Bashar al-Assad is the 19th and current President of Syria, holding the office since 17 July 2000. He is also commander-in-chief of the Syrian Armed Forces, General Secretary of the ruling Arab Socialist Baath Party and Regional Secretary of the party’s branch in Syria. He is a son of Hafez al-Assad, who was President of Syria from 1971 to 2000.
Born and raised in Damascus, Assad graduated from the medical school of Damascus University in 1988, and started to work as a doctor in the Syrian Army. Four years later, he attended postgraduate studies at the Western Eye Hospital in London, specializing in ophthalmology.