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As Syria Burns, Asma al-Assad Embarks on a Shopping Spree

Wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad engages in some expensive "retail therapy," as possible western strikes loom.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 9/3/2013, 10:19 AM

Happier times: Asma al-Assad with her husband and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Happier times: Asma al-Assad with her husband and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Reuters

Even as her country burns around her, it seems that image is still everything Asma al-Assad. 

The wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has apparently embarked on yet another pricey shopping spree, buying luxury products from furniture to health products, according to the Daily Express.

Asma al-Assad, a health fanatic obsessed with her weight and her public image, has reportedly embarked upon what some might term as "retail therapy" since the eruption of the vicious Syrian civil war in 2011, which has killed more than 100,000 people and still poses a serious challenge to the rule - and perhaps the life - of her husband and his inner circle.

Last year, leaked emails showed she ordered luxury furniture worth £270,000 from London’s fashionable King’s Road. A more recent purchase included a set of Bohemian-style crystal chandeliers from Prague.

Mrs Assad is said to be hiding out in a bomb-proof bunker, as the US mulls a possible strike in relation for the regime's use of chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 people, mostly civilians, in what now appears to have been a desperate attempt to push back against rebel advances in the country's capital Damascus.

She is reportedly banned from watching western media outlets in case their reporting of the civil war "depresses" her.

In response to the recent revelations, Ayman Abdel Nour, a former Assad adviser, derided Syria's first lady as heartless.

"She is obsessed by how chic and beautiful she looks. She continues to lead a life of utter luxury," he said "That’s all that matters to her."