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article imageSyria's first lady goes on a half million dollar shopping spree

By Darren Weir     Jul 16, 2012 in World
As Syria's president cracked down on those opposed to his rule, his wife went on a massive shopping spree for the couple's summer home.
The Daily Mail reports Asma al-Assad bought everything from new sofas, rugs, chandeliers, and 11 ottomans from one home design store in London.
The emails obtained by WikiLeaks that you can read in detail on the website, show how the 36 year old British born First Lady spent £270,000 (about $420,000 USD) buying furniture from one London store for one of her presidential palaces last March. That was the same time that her husband's regime began a bloody crackdown on protesters of his government that has left an estimated 16 thousand people dead in the country, including women and children. But the emails demonstrate that Asma al-Assad had no plans to stop the re-decoration of the family's summer palace in the town of Latakia, about 320 kilometers from the capital. Once described by Vogue magazine as a "rose in the desert," al-Assad took charge of refurnishing the palace herself. The emails show that she was kept up to date on how the furniture was being laid out in the palace with her aides taking photos and sending them to her.
Al-Arabiya reports the total cost of the renovations, since 2006 has so far reached almost $2.5 million. Al-Arabiya says the emails are written in different languages, most in Arabic but many also in Persian. Many reveal Asma al-Assad's shopping obsession especially online where she can hide her identity. One of the pseudonyms she used was Alia Kayaali, which she used to buy jewelry, handmade furniture and shoes. The emails also contain personal information, photos and videos that President Bashar al-Assad exchanged with his wife and with aides.
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