Syria's First Lady, Asma Al-Assad, has "secretly" visited a number of the country's coastal villages, including Homs, where she met with several Alawite families and religious clerks to receive their blessing.
It is a traditional ritual which Alawites have been carrying out for decades as they believe that God sends cures to his followers through the righteous preachers.
Al-Assad also visited the headquarters of Imam Muhammad Ibn Idris Al-Shafi in Syria's Tartous and the shrine of the Islamic scholar Sheikh Hassan Al-Attar. She met with Sheikh Mahmoud Iskandar Ghanem, one of Alawites' leading clerks, who lives in the village of Beit Al-Sheikh Younes.
One of the Alawite's official social media pages recently published photos of the First Lady and her husband, Bashar Al-Assad, standing beside an Alawite clerk. The photo was taken at a military hospital where Asma was receiving treatment for breast cancer.
Last week, the Syrian regime announced that Asma had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but confirmed that she had begun "the first stage of treatment for a malignant tumour of the breast that was discovered early."
Observers believe that the regime's announcement aimed at gaining the sympathy of the Syrian people.