Syria’s current President, Bashar al-Assad, has been in power since 2000. He is the second son of former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, and he has carried on his father’s cruel dictatorship. He was studying ophthalmology in London when his older brother and heir apparent, Bassel, was killed in a car accident. He was never the first option to succeed his father. Despite his lack of military and political expertise, he was summoned to Syria, where he was groomed to succeed his brother. To succeed in his father, he was enrolled in the military academy and received extensive training. After his father’s death in 2000, he ascended to power. Despite the fact that his early measures contributed to a brief period of relative openness, his dictatorship quickly reversed direction, employing threats and arrests to put an end to the pro-reform movement. His government has faced a significant revolt in Syria that has turned into a civil war in recent years, and despite worldwide objections, Assad has continued to show complete contempt for human life in his efforts to maintain power. He failed to deliver on his promise to be a transformational figure who would lead Syria into the twenty-first century, instead of following in his father’s footsteps.
Childhood and Adolescence
He was born in Damascus, Syria, on September 11, 1965, to Hafez al-Assad and his wife, Anish. His parents had five children, and he is the second son. His father was a politician who ascended through the ranks to become Syria’s President. Bassel, his older brother, perished in a car accident later in life.
He acquired his early schooling in Damascus at the ‘Arab-French al Hurriya School.’ In 1982, he enrolled at the University of Damascus to study medicine after graduating from high school.
After graduating, he worked as an army doctor at the ‘Tishrin’ military hospital for four years. In 1992, he moved to London, England, to pursue a postgraduate degree in ophthalmology at Western Eye Hospital.
The Career of Bashar
His elder brother, Bassel, the heir apparent to his father, was killed in a vehicle accident in 1994. Bashar’s father, Hafez, summoned him to Damascus and began carefully preparing him to succeed him as President of Syria.
He enrolled in Homs’ military academy and rose fast through the ranks, becoming a colonel in just five years. During this time, he functioned as an advisor to his father, hearing public complaints and appeals, and leading an anti-corruption effort.
Hafez died on June 10, 2000, and Bashar was elected President of Syria for a seven-year term a few days later. He was also chosen as the Ba’ath Party’s head and the military’s ‘Commander-in-Chief.’
He promised to transform Syria’s corrupt administration and move the country toward modernization in his first year as president.
Many of his promised economic reforms have yet to materialize at the conclusion of his first year in office. The government bureaucracy was primarily corrupt, making it impossible for the private sector to emerge, and he appeared unable of implementing the required fundamental changes.
In Syria’s decades-long struggle with Israel, he maintained his father’s hard stance, purportedly supporting Palestinian and Lebanese armed groups. He successfully controlled internal dissension for nearly a decade, owing to the close collaboration between Syria’s military and intelligence organizations.
In 2007, he was re-elected to a second term as president by a nearly unanimous vote. The elections, according to his critics and opponents, were manipulated.
Following pro-democracy revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, protests in Syria began in January 2011, calling for political changes, the restoration of civil rights, and the lifting of the state of emergency that had been in place since 1963.
The Syrian military retaliated in May 2011 with violent protests in Homs and the Damascus suburbs. He promised a national conversation and new parliamentary elections the next month, but nothing happened, and the protests continued.
Many countries demanded his resignation by late 2011, and the Arab League suspended Syria, forcing the Syrian government to agree to allow Arab observers to enter the country.
In 2013, his regime deployed chemical weapons against civilians, killing hundreds of people, many of whom were women and children. It sparked a debate in certain Western countries about what actions should be taken against him and his administration as a result.
The battle continues today, with daily reports of government forces murdering scores of civilians and counter-claims by the al-Assad regime that the killings are staged.
With rebels and government troops seemingly stuck in a violent standoff and security conditions deteriorating by the day, his public appearances have grown more uncommon, consisting primarily of orchestrated rallies to motivate military and civilian supporters.
Personal History and Legacy
He married Asma Assad, a British woman of Syrian descent from London, in December 2000. Hafez, Zein, and Karim, the couple’s three children, were born to them.
Estimated Net worth
Bashar al-Assad is a Syrian politician and former doctor with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Bashar al-Assad is Syria’s current President and the Ba’ath Party’s Regional Secretary.