to reform the nation's stagnant economic and political systems.

  Putting out the welcome mat yesterday for the US leader, Mrs. Assad said: "The fact is President Obama is young, and President Assad is also very young as well, so maybe it is time for these young leaders to make a difference in the world."

"I can see myself hosting them in Damascus in the old town, meeting with people, getting a sense of how we live, who we are and what Syria is about."

 Mrs. Assad is the daughter of a wealthy Harley Street heart specialist. In Acton she went to a Church of England school and has a computer science degree from King's College, London. She worked as an economic analyst in the City and married in December 2000. She and President Assad now have three children. Yesterday she was seen in a Sky TV interview in jeans and tight top extending an olive branch to the West.

 She spoke of reforms in Syria, adding: "What we are trying to do is make sure the progress we are making across the country is inclusive to everybody or as many people as possible, whether it is economic, political or social."

 In doing so, this former London schoolgirl could bring some much-needed stability to this troubled region.


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