Bashar al-Assad is the 19th president of Syria who was sworn in on 17th July 2000 after his father, Hafez al-Assad, who was the preceding Syrian president died. He became the apparent heir to succeed his father following the untimely demise of his older brother, Bassel who passed away in 1994 through car mishap. Apart from being the Syrian president, he is also the Ba’ath Party’s Regional Secretary, an Arab Socialist Party, and also the Syrian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief. Before assuming the role of the president, Bashar was a medical practitioner who studied medicine at the University of Damascus, Syria and Western Eye Hospital, London.
Bashar al-Assad Biography
Bashar al-Assad was born on 11th September 1965 in the largest city of Syria, Damascus as the third child of his parents, Hafez al-Assad who was the president of Syria from 1971 to 2000 and Anisa Makhlouf. He had his childhood experiences in the city of Damascus. Even though he has not disclosed any information concerning his basic education, the 19th Syrian Leader did reveal that he attended Arab-French al-Hurriya School in Damascus where he learned to speak English and French.
Upon his graduation in 1982, Bashar enrolled into the University of Damascus where he studied medicine and graduated in 1988. Following his graduation from the medical college, the medical practitioner rendered his services at the Tishrin military hospital as a doctor for a period of four years. Having no interest in politics, Assad relocated to Western Eye Hospital, London in 1992 where he continued with his studies and received a Masters degree in ophthalmology.
After the demise of his elder brother, Bassel in a terrific car crash in 1994, his father ordered him back to Damascus in view of preparing him to take over from him. In line with that, Assad was enlisted into the military academy situated in Homs and within five years, he rose to the rank of a colonel and also served as an advisor to his father at the same time. He was sworn in as the 19th Syrian leader on 17th July 2000 after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad on 10th June 2000.
Even though he promised many economic reforms at the beginning, Bashar began walking in his father’s footsteps as he maintained his father’s position in Syria’s fight with Israel and continued to show no regard for human life in order to retain power. He also resisted several calls from the Internationally community to step down which resulted in a civil war from 2011 to 2015.
No doubt, Bashar al-Assad who has been in power for 19 years and counting is among the wealthiest president in the world as he comes from a very wealthy family. His financial value is estimated to be between $1.5 billion to $5 billion.
Concerning his religion, Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite which is an outgrowth of Shia Islam that reverence Ali, the prophet Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law. However, the sect added to their religion some aspects of other faiths such as Christianity and have a Holy Trinity of their own, which comprised of Mohammed, Ali and Salman the Persian, a companion of the prophet.
Bashar al-Assad’s Family – His Father and Wife
As mentioned earlier, Bashar al-Assad is the third child of the late Syrian president, Hafez al-Assad and his mother’s name is Anisa Makhlouf. Before his father came into power as Syrian president, he partook in the 1963 Syrian Coup d’etat that installed the Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party to power. The administration made him Syrian Air Force Commander. He ousted the Ba’ath Party’s Traditional Leaders in the second coup and imposed to power a radical military faction leader named Salah Jadid.
He initiated the third coup after four years and designated himself as the undisputed leader of Syria. More so, Hafez al-Assad supported the soviet union during the Cold War in turn for support against Israel. After ruling Syria for almost three decades, he died of heart failure and prior to his death, he positioned his son Bashar al-Assad as the next president. Assad lost his mother, Makhlouf in 2016 in the city of Damascus.
Bashar al-Assad got married to Asma Akhras in December 2000. The first lady resigned from her investment banking job following her marriage to the 19th Syrian president. The couple shares three children, two sons named Hafez born in 2001 and Karim born in 2004 and a daughter named Zein born in 2003.
The 19th president of Syria is quite tall and is ranked among the tallest presidents in the world. He stands at a magnificent height of 6 feet 2 inches (1.89 m).