Fall 2003_162

Instructor: Buthaina al Othman

Biography of Saddam Hussain

Group A: Part (1)

Read the following part of the biography, take notes, outline, and then write your summary.

  1. Saddam Hussain was born in 1939. According to Iraqi political sources, he forged his birth date to April 28,1937 to identify it with the birth date of prophet Mohammed. His father Hussain Al-Majeed left his mother, then divorced her before his birth. Al-Majeed, who was a servant at a wealthy family in Baghdad, have not ever seen his son and died few years later. Following her divorce, his mother Sabha Talfah Al-Tikriti remarried and got divorced again, quickly. Later she moved with her little son, Saddam, to another village , where she married for the third time to a man who also divorced her, in a short time. Reportedly, she was known for her bad manners, loud voice and vulgarity. After that, she and her son went back to their hometown Takrit , where she met a married farmer, Ibrahim Al-Hassan. She, then, managed to have him marry her and abandoned his family, comprising a wife and three daughters.
  2. Saddam, who became the sixth brother for three sisters and two brothers, was strongly rejected by his step-father, Al-Hassan, who was well known for his aggressiveness and bad reputation in the town. He was brutal to Saddam , and used to send him in assignments to steel chickens and lambs from other farmers and when he fail to accomplish the task , Al-Hassan used to punish him physically. Iraqi Present Leader, Saddam, remained in such unhealthy environment without education or work, for several years.When he was 10 years old he met his cousin Adnan Khairalla Talfah, who talked to him about education and encouraged him to join school to learn how to read , write and draw. (Ironically, Adnan became a member of Saddam’s government during the 80s, and was killed in an aircraft accident designed by Saddam for disagreeing with him on certain administrative issues.) Saddam liked the idea of education, so one night while everybody were sleeping he ran away toward the capital Baghdad announcing to himself an end for his suffering from his step-father, Al-Hassan.
  3. In Baghdad he stayed with his uncle Khairalla Talfah, who welcomed him and sent him to school, but made him serve his family. As an adolescent, Saddam used to hang out in cafes, where he mingled with older youths and learned a lot about the “Baath” political movement, which was opposing the Iraqi regime at that time. At the age of 20, he finished high school and joined “Baath” which means "the new life after death".

Back to Week 2

Back to 162 Main Page


©2003 Buthaina Al Othman