DAMASCUS, (ST)_ the deep-rooted culture of life for the Syrians is persistent and bolstered day by day, underscored Mrs. Asma Al-Assad, the Syrian First Lady.

''the takfiris- wahabi terrorists- export darkness and the Syrians restore the light and illumination, the takfiris target education, schools and universities; however, the average of Excellency among the students is increased," added Mrs. Al-Assad.

"The takfiris export death and you export the culture of life, renewal and birth,'' said Syria's First Lady addressing the Syrian Mothers during her field visit to a Damascus-based Obstetrics Hospital.






The Syrians are grandsons of those who taught the Alphabet to the whole world, and who spread the arts of Commerce, Medicine and Architecture, said Mrs. Asma Al-Assad.

During her participation in ''Our roots are deep in the land'', the First Lady of Syria, Mrs. Al-Assad, appealed to the Syrians as to be attached to the Land and knowledge for the building of Syria and protection of its future.

Mrs. Al-Assad added, during the ceremony dedicated to the loving memory of the Syrian Martyrs, that we have to teach our children as to have their future: ''Our history is but part of the Syrian Identity, for which we are being the target, and as to protect and develop our country and safeguard its future, the real weapon which we can use is that of knowledge and land.''

Planting a sapling of Olives, Mrs. Al-Assad said that the Olive Tree symbolizes life and continuity, and the Martyrs, who sacrificed themselves for the Homeland, have done so as to defend the Land and as to make us continue to live. Olive is he symbol for giving, and Syria has given us much, and we have today to return the favour and play our role for Syria in contribution to its development in the coming stage. A branch of Olives symbolizes peace, in which our people do believe in and search for.''

Regarding rumors about her departure from Syria, Mrs. Al-Assad said ''I am here in Syria, here too are my husband, and children, and it is out of question that I should be with them. Like the rest of the Syrians, I have been groomed up to love my homeland, and regardless of how much we travel and go far from the Homeland, there is no place most dear to us than Syria.''

''I am a mother for three children, and my responsibility towards them is to bring them up with amity for the Homeland. I can't bring them up with amity to Syria, if they weren't to live in Syria, and learn its culture, history, civilization, and if they weren't to interact with the Syrians and eat from the Homeland food. How could I teach them to contribute to the development of the country, if they weren't to live its problems? Yesterday, today and tomorrow, God willing, and for ever I remain in Syria,'' added Mrs. Al-Assad.

Mrs. Asma Al-Assad is famed for its humanitarian and social activities, where she on a daily basis receives and visits the families of the Syrian Martyrs, wounded and follows up the smallest details of Syrian children, impaired and distinguished of all spectra of society.

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim





From schoolgirl Emma to Asma, the Syrian Icon

 Asma Akhras was raised in London. Today she returns as wife of Syria's leader. Peter Beaumont talks exclusively to the woman who has become a symbol of President Bashar Assad's ambition to reform his country 

Sunday December 15, 2002

The Observer 

When Asma Akhras became Mrs Assad, new wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the doom-mongers in the British media predicted a life of subservience and isolation for the attractive British-born and educated young merchant banker. So when she dropped out of sight for a few months after her private wedding on New Year's Day 2001, they must have thought that they had got it right.

Instead, as they will find out this week, they got it very wrong indeed. So what happened in the months after the wedding, when she seemed to disappear from view? In her first-ever interview, Mrs Assad told The Observer that she did not disappear. Instead, she spent the first weeks of her marriage in jeans and T-shirt, travelling incognito around the rural areas of Syria. After a wedding in which only the closest family members had been invited to a private service, she wanted to get a handle on the country.

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 The Scotsman Wed 18 Dec 2002

Introducing Asma

Stephen Mansfield 

As a little girl "Emma" Akhras watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace with the same sense of excitement and wonder as any other little English girl. The thought that one day she would accompany her husband on an official visit to the Queen never crossed her mind. Yet yesterday afternoon as Mrs Asma Assad, the First Lady of Syria, she joined her husband, President Assad and followed in the foot steps of so many other wives of important men. To her many fans, she is nothing more than a brighter future for the Middle East. A bridge between two diverse cultures. The British born and educated banker is now devoted to aiding her husband as he attempts to lead Syria into the 21st century. While protests still echo around the country at Syria’s support for Islamic terrorists and the country’s alleged arming of Iraq, the image of her walking confidently beside Cherie Blair, casual in western clothes is being read as a positive symbol.

 n just two years she has emerged as a most glamorous companion for her husband, a man more comfortable with books than people. As President Assad struggles to reform a nation stagnating both economically and politically, the legacy of his late father’s decades of misrule, his new wife is being portrayed as his most valuable aide.

The journey to First Lady of Syria and tea at Buckingham Palace began in the suburbs of Acton, where little Asma Akhras was born in August, 1975 to Dr Fawaz Akhras, a heart specialist and his wife, Sahar. The couple were both Syrian but had moved to the United Kingdom in the early 1950s so that Fawaz Akhras could achieve his goal of a prized British education. Although the couple would go on to build their life in Britain where Dr Akhras has excelled in his profession, their indigenous culture remained crucial to them. At home Arabic was spoken, as Asma recalled: "I didn’t realise until I was seven that they could actually speak English." While at home Asma spoke her parent’s native tongue, beyond the family’s standard semi-detached home, with its traditional white trimmed door and net curtains she was the epitome of the little English girl.

 To her friends she was Emma and while raised Muslim, she attended a Church of England school, Twyford High, for two years before she began travelling to central London where she attended Queen’s College School on Harley Street. While other teenage girls frittered their time away in the pursuit of boys and make-up, "Emma" had little interest in either, instead she focused on hitting the books and devoted her leisure time to horse-riding and computing. As her old computer teacher recalled: "She was an incredibly bright and diligent girl and I have a clear memory of her staying behind after classes to do her homework." True relaxation would come during the family’s annual holidays back in Syria. Although her teachers felt she had an aptitude for the profession and even went as far as offering her a job, Asma’s goals were so much greater.

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 Mrs. Asma Al-Assad, October 21, 2004, received Honorary Doctorate from the prestigious University of Rome "La Sapienza in Archaeology for the development of historical and archaeological studies in Syria

In her acceptance speech of the Doctorate, Mrs. al-Assad said: I stand here today in this cultural exchange, proud to accept this doctorate in archaeology, Honoris Causa, not only on my own behalf, but on behalf of my country, and on behalf of the people who have inhabited this land from the earliest flowering of those essential human attributes: " culture," " society" and " civilization." I am proudly grateful for the dedication of the Italian and Syrian archaeologists, who have worked at this site for forty years and have enabled Syria's contributions to advancements in archaeology and its role in history to be fully recognized.

Fourth Thousand years ago. When human civilization was in its infancy, Ebla was one of the only a handful of urban centers that dotted the world, acting as an engine of economic growth and social development drawing people from the countryside. Today, it is a significant archaeological site and a priceless part of Syrian heritage. In the near future, it is poised to become a rural community reinvigorated, economically and socially, by the presence of Ebla archaeological park, a project that meets two important objectives: historical and archaeological research and preservation, and rural regeneration.

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