Syria's "Marie Antoinette" Faces Sanctions
The European Union placed sanctions on the Syrian First Lady Asma Assad Friday-- the "latest punishment imposed by world leaders on Syria for its crackdown that bans her from traveling to EU countries and freezing any assets she may have there," said The Associated Press.
British-born Asma, 36, has been the wife of Syria's dictator Bashar al-Assad since 2000, the same year Bashar inherited power from his father.
An advocate for humanitarian issues in the past, she had called the 2009 Israeli siege in Gaza "barbaric," saying that "as a mother and a human being, we need to make sure these atrocities stop." Now, Syrians are only seeing her as a hypocrite as she's being compared to "Marie Antoinette."
- "She is one of the regime's deceptions," said Amer Mattar to The AP. The 26-year-old Syrian recently fled the country because of the violence that has killed 8,000 people in the past year. "She is definitely part of this ugly formula in Syria."
The AP also reported that Asma's taste for the finer things seems to have trumped her past humanitarian efforts:
- A trove of emails — purported to be from the private accounts of Bashar and Asma Assad and published last month by London's Guardian newspaper — have helped unmask that deception. They appear to capture the first lady splurging on luxury goods as violence sweeps her country, placing orders for expensive jewelry, bespoke furniture, and a 2,650-pound ($4,200) vase from Harrods department store in London.
Asma has also reportedly shopped online for crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutin stilettos while her country-- particularly her family's hometown of Homs-- is being torn apart by bloodshed.