Syria (Country) Info Sheet


• Bashar al-Assad, born in Damascus on Sept. 11th, 1965

• President of Syria since July 17th, 2000

• Son of Hafez al-Assad, former President of Syria who ran the country from 1971-2000


• Assad went to school to be an Ophthalmologist with no intentions of going into politics

• After his father’s sudden death, Assad was quickly elected President of Syria

• Political uprisings in other parts of the Arab world (Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia) during the Spring of 2011 sparked anti-government rallies in Syria, dubbed a “day of rage”

• Assad has been re-elected for a new 7 year term after winning the uncontested election in 2014


• He was influenced by a Western lifestyle while living and studying in London, and therefore wished to modernize Syria

• His policies focused on gradual economic liberalization, centered around neoliberal and capitalist policies

• Introduced the Damascus Spring, which included political reforms that matched the economic reforms


• Since the Cold War Iran and Russia have supported the Assad family and Syria

• Hezbollah, who is financed by Iran but originates from neighboring Lebanon,

unconditionally supports Assad and his government however they may need that support

Political Associations:

• Assad, a minority Muslim religious individual identifying as an Alawite, belongs to the socialist and secular Ba’ath Party, which his father founded in Syria


• Assad increased the political repressions against anyone who spoke out against the government, specifically human rights activists

• Assad allowed Iran to enjoy greater influence in Syria

• Economic reforms were always intended to benefit his gilded inner circle

• Neo-liberal economic policies have made the income gap between the rich and the poor widen

• Assad has committed war crimes against his Syrian people