Assala was born in Damascus, Syria to a middle class couple. Mostafa Nasri, Assala's father, was a revered composer and singer. Assala began her musical career by performing patriotic, religious, and children's songs when she was four years old. She sang the theme song "Qessas Al Sho'oub" (Arabic: قصص الشعوب), of the cartoon show, Hekayat Alamiyah (Arabic: حكايات عالمية). In 1986, Mostafa Nasri died after suffering from internal bleeding caused by a car accident.