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Leaked emails show Assad’s fondness for electronics, Asmaa’s love of furniture

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A large part of the leaked emails of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, obtained by Al Arabiya, shed light on many personal choices made by the ruling couple during various difficult crises in the country.

An email from media adviser Shahrazad al-Jaafari showed that the President was carrying out his daily sports exercises normally. After praising his skills as a professional tennis player, Shahrzad wished him luck for a match the President was expected to play. It was Friday, Dec. 16, 2012 -- the same Friday the Syrian protesters had dubbed as “The Arab League is Killing Us.”

On Nov. 22, 2011, an email was received from a staff member at the Presidency staff member with an attachment that included a summary of a book entitled “The French Art of War” by Alexis Jenni. The book, published last year, focused on the history of France since World War II.

It was not the only email that contained summaries of books. Another email included the summary of the book “The Uncultured Wars” by Steven Salaita, in which the author writes about Arab violence, described by the West as terrorism.

Email correspondence between President Assad and his inner circle of friends and close associates show a sense of humor, especially when it came to the way mass media was handling the Syrian crisis.

For example, an email recalled a joke about a Syrian man who accidently fell off a microbus taxi. The incident was followed by all kinds of overestimation of the accident, involving the interior minister, opposition leaders as well as Arab and Syrian news channels.

That was not the only joke found in President Assad’s inbox; there were plenty of similar jokes, many of which were related to the ongoing Syrian crisis, as well as normal everyday life of the Arab citizen. President Assad was even part of a joke when he replied to the questions of a school test. The First Lady then forwarded the email and added her own humorous comment saying that the answers belonged to a “smart student from Homs.”

However, despite the seemingly normal life of the First Couple, under the ongoing Syrian crisis, the leaked emails showed that the First Lady was slightly worried.

She kept buying bullet proof vests; she held contacts with a fashion-designing company for lining normal clothes with bullet proof material. She later chose some of these designs and emailed them to President Assad for his review.

The couple’s inbox also included videos from YouTube, which they shared with each other; some of which were funny, sad or contained music.

On Nov. 14, Asmaa sent a video to her husband of Apple founder Steve Jobs falling off his chair a few hours before his death. Asmaa seemed sad in her email, even though horrible events were already taking place in Syria.

President Assad’s inbox also revealed his fondness for purchasing electronics and mobile applications. He received numerous emails from Apple confirming his purchase of iPad and iPhone applications. One of those emails showed that President Assad had bought a game adapted from the famous Harry Potter movies.

As for Asmaa, her inbox reflected her fondness for house furniture. Several emails reveal that the furniture she ordered online was delivered to a specific address in a Gulf Arab country, not Syria.

(This is the third in a series of articles on the leaked emails of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle.)