The wife of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, not often seen in public, appeared on Syrian state television on Tuesday night, dispelling rumors that she had fled fled the war-stricken country.
Dressed in black trousers and a grey shirt embellished with the Syrian flag, Asma Assad was shown planting olive trees with children and comforting bereaved families.
“I am here, my husband and my children are here in Syria. It’s obvious that I’d be here with them,” she answered reporters when asked about leaving the country, according to AFP. “How can I teach my children to love Syria if they don’t live here?”
The video clip was not dated, but published only hours after her husband attended a Muslim Eid al-Adha feast.
While the Syrian first lady has not made many public appearances since the outbreak of civil war over two years ago, she has come under much scrutiny for detaching herself from her war-torn country.
The London-raised Asma Assad has been widely criticized for maintaining her luxurious lifestyle despite the war raging through her country, apparently shopping online for high-end shoes and furniture while over 100,000 people have been killed in the 2.5-year civil war.