Saddam Hussein might be dead, but it’ll be a very long time before anyone forgets the dictator. Here, MusicSnake Magazine presents ten rare facts you probably didn’t know about Saddam Hussein.
Number One: Saddam Hussein Proposed a Live Debate Against George W. Bush
Weeks before the US invaded Iraq in ’03, Hussein tried to prevent the impending war by proposing a live debate with president George Bush. However, Bush obviously didn’t accept the proposal, and the U.S. did end up invading Iraq.
Number Two: Saddam Was Illiterate Until Age 10
He came from a poor family and had very humble beginnings. He had to steal to eat growing up, and he couldn’t actually read or write until he was ten.
Number Three: Hussein Married His Cousin
His official marriage was to Sajida Khairallah Talfah, who was his cousin. Saddam was 21 when they were married, and Hussein eventually married for a second, unofficial time, to Samira Shahbandar.
Number Four: Hussein’s Blood Book
Though this claim has never been officially proven, the Blood Qu’ran is a copy of the Islamic holy book of the same name allegedly written in Saddam Hussein’s blood. He apparently donated up to 57 pints of his own blood to make the book.
Number Five: His Name Means “One Who Confronts”
Hussein’s mother must have known what Saddam had coming in his future because his name means “one who confronts” in Arabic. Other interpretations of his name include “one who frequently causes collisions” and “powerful collider”.
Number Six: Hussein’s Cousin Was a Major Player
His cousin was Ali Hassan Al-Majid, whose nickname was “Chemical Ali.” He got his name by using chemical weapons to kill more than 180000 Kurds. The kinds of chemical warfare he used include sarin, tabun, mustard gas and VX.
Number Seven: Saddam Hussein Had the Keys to Detroit
In ’80, he was given the city key to Detroit, Michigan. He was given the key for the large amounts of money he donated to a church there.
Number Eight: Under His Reign, Men Could Kill Women Without Consequence
In the 70’s Hussein passed a law into Iraq that allowed any man to kill a woman without any fear of punishment – with one stipulation. That stipulation was that the man had to be able to prove that he killed the woman in defense of his family’s honor. However, considering the phrase “family honor” was never defined, this caused a lot of trouble.
Number Nine: Hussein’s Government Donated to Poor Americans
In ’01, Hussein’s government announced that $94MM would be donated to poor Americans. Apparently, Hussein wanted to aid Americans in poverty in the same way he had helped poor Palestinians.
Number Ten: Saddam Hussein Received a UNESCO Award
Yes, that’s right. He was awarded a UNESCO award for his efforts to raise the standard of living in Iraq.