Joan Juliet Buck: Mrs. Assad Duped Me

July 30, 2012


Asma al-Assad’s stated mission: “Empowering Syrian children to build a civil society.” (Wael Hmedan / Reuters)

(Daily Beast) I didn’t know I was going to meet a murderer.

There was no way of knowing that Assad, the meek ophthalmologist and computer-loving nerd, would kill more of his own people than his father had and torture tens of thousands more, many of them children.

(Daily Beast)He didn’t strike me as much of a monster.
And he wanted to talk. I thrust the recorder at him and asked the most innocuous question I could think of.
Why had he wanted to become an eye doctor?
“Because it’s never an emergency,” he said. “It’s very precise, and there is very little blood.”
Never an emergency. Very little blood.
He wanted to talk about computers. “When we met, I was Mac and she was PC!” he said.