They said/We said: Syria’s first lady blacklisted from the European Union after exorbitant spending during country’s civil war

Photography by Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

What is a first lady to do when her country is in the midst of a civil war? Syria’s Asma al-Assad evidently thinks dropping thousands shopping online for lavish goods is fitting, and now the spree has landed her a deserving spot on the European Union sanctions blacklist.

Leaked emails directed to her husband, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, exposed a lengthy shopping list of seriously opulent items—we’re talking diamond jewellery from Paris, crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutins—and other expensive items from British-based Harrods. So what does a spot on a sanctions blacklist get you? Frozen bank accounts and banned EU territory travel.

First lady shopping sprees never go over well. Case in point: Michelle Obama’s $50,000 Agent Provocateur trip. We think it is safe to say that Assad’s refined image of a fashionable yet sensible woman with strong Western-like values is now questionable, to say the very least.


Jezebel: “[…] The government continues to claim that the violence is the work of ‘terrorists.’ We hope those ‘terrorists’ don’t get in the way of Asma’s next Parisian furniture delivery.” [Jezebel]

Yahoo news: “She was supposed to be the gentler face of a would-be reformist regime. Now Asma al-Assad has become a hate figure for many.” [Yahoo]


Caitlan Moneta, fashion market editor: “Hope she stocks up before the guillotine comes down.”