According to Assad’s Instagram, It’s All Smiles in Syria

Syria's embattled leader is using social media to broadcast his vision of the country to the world

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The carnage and chaos out of Syria for the past two and a half years has been unmistakable: the country has descended into civil war, marked by horrific scenes of death and devastation. But scrolling through the official Instagram account of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the turmoil seems to evaporate. The feed, updated several times a week, offers a distinctly different view of the internationally reviled ruling family: smiles, handshakes, doting supporters. It’s a world miles away from the one seen in headlines and news photographs published daily.

Bashar Assad is front-and-center in a majority of the photos, shown going about his daily business in meeting with foreign dignitaries, military officials and at rallies. His wife Asma, the first lady of Syria who was once described by Vogue as “a rose in the desert,” also features prominently in many of the images. She offers presents to children, comforts the elderly, and serves food to “displaced families” (one of the few visible hints of the nation’s inner turmoil).

The comments sections that accompany the photos, posted by many of the account’s 36,000 followers, have been flooded with both blessings and hate for the ruling family, alternately branding Assad a “murdering man” and a “benevolent humble leader.” Messages noting “We will always support you” are closely followed by ones warning him: “u can’t hide from the long arm of justice.”–Nick Carbone

Captions accompanying the photographs were translated from Arabic and edited.

More Photography from Time

17 comments
RichieDeyro
RichieDeyro

he looks like a villain from 007 movies.

thedurand
thedurand

They all look very white and weternized! Is this a class issue?

dougglast
dougglast

It's not that easy to draw a line between conventional and chemical weapons. 

For instance, medieval use of boiling oil or boiling pitch was very close to chemical warfare.

I think that what characterizes modern chemical warfare is its close relation to the insect world, which is a deep source of disgust for humans.

Chemical warfare is indeed widely used by insects, especially social insects, and, of course, the humans use most extensively chemical warfare to fight insects.

That is the deepest reason why chemical warfare has been condemned after WWI by the Geneva Treaty. It is a warfare from other species, widely considered as subhuman species, or corpse-eating species. Chemical warfare in used against enemies that are deemed subhumans, like the insects.

Even though Assad has been very closely targeted by an assassination attempt, as this assassination attempt was not a blind, indistinct one, but rather a very personal one - which still stresses his enemies consider him as a person and an individual - he should not have responded by a gas extermination attack. That was morally weak. He showed he was way too fragile to be kept in the UN community of heads of state. The UN should - via the ICC - find a way to condemn Assad at least to be banned from the community of world heads of states. He cannot be part of that community anymore.

DavidOne
DavidOne

When will USA attack Israel for using white phosphorus on Palestinians?

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

NATO Study: 70% of Syrians Support Syrian State and President al-Assad 

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/06/03/485493.htm

Jun 03, 2013

 NATO data revealed that 70 percent of the Syrians support the Syrian state and President Bashar al-Assad.

The data, which was published by the U.S. newspaper "World Tribune" showed that the people in Syria are tired of the war against the foreign –backed opposition, "

" President al-Assad will win this war mainly because the people are cooperating with him," a Western source familiar with the data said.

The study, complied Western-sponsored activists and organizations, showed that 20 percent of the Syrians adopt neutral position while only 10 percent support the armed opposition.

The study added: " The Syrians were alarmed by the Al-Qaeda takeover of the opposition, underlining that what is left is the foreign fighters who are sponsored by Qatar and Saudi Arabia". 

Patriotic Song. Syria

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBT8opp_U9w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzmjdLhMeNU

bob3905
bob3905

YOU SEE? Everything is okey dokey. No need for us to spends millions of dollars in smart weapons to destroy whatever we think needs destroying.

jameso
jameso

Assad is awesome as you can see from the pictures.  Everybody in Syria is smiling and giving all photographers the thumbs up.

outspoken
outspoken

My  girlfriend  left  for Putin.

PaulBeaman
PaulBeaman

It is so easy to be angered by the people who are not in the struggle (Assad in this instance)...especially in their naivety, or just general lack of care of their country's struggle. Anger is a big issue all over the world. I have some information on how exercise can help deal with our own personal anger and have shared it on my website along with a brief outline of the Assad Instagram Anger. I hope I can help people with this: http://brilliantfitnesstips.com/syrias-anger-exercise-helps-anger/

LuisHewitt
LuisHewitt

must be playing Age of The Empire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karl
Karl

Neither the Lincoln or Davis families wore sackcloth and spent their days rubbing ashes in their hair during the war between the North and South. Can we do news unrelated to the thrill of war mongering?

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

The American army used chemical weapons in Vietnam and in Iraq (the city of Fallujah).
Video facts 
Military and criminal offences American army under the command of American presidents already not a secret.
In this film - facts and documentary evidence of the chemical attack of the American army on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004. Then all was silent - today everyone is talking about.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yalyCk4kK-8