年輕、時尚、優雅，受英式貴族教育並說著一口標準的英文，是現任敘利亞總統 Assad 第一夫人 Asma 的公眾形象。她過去在公開演講中傳遞和平、提升女權，和敘利亞的兒童教育，提升了敘利亞在西方世界中的國際形象，被美稱為「沙漠中的玫瑰」、「敘利亞戴妃」。然而這次敘利亞暴亂，總統帶頭使用軍力鎮壓，死亡人數在三天前的公開聲明中已經餘 11,100 人。 這位優雅的第一夫人卻完全沈默與消失了。這使她先前的時尚穿著與貴族奢華作風成了敘利亞和國際女權者批判和諷刺的對象。她們發表了一份公開聯名請願，籲請 Asma 出面譴責她先生的暴行，因為「沒有人在乎你穿著什麼，我們在乎你做了什麼！」
About Asma al-Assad (extracted and edited from Wikipedia)
Asma al-Assad (born 1975), the Syrian First Lady since 2000, was
raised and educated in the United Kingdom by Syrian-born parents. She grew up in Acton where she went to a local Church of England school before moving on to Queen’s College. Having attended King’s College London, she graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Diploma in French Literature.
She met Bashar al-Assad, the future president of Syria, while he was studying ophthalmology in London. After Hafez al-Assad‘s death in June 2000, Assad’s son took over the presidency of Syria., and Asma became the First Lady in the same year.
Asma al-Assad has been described by analysts and in media as an important part of the public relations of the Syrian government. She was credited with taking progressive positions on women’s rights and education. Her stylish designer outfits have garnered media attention. The Syrian uprising has, however, dealt a blow to her public image amidst reports of extravagant spending, and a new picture emerged « of a woman closer in spirit to Imelda Marcos than the moderating counsellor to her husband’s excesses that she was once seen as being. »
(One of Asma’s public speech (in English) @ Peace March on March 2011 before the Syrian revolt.)
She has been criticized for remaining largely silent during the Syrian uprising, issuing her first statement to international media in February 2012 through a representative over a year after the first serious protests. The representative sent an e-mail to The Times in London on her behalf stating: « The President is the President of Syria, not a faction of Syrians, and the first lady supports him in that role. »
On 23 March 2012, European Union ministers froze her assets and placed a travel ban on her and other family members. Asma al-Assad herself remains able to travel to the UK because of her British nationality.
On 16 April 2012, Huberta von Voss Wittig and Sheila Lyall Grant, the wives of the German and British ambassadors to the United Nations, released a four-minute video asking Asma al-Assad to stand up for peace and urge her husband to end the bloodshed in her country.