Asama Saleh is the loving longtime wife of politician and former president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Her husband who served as Yemen’s president for over three decades, has been killed.
Born March 21, 1942 in Bayt al-Ahmar, Kingdom of Yemen; Saleh joined the army at a young age and rose to the rank of colonel.
In 1963, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the army of the newly established Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen). He was named president of the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) after the assassination of President Ahmed Hussein al-Ghashmi in July of 1978. He had previously taken part in a coup that installed a 10-member military command council.
He was twice elected to a five-year term as president by the Constituent People’s Assembly before the 1990 birth of The Republic of Yemen –from the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen).
In 1999 he won Yemen’s first direct presidential election with 96% of the vote. In 2006 he won re-election to a seven-year term with 77% of the vote.
After months of protests in 2011, he survived an assassination attempt that ended his political career. The following year he handed power to Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi –ending Saleh’s 33-year reign as leader. He resurged when he formally allied with Houthi fighters in 2015.
The Yemen’s ex-president was killed by Houthi rebels near the capital, Sanaa on December 4, 2017. He was 75-years-old.
During his time in power, Asama Saleh’s husband amassed a fortune worth between $30 billion to $62 billion. A report by UN experts revealed in 2015, claimed the assets, including cash, gold, property and other commodities, are held under various names in at least 20 different countries.
As it is to be expected from the Arab political spouse, not much is known about Asama Saleh.
She is the mother of the couple’s several children including sons Ahmed, Khaled, Salah, Ridan, Sakhr and Madeen. With Ahmed being the eldest. Ahmed Saleh, (pictured below next to his father) became a commander in Yemen’s army.
In 2013, it was speculated that Saleh’s son Ahmed could be ready to become the country’s president. By 2006 was already head of both the Republican Guard and the Special Forces.
Find more about Saleh’s widow below