March 24th, 2013 / May 27th, 2019
Until his death, Zahran Alloush remained one of the most controversial figures in the Syrian war. Despite the objections and suspicions many Syrians had about his approach, he was still seen by many as a gallant leader.
Controversy continued to follow Hassoun when he issued a fatwa (religious ruling) on SANA, Syrian state-owned television, ordering the military to express their rage by exterminating all Syrians in the besieged and divided city of Aleppo.
Positioning himself like a backer of democratic change more than an opposition figure, Aboud was nevertheless targeted as a threat by the Assad regime.
Indeed, after Bashar al-Assad took over from his father, al-Turk played a large role in the so-called Damascus Spring, a period of political debate and demands for democratic change in June 2000. In August 2001, al-Turk appeared on al-Jazeera calling for all political factions to unite. “What we need today is reconciliation, and [we] have to work for a new future, forgetting mistakes of the past. In the past, we had a problem with the dictator, and now that problem is over – the dictator is dead,” he said.
The Syrian Presidency announced in August 2018 that Asma had breast cancer, after which she was treated for an early stage of a malignant tumour, according to official Syrian statements. Asma took advantage of her illness to carry out a series of activities on social media and make various appearances wearing a scarf on her head as one way to demonstrate that she underwent chemotherapy. She participated in World Breast Cancer Awareness Day in a way that was described as spontaneous, engaging in chats with women undergoing cancer treatment at the hospital.
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