Bashar Hafez al-Assad (Arabic: بشار حافظ الأسد Baššār Ḥāfiẓ al-ʾAsad, ; born 11 September 1965) is the current President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Syrian-led branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death in 2000.
Al-Assad graduated from the medical school of the University of Damascus in 1988, and started to work as a physician in the army. Four years later, he attended postgraduate studies at the Western Eye Hospital, in London, specializing in ophthalmology. In 1994, after his elder brother Bassel, the heir apparent to their father, was killed in a car crash, Bashar was hastily recalled to Syria to take over Bassel's role. He entered the military academy and in 1998, Al-Assad took charge of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. In December 2000, Assad married Asma Assad, née Akhras. Al-Assad was elected as President of Syria in 2000 and 2007, unopposed each time.
Initially seen by the domestic and international community as a potential reformer and gaining the nickname "The Hope", this expectation gave way to the events of the Syrian civil war. The domestic Syrian opposition and large parts of the wider international community have subsequently called for al-Assad's resignation from power.
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... Bashar al-Assad was awarded with various Syrian decorations ... Some of them are Order of Civil Merit (awarded for service to the state or to the Arab cause) Order of Bravery 1st Class (awarded for courage in action or more general services) Order of Devotion (awarded for acts of courage, for service on behalf of the nation or for at least five years of faithful service) Long and Exemplary Service Medal (awarded for 15 years service) Medal of Training (awarded to the commanders of units that have excelled in training) Revolution Medal of 8 March 1963 Army Silver Jubilee Medal Order of Friendship and Cooperation Syrian Armed Forces Medal ...