EU Bans Assad's Wife From Travel, Shopping Asma Assad will likely have to tone down free-spending ways By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Mar 22, 2012 7:01 PM CDT Updated Mar 23, 2012 6:24 AM CDT 18 comments Comments Asma Assad, wife of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, in a 2010 file photo. (Getty Images) (Newser) – It may not mean much to the forces fighting Syria's government, but it's something: The EU decided today to impose sanctions on first lady Asma Assad, Reuters reports. That means she is no longer welcome for travel and her beloved shopping sprees, adds AFP. She and about a dozen other Syrians have been added to a list of those barred from EU visits and whose financial assets there are frozen. As the recent leak of emails makes clear, Asma Assad likes her lavish chandeliers, candlesticks, and fondue sets. One caveat: Because Asma was born in Britain, she will still be able to travel there. As AFP notes, the so-called "rose in the desert" was once seen as the best hope to liberalize Syria and her husband, Bashar. But those hopes have long since faded. In fact, she herself has joked that she is the "real dictator" in the family.