Aniseh Makhlouf, mother of Syria's Assad, dies

BEIRUT -- Aniseh Makhlouf, Syria's former first lady and the mother of current President Bashar Assad, died Saturday, the presidency announced.

See Full Article

She was 86.

A statement on the presidency's official Facebook page says Makhlouf, the wife of the late President Hafez Assad, died in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Makhlouf was born in 1930 to a prominent and wealthy Alawite family from the coastal province of Latakia in the heartland of the religious minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

She married Hafez in 1957 when he was an air force lieutenant and rarely appeared in public after he became president in 1971. Although she kept a low profile, she was known to be the family matriarch and exerted strong influence over her husband and children.

"She was to prove a devoted wife and mother and Assad's closest and most trusted confidante, providing him with a domestic environment of unquestioned respectability," wrote Assad's late biographer Patrick Seale in his book "Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East."

Many considered her to be the first lady long after Hafez passed away in 2000.

At the beginning of the uprising against the Assad family rule in March 2011, she was reported to have pushed Assad to crack down hard on protesters. She was later reported to have left Syria to the United Arab Emirates, joining her only daughter, Bushra, who moved to the Emirates with her children after her husband, Assef Shawkat, was assassinated in a blast in the Syrian capital in July 2012. Shawkat was the deputy minister of defence.

Aniseh Makhlouf's nephew, Rami Makhlouf, is one of Syria's most prominent and wealthy businessmen. He controls the mobile phone network and other lucrative enterprises, and the protesters behind the 2011 uprising saw him as a symbol of corruption.

Makhlouf is survived by her daughter Bushra and her two sons, Bashar and Maher Assad. Two other sons passed away, one of them, Basil, in a car accident in 1994.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Man accused of covertly recording naked women in Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in Alberta have issued a warrant for a man in connection with photos and videos that show nude women who appeared unaware they were being filmed. Airdrie RCMP say they began an investigation last October, after being notified by someone who said they had located nude photographs and videos believed to have been taken in Airdrie. Source
  • Awkward moment with B.C. premier goes viral

    Canada News CTV News
    A brief interaction between B.C.’s Liberal leader Christy Clark and a voter at a grocery store in Vancouver has gone viral, inspiring the hashtag #IamLinda. Clark was at a campaign stop on Thursday when the non-supporter introduced herself. Source
  • 19 dead dogs found by road near Quebec City: Police

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    THE CANADIAN PRESS First posted: Saturday, April 29, 2017 01:25 PM EDT | Updated: Saturday, April 29, 2017 02:08 PM EDT Source
  • Team Canada wins gold at World Senior Curling Championships

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada is on top of the curling world again as a senior women's team from Nova Scotia beat Switzerland in the gold medal final Saturday at the World Senior Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Alta. The rink of Colleen Jones, Nancy Delahunt, Mary Sue Radford and Kim Kelly went undefeated throughout the tournament. Source
  • Police find no trace of Ontario woman and boyfriend missing in Belize

    Canada News CBC News
    An Ontario woman is missing in Belize along with her American boyfriend, a friend says, and search crews have so far failed to turn up any clues indicating where they may be. Francesca Matus, 52, and her boyfriend, Drew De Voursney, 36, were last seen leaving a bar called Scotty's near Matus's beachfront home in Corozal, about 130 kilometres north of the country's capital. Source
  • Daughter allegedly attacks mother after family conflict escalates in Montreal

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- A 60-year-old woman was taken to hospital after she was allegedly assaulted by her daughter during a family dispute in Montreal. Montreal police say the altercation began at around 8 p.m. Friday in an apartment in the Rivieres-des-Prairies borough. Source
  • Ohio family surprised when Mark Zuckerberg comes to dinner

    World News CTV News
    NEWTON FALLS, Ohio -- An Ohio family says they learned just 20 minutes before dinner this week that a planned mystery guest would be Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg. The Vindicator of Youngstown reports Zuckerberg dined Friday evening with the Moore family in Newton Falls, about 55 miles (89 kilometres) southeast of Cleveland. Source
  • Donald Trump says administration 'has brought profound change to Washington'

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday marked his 100th day in office by saying he had brought “profound change” to Washington and reaffirming that “my only allegiance” is to those he governs. During an evening trip to Pennsylvania, one of the states that propelled his unlikely election victory, Trump planned to sign an executive order directing the Commerce Department and the U.S. Source
  • Quebec police investigating after 19 dogs found dead near roadside

    Canada News CTV News
    Quebec provincial police are investigating after 19 dead dogs were found by the side of a road near Quebec City. A citizen called police after finding the decomposing carcasses last week in Cap-Sante, about 50 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital. Source
  • Critics question top U.S. prosecutor's style after blunt words

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- With two dust-ups in a week, first with a judge in Hawaii and another with leaders of the nation's largest and most powerful police department, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sounds to some more like the conservative senator from Alabama he once was rather than the top prosecutor he is today. Source