That led many observers to expect her to condemn the attacks on civilians, many of them children. But no such response has emerged.
In February 2012, an article published in The Times of London said Asma al-Assad appeared to support her husband, while also seeking dialogue and comfort for the bereaved in the country.
According to an e-mail sent through an intermediary from Asma al-Assad's office, "The president is the president of Syria, not a faction of Syrians, and the first lady supports him in that role," The Times reported.
Meanwhile, the little that has emerged about her life has contrasted sharply with the brutality of the civil war that has engulfed the country: Leaked e-mails between the president and the first lady showed that she was shopping online for jewelry, art and furniture.
On the day of a massive anti-Assad rally in Hama, Asma al-Assad e-mailed a London art dealer about buying tens of thousands of dollars' worth of art.