By Eyal Zisser
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Additional info for Commanding Syria: Bashar al-Asad and the First Years in Power
This is not a person who was spoiled in his childhood…. I never saw him smoke, although he would take a sip of wine. He told me that he likes to listen to jazz and to Phil Collins [the Genesis soloist]. More than once he said that his life’s ambition was to be an ophthalmologist. 19 A relevant, if perhaps biased, evaluation by Bashar’s relative and friend Rami Makhluf, who was in London at the same time, bears out the observations above: Bashar showed himself to be a modest person, exactly like his father.
11 Bashar took his oath of loyalty before the People’s Assembly on July 17, 2000. e. a sustained commitment to his father’s legacy while introducing imperative changes in the Syrian way of life. ” With this, Bashar warned against demands for fundamental changes in the Syrian reality: Democracy is obligatory, but we must not enact the democracy of others. The Western democracies stemmed from a long history which produced leaders and traditions that created the present culture of democratic societies.
He had no bodyguards. The patients knew him only as a young man named Bashar. I remember that for a time he didn’t even have a car. One day he received a gift of a BMW, Model 318. He was very excited the day he received it. He talked about the car with great emotion. A BMW of the model he had is an expensive and fine car, but it isn’t a flashy model that someone who has everything would get excited about. When I observed Bashar’s emotion the day he got the car I thought to myself: Here is someone who isn’t used to receiving the good things as a matter of course.