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An NBC News exclusive interview with Syrian President Assad's wife, Asma, reveals her to be a surprisingly modern first lady. Born in Britain, she hopes to change the perception of Syria.
"Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad." Brian Williams, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 9 May 2007. NBC Learn. Web. 5 September 2012.
Williams, B. (Reporter), & Curry, A. (Anchor). (2007, May 9). Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=5915
CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE
"Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 05/09/2007. Accessed Wed Sep 5 2012 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=5915
Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor:
For the past two nights here, our colleague Ann Curry has been doing some extraordinary reporting out of Syria, including a rare one-on-one interview with Syrian President Assad. Tonight, Ann talks to President Assad's wife Asma, Syria's surprisingly modern first lady who, in a lot of ways, bridges East and West. Here now, Ann Curry's exclusive report.
ANN CURRY reporting:
Asma Assad is a revelation with a competitive edge learned on Wall Street, a light-up-the-room charisma and a down to earth touch.
Ms. ASMA ASSAD: You don't have any drivers to drive you crazy.
CURRY: Born and raised in Britain, she is now the modern face of Syria.
Ms. ASSAD: I remember growing up in the UK and the perception of people towards the region as a whole, not necessarily area Syria specifically, was of a place--a distant place, almost exotic, almost alien.
CURRY: The US government sees Syria differently, bluntly calling it a state sponsor of terrorism. Mrs. Assad sees her role as changing how the outside world sees Syria and how the next generation of Syrians see the world.
Ms. ASSAD: (Foreign language spoken).
This is a country of transition and for that you need to invest in your human capital more than anything else...
Ms. ASSAD: ...which means education, it means building capabilities and skills.
Unidentified Man: (Foreign language spoken).
CURRY: So across Syria, she has started programs to open young minds to new ideas. Just 31, the former banker married Bashar al-Assad seven years ago. The couple has three children.
Do you sometimes just pinch yourself? I mean, just have to--do you ever stop and say, `Look, I am the first lady of Syria!'
Ms. ASSAD: That's what I do, it's not who I am. At the end of the day I'm the same person as I was before I married the president, and I'll be the same person hopefully going forward.
CURRY: Her openness has pulled back the curtain on her husband, who is seen as being remote and authoritarian.
What is it that the West doesn't know, should know about your husband?
Ms. ASSAD: I can't comment about the president. I don't see him as the president, per se. I see him as a...
CURRY: As a husband.
Ms. ASSAD: ...husband, a father, as a friend.
CURRY: He's a good father?
Ms. ASSAD: I'm biased. You need to ask my kids.
CURRY: What is your dream, your wish for what you hope might...(unintelligible)...of you as a couple ruling this country?
Ms. ASSAD: We share the same principles, and that is to make a difference.
CURRY: Ann Curry, NBC News, Damascus.