Love thy neighbor....even if it is Syrian dictator Assad's relatives?
The London-based in-laws of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad are facing hostility from their neighbors, who have been openly expressing their contempt towards the family as the conflict in Syria rages on.
According to British newspaper the Daily Mail, Syrian residents of the West London suburb of Acton are voicing their anger against Fawaz Akhras and his wife Sahar, father and mother of Assad’s wife Asma.
The Akhras family is facing demonstrations, snubs, insults and severed relations from Syrians in Acton, who relate the actions of their son-in-law back in Syria to the family.
“People feel contempt for them,” Malik Al Abdeh, an opposition journalist whose parents live opposite the Akhrases, told the Daily Mail.
“People feel morally superior to them because they have sacrificed family members and their towns and homes have been destroyed. They appear to be very callous, selfish, money-grabbing and tainted by association with the regime,” he added.
The Akhrases live in a four-bed semi, with palm trees seen in their garden, the Daily Mail reported.
Demonstrations have been held outside their house. A large white banner saying “Out Damned Spot” was pitched up in front of the property, and stated that “all the perfumes in Arabia” would not eliminate the stench of the crimes committed by the Syrian regime.
“The couple has had their garden wall toppled, double-glazed windows broken and the front of their home paint-bombed,” the British newspaper reported.
Police have interfered during the “worst demonstrations,” and neighbors claim security guards have been seen outside the Akhrases houses, in addition to installing discreet security cameras.
“The couple seldom answer the door, and often come and go through the back entrance. During Ramadan last summer, Sahar did not go to the mosque at the nearby King Fahad Academy as she usually does,” the report added.
Neighbors also said they have seen Asma’s mother, Sahar, carrying shopping bags from Harrods, an upmarket department store in Knightsbridge, London.
They have also seen her taking her grandchildren to a playground.
“She was playing with the kids when millions of children in Syria have had their lives taken away from them and cannot laugh anymore,” a source told the Daily Mail.
Asma’s father, Fawaz Akhras, comes from a Sunni family in Homs, the epicenter of the uprising which has seen Sunni rebels fighting troops loyal to Alwaite President Assad.