Home > Terms > English (EN) > Bashar al-Assad

Bashar al-Assad

Bashar al-Assad (b. 11 September 1965) is second-eldest son of Hafez al-Assad whom he succeeded as President of Syria in 2000. Despite joining the ruling Baath party's Youth Movement at 14, he was not always destined for high office. Instead he graduated from the University of Damascus with a degree in opthalmology. From 1988 to 1992 he continued his studies at the Tishrin military hospital in Damascus before pursuing further studies in London. However following the unexpected death of his elder brother Basil, Mr Assad was recalled back from London in 1994 to attend the military academy at Homs from which he eventually emerged as army colonel in 1999. Following his father's death on 10 June 2000 his presidency was secured by regime loyalists; the constitution was amended to allow a 34 year old to become head of state, Mr Assad himself was promoted to commander of the armed forces as well as secretary general of the Baath party, and finally a referendum in July 2000 gave him 97% of the vote to confirm his election as president. The period of reform and liberalisation during the earliest period of Mr Assad's stay in office, nick-named the 'Damascus Spring', was very short-lived.By early 2001, authoritarian policy was being re-implemented. Since then US-Syrian ties have remained tense over the issue of Israel, whilst Mr Assad has cultivated stronger links with Russia, China and Iran. In the wake of the Arab Spring when anti-government protests erupted in Deraa in mid-march 2011, President al-Assad's forces made a concerted effort to crackdown on the dissent.The military crackdown continued to intensify and has erupted into a national conflict with possible knock-on effects throughout the region.


Member comments

You have to log in to post to discussions.

Terms in the News

Under the Dome

Environment; Pollution

Under the Dome is a feature-length documentary about China's notorious air pollution problem — a topic close to Chinese hearts and a political headache for the country's decision makers. The show became viral on Chinese social media shortly after it was released on February 28, 2015. Within hours of its post online, ‘#Chai Jing’s smog ...

Google North Bayshore

Architecture; Internet; Postmodernist architecture; Internet marketing

Google North Bayshore is an architecture redevelopment concept design for four of Google's Mountain View, California sites. The concept designs were developed by Danish firm BIG and London-based Heatherwick Studio. The concept for Google North Bayshore is to create lightweight block-like structures that can be moved around, rather than ...

Fashion Police

Entertainment; TV

Fashion Police is a television series that premiered on September 10, 2010 on E!. It is a weekly news and pop culture talk-show about the latest fashion trends, celebrities, events and style. It was originally hosted by Joan Rivers and featured panelists George Kotsiopoulos, Giuliana Rancic, and Kelly Osbourne commenting on celebrity fashions. ...

King Richard III

People; Monarchs

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England with a short reign of only two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. Richard III was defeated in battle by Henry Tudor, marking the end of the Middle Ages in ...

Chambal River

Water bodies; Rivers

Nickname the cursed river, the Chambal River is a tributary of the Yamuna River in central India that flows north-northeast through Madhya Pradesh, running for a time through Rajasthan, then forming the boundary between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh before turning southeast to join the Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh state. Over the years, the river that ...


Contributors in Politics

Featured blossaries

Train / Metro

Category: Engineering   1 4 Terms

Antihypertensive drugs

Category: Health   1 20 Terms