Asma and Bashar Assad - Reuters - 05032012
Asma and Bashar Assad Photo by Reuters
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The British newspaper the Guardian on Wednesday published a cache of emails exchanged between Syrian President Bashar Assad, his wife Asma and their close circle, shedding light on the dictator's life during the year since the violence uprising in Syria erupted.

Assad is computer savvy; he uses an iPad, sending and receiving articles to and from friends and advisors, including one article claiming media tycoon Rupert Murdoch is Jewish; he downloads songs from iTunes and sends them to his wife, including for example the song “God Gave Me You,” by singer Blake Shelton, the emails reveal.

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Asma Assad seems to be mostly occupied with the purchase of luxury goods. Many of the emails the Guardian obtained are correspondence regarding the purchase of shoes, candle sticks, furniture, and jewelry from London and Paris retailers.

The Guardian emails reveal a cocooned life shielded from the violence engulfing the country. The United Nations says Assad's security forces have killed more than 7,500 civilians since the revolt began last March. Syria's government said in December that "armed terrorists" had killed more than 2,000 soldiers and police during the unrest.

In one email, Assad responds to the news of his wife’s finishing her activities at 5 p.m. by writing: "This is the best reform any country can have that u told me where will you be, we are going to adopt it instead of the rubbish laws of parties, elections, media …"

Another email published by the Guardian has Asma writing her husband: “If we are strong together, we will overcome this together...I love you...”

The first lady seemed to be particularly concerned with the safety of her husband, sending him emails with options for BulletBlocker armoured clothing disguised as a blazer and a link to the VIP Armour website.

While thousands were being killed on the streets of Syria, the emails show the first couple was shopping for handmade furniture from Chelsea boutiques, gold and gem-encrusted jewelry, chandeliers, expensive curtains and paintings, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II and a chocolate fondue set, among other products.