Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bassel al-Assad

Bassel al-Assad (Arabic: باسل الأسد, Bāssel al-Assad) (March 23, 1962 – January 21, 1994) was a son of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad (Arabic: حافظ الأسد).

From a young age, Bassel was groomed to fill the role of President by his father, Hafez al-Assad. He was chief of presidential security while running a highly publicized anti-corruption campaign within the regime, and frequently appeared in full military uniform at official receptions, signaling the regime's commitment to the armed forces. He also had a reputation for being an aficionado of fast cars.

In January 1994, driving his own Mercedes at high speed through fog to Damascus International Airport in the early hours of the morning, Bassel is said to have collided with a motorway roundabout, and he died instantly.

Bassel's death led to his lesser-known brother Bashar al-Assad, then undertaking sub-speciality training in ophthalmology in London, assuming the mantle of President-in-waiting. Bashar became President following the death of Hafez on June 10, 2000.

The state-run Syrian media sometimes refers to Bassel as "Bassel the Martyr", and numerous squares and streets have been named after him. His statue is found in several Syrian cities, and even after his death he is often pictured at billboards with his father and brother. He is buried in Qardaha, his father's village of birth, in a large mausoleum, where Hafez al-Assad was laid to rest beside him in 2000.[citation needed]

Bassel was a popular sportsman and horse riding champion, winning several tournaments in shooting and equestrian sports, including the gold medal of the Latakia Mediterranean Games in 1987. The International Fair Play Committee awarded him the Diploma of Attitude in 1991.

From : www.wikipedia.org