Asma Al-Assad (60)


Two private Syrian banks owned partially by foreign investors have taken steps to rebrand, in a move to reduce the risk for foreign shareholders a few months after the enactment of the Caesar Act.


The Syrian government has awarded tens of millions of dollars worth of contracts to companies to supply equipment and spare parts for its two major oil refineries, including a major contract to a company owned by the Katerji family.


ATMs are once again partially operating in Syria after new payment companies affiliated with the regime were established, about five months after the sudden withdrawal of the main ATM operator from the market.


Updated on October 21, 2020: The article, originally published on October 14, has been updated to correct a technical glitch and provide updated election results.


The United States has added more names to its sanctions list and specifically targeted prominent warlord-turned businessman Khodr Ali Taher.


The Syrian government has issued a decision forcing all importers of a large list of goods to resell five percent of their imports at cost to an entity affiliated with the Ministry of Defence.


UPDATED on September 09, 2020: A Kuwaiti-listed company is divesting from a leading Syrian bank, reportedly to the benefit of the rising Ibrahim family.


The Syrian President has appointed a new government headed by Hussein Arnous, in which the ministers holding key portfolios remained unchanged.


New sanctions imposed on Syrian individuals by the United States could disrupt the MTN Group’s divestment from the country.


MTN, a telecoms group based in South Africa, has announced that it is negotiating to sell its stake in one of the country’s two mobile phone companies, marking the exit of the last large foreign investor still present in Syria.


UPDATED on July 30, 2020: Following the closure of Rami Makhlouf’s microfinance bank, Asma Al-Assad is expanding the size and geographic presence of her financial institution.


An attempt by two Syrian businessmen to lift sanctions imposed on them by the European Union failed after their appeal was rejected by an EU court this month.


Updated on June 18, 2020: The entry into force today of the Caesar Act expands sanctions on Syria and will increase challenges for the regime and the economy alike. The U.S. administration has also expanded its list of Syrians under sanctions.


On June 11, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad appointed Hussein Arnous as prime minister after dismissing Imad Khamis, who paid the price for recent socio-economic difficulties.


Just a few days after his appointment, Syria’s new minister of domestic trade—and potential future prime minister—Talal Al-Barazi, has started to make his presence known.


The past week has seen a stunning succession of decisions, statements, appointments and resignations that illustrate the piling up of government pressure on Rami Makhlouf to silence him once and for all and restructure Syria’s telecommunications sector.


Insurance premiums in Syria increased last year despite remaining only a fraction of their pre-2011 level in real terms.


The rise of Rami Makhlouf as Syria’s most prominent businessman coincided with the ascent to power of Bashar Al-Assad in 2000. Given his long history of influence within the ruling elite, Mr Makhlouf’s recent side-lining raises many questions about the potential implications of his fall from grace.


Two extraordinary videos posted by Rami Makhlouf on his personal Facebook page have laid bare the divisions at the heart of the Syrian regime and posed a challenge for Bashar Al-Assad within the Alawite community. The Syrian president has been forced into a quick public defence of one of his most contested measures.


The Syrian government began selling subsidised bread through its smart card system on April 15 in Damascus and its countryside.


A series of articles published in Russian media criticising Bashar Al-Assad has raised speculation about the state of relations between Moscow and Damascus. For now, a desire to advance Russia’s economic interests in Syria seems to be the main driver of the campaign.


The government is distributing one additional item through its smart card system and increasing the quantity of goods sold to large families.


A strange statement by the Syrian Presidency has highlighted potential tensions within the regime’s highest circles.


For the second time in less than two months, the Syrian government has acted against Tarif Al-Akhras, one of the country’s most powerful businessmen, although his success in reversing some earlier decisions points to his continued influence.


The Central Bank of Syria has ordered a freeze on the bank accounts of Tarif Al-Akhras, one of the country’s most powerful businessmen and a relative of Asma Al-Assad, as well as on those of several other prominent businessmen, a move that seems to confirm the government’s increasing pressures on the business community.


Rami Makhlouf has reportedly obtained a license to open a microfinance bank in Syria.


The Central Bank of Syria has revoked the license of one of the few microfinance institutions working in the country.


A weekly selection of reports, papers and articles on Syria.


The Syrian government is considering establishing a new body to oversee and manage all land and real estate assets it owns across the country in a bid to maximize the revenues it generates from them.


A new private university backed by the Syrian first lady has opened its doors in the coastal city of Lattakia.


The total value of contracts awarded to Syrian companies by United Nations agencies last year was close to USD 200 million, according to a UN document.


The UN has been granting dozens of millions of dollars to companies associated with the regime, a report from The Guardian has found.


The European Union Council is amending the reasons for blacklisting a number of Syrian officials and investors.


The Court of Justice of the European Union has rejected the appeal by Tarif Al-Akhras, a leading Syrian businessman, to see his name removed from the European blacklist.


Tarif Al-Akhras, one of Syria’s leading investors, was handed earlier in April a 12-month jail sentence by a British court, following a commercial dispute with one of its suppliers.


In safe areas across the country, several new pharmaceutical plants are being established, including one by the brother of the Syrian first lady.


The European Union has added 12 persons, including the spouse of the Syrian President, and two companies to the list of people and institutions facing an asset freeze and a travel ban.


The English transcript of statements made by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad following talks with the Romanian president on November 10, 2010.


The four businessmen and three corporations sanctioned by the European Union last week form part of a growing list of business actors that are feeling the weight of the international pressure on Syria.


Protests in Syria are approaching their fifth week and are showing no signs of slowing. The death toll from ongoing unrest continues to rise as the government states there is "no more room for leniency or tolerance" in response to recent turmoil in the country.


The English transcript of statements made by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad following talks with his Indian counterpart on November 27, 2010.


The English transcript of statements made by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his Bulgarian counterpart in Sofia on November 09, 2010.


The English transcript of statements made by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad following talks with the Cypriot President in Nicosia on November 04, 2010.

Syria’s President, Bashar Al-Assad, has concluded a ten-day tour to Latin America, the first ever by a Syrian head of state to that continent.

The edited English transcript of the speech of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Brazil on June 30, 2010.

Document: Keynote Speech by Asma Al-Assad, First Lady of Syria, during the First International Conference on Development in Syria held in Damascus on January 23 and 24