Bachar Assad was still a goodie back in 2010. “Elected,” Joan Juliet Buck wrote coyly in Vogue, “with a startling 97 percent of the vote.” Buck’s notorious profile of Asma, called “A Rose in the Desert” ran in the March 2011 edition. Paris Match headlined the Assad’s 2010 visit to France, “Two lovers in Paris.”
On the edges of their official visit to France, the Syrian president and his wife took a romantic break in the most romantic of capitals.
You were a businesswoman. Is that an advantage in your work today?
Asma Assad: There are things you can plan in life. I studied information technology at university. I wanted to work in an investment bank and do my MBA. But I couldn’t have predicted marrying a chief of state. Life is full of surprises. I married him for the values he incarnates and because we felt very close. Of course, my professional experience, everything I learned in finance, helps me today: having critical judgement, being capable of working under enormous pressure. I work in development, in education and with the citizenry, and my foundation helps me.
Paris Match, December 17, 2010.