Similar to the the nature of Syrian politics, much known about but little spoken of, often cloaked in secrecy, the Assads, who have reigned supreme as ruling family for over half a century, like to do things hush-hush and on the down-low. Take the nature of the courtship and even marriage of the current President to wife Asma Akhras. Asma, at the time working for a bank in the UK, conducted her whole relationship with the number one family on the sly, as she surreptitiously stole time with Bashar before the couple conducted their discreet marriage in 2000. This, in the words of American Vogue, the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies, married into a family famous for the fear it commands and instills in its people- she seemed to promise high hopes for a new era of political reform in a country invested in new president, a former eye surgeon, and his charming British- born Syrian wife.
Rumored to have a wealth of 40 billion dollars, the First Family’s Funds are equivalent to 5 times the economic production capacity of Syria. The fortune of Syrian President Assad alone distributed around Swiss banks amounts to approx. 1.9 billion Swiss francs (about 2 billion dollars). The monthly income of the average Syrian citizen is a lowly $200.
The family is soaked in purported corruption, and while ties between Syria and Lebanon are quite in the open, there are even links between Bashar al Assad and Lebanon’s Harriri, through ownership of the Lebanon central bank. The President is said to maintain the Bank of Lebanon's central files in with all their irregularities, compounding Lebanon's status of consistent instability.