Touching: Syria’s First Lady And Mom-Of-3, Mrs Asma Al-Assad Starts Treatment As She Battles With Breast Cancer

These are particularly trying times for the government of Syria (Arabic: سوريا Sūriyā), officially known as the Syrian Arab Republic in Western Asia.

The British-born wife of the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, Asma, 43, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, the presidency announced via its social media accounts on Wednesday.

According to the report, Asma al-Assad, mom-of-3 is beginning the first stage of treatment for a malignant tumor in her breast which was discovered at an early stage.

A tumor is a mass of abnormal tissue and there are two types of breast cancer tumors: those that are non-cancerous also referred to as “benign”, and those that are cancerous which can also be referred to as “malignant”.

The announcement came with a photo of the first lady sitting on a chair in a hospital room, with an intravenous drip inserted in her left hand and she was seen smiling at her husband, who sat next to her as she underwent treatment at the hospital.

“With strength and confidence and faith, Mrs Asma al-Assad begins the preliminary stage of treatment for a malignant tumor in the breast that was discovered early,” the statement said. “From its heart, the presidency and all those who work in it wish Mrs Asma a speedy recovery.”

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Asma, whose father, Fawaz Akhras is a cardiologist and mother, Sahar Akhras is a diplomat has been married for 18 years, BBC reports. An investment banker before she quitted her job following her marriage to former ophthalmologist, President Al-Assad in 2000, just months after he succeeded his father , Hafez al-Assad to become the 19th president of Syria.

Mrs Asma was born and raised in London, United Kingdom where she also had her education before becoming an investment banker.

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Asma and Assad have three children together, two sons and a daughter named Zein, Karim and Hafez.

Her parents hail from the central province of Homs in war-ravaged Syria. A controversial figure, Asma has rarely spoken publicly about the civil war in Syria; a war that has raged for more than seven years and which has claimed more than half a million lives.

The former banker, who has dual nationality has instead appeared at public events with her husband and focused on humanitarian initiatives in government-controlled parts of Syria, as well as in images comforting government soldiers.

“The president is the president of Syria, not a faction of Syrians, and the First Lady supports him in that role,” a statement from her office to “The Times” newspaper read.

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Once dubbed by Vogue as a “rose in the desert” championing democratic reforms in Syria, Asma has been personally sanctioned by the European Union and has faced calls to strip her of British citizenship since the start of the conflict.

In a rare interview in 2016 with the Kremlin-backed TV station, “RT” on the violence in Syria, she acknowledged the suffering on both sides of the war and said she had rejected offers of asylum outside the country during the crisis.

The same year, activists released thousands of private emails purportedly from the president and his wife apparently showing that Mrs Assad continued to buy luxury goods, even after the uprising had begun.

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