The Guardian yesterday published excerpts from some 3,000 leaked documents Syrian activists say are downloaded from Bashar and Asma al-Assad’s private email accounts.
Amongst them was an email purportedly from Sheikha Al Mayassa Al Thani, the daughter of the emir of Qatar, addressed to Asma al-Assad, in which she urged the Syrian first lady and her family in January to leave the country, and help stabilize Syria and the region.
Amongst the cache of emails was another, evidently tense exchange between the two last December. Al Thani opened by saying the wife of Turkey’s prime minister wanted to get in touch, with Mrs. al-Assad declining they request. They also touch on Syria’s non-participation in the Arab Games and how busy their boys are keeping them.
Following up on a comment from Mrs. al-Assad that “Doha is not a popular destination with Syrians at the moment,” Al Thani writes:
Your last remark i think is unfair. My father regards President Bashar as a friend, despite the current tensions – he always gave him genuine advice; the opportunity for real change and development was lost a long time ago.
Nevertheless, [when] one opportunity closes, others open up — and I hope its not too late for reflection and coming out of the state of denial.
The two countries have had a tense relationship in the last year, with Qatar repeatedly calling on President Bashar al-Assad to halt its harsh military crackdown on dissent. If genuine, the email exchange makes clear that the strain extends to the personal lives of the two countries’ ruling families.