Bashar al-Assad facts for kids
بشار حافظ الأسد
|President of Syria|
17 July 2000
|Preceded by||Abdul Halim Khaddam (Acting)|
|Regional Secretary of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch|
24 June 2000
|Preceded by||Hafez al-Assad|
|Member of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch|
21 June 2000
Bashar Hafez al-Assad
11 September 1965
|Political party||Ba'ath Party|
|National Progressive Front|
|Alma mater||Damascus University|
|Branch/service||Syrian Armed Forces|
|Years of service||1988–|
Presently serving as commander-in-chief
|Battles/wars||Syrian civil war (2011–)|
Assad has had those jobs since the death of his father Hafez al-Assad (1930-2000), who had ruled Syria since 1971. Bashar al-Assad was elected in 2000, and re-elected in 2007.
Assad was born on 11 September 1965 in Damascus, Syria to Hafez al-Assad. He had two brothers, Bassel al-Assad and Shabbih Maher al-Assad, and one sister, Bushra al-Assad. Bashar was quiet and reserved and says that he lacked interest in politics or the military.
Assad studied medicine at the University of Damascus and graduated in 1988. He then studied ophthalmology at a military hospital, and in 1992 studied at the Western Eye Hospital in London.
His father wanted Assad's elder brother Bassel to succeed him as leader of Syria. Bassel died in a car accident in 1994, and Assad returned home to Syria.
When his father died, the government changed the constitution. Under Syrian law the president had to be at least 40 years old. With law changed, Assad was able to be elected President of Syria in June 2000. He was also made commander in chief of the armed forces, and leader of the Ba'ath Party which has ruled Syria since 1961.
2011 Syrian Civil War
Since March 2011, a war is taking place in Syria. By June 2013, 93,000 people have been killed from all sides. There are many terrorist organisations fighting in the region.
Bashar was considered a younger-generation Arab leader, who would bring change to Syria, a region long filled with aging dictators. He is well-educated, and many believed he would be capable of transforming his father's iron-rule regime into a modern state.
Assad is married to Asma al-Akhras. Together, they have three children; Hafez, Jr., Zein, and Karim al-Assad.
Influenced by his western education and urban upbringing, Bashar initially seemed eager to implement a cultural revolution in Syria.
Images for kids
Hafez al-Assad with his family in the early 1970s. From left to right: Bashar, Maher, Anisa, Majd, Bushra, and Bassel.
Bashar al-Assad with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, 2010
Pro-Assad demonstration in Latakia, 20 June 2011
Destroyed vehicles on a devastated Aleppo street, 6 October 2012
Assad greeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, 21 October 2015
Billboard with a portrait of Bashar al-Assad and the text 'God protects Syria' on the old city wall of Damascus in 2006
Assad meets with U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman in 2009.
Assad with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.
Bashar al-Assad Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.