Saddam Hussein: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

Saddam Hussein might be dead, but it’ll be a very long time before anyone forgets him – and not in a good way. His legacy is one of terror and has been widely publicized, but there are some interesting things you might not know about him still. Here, we present 15 things you probably didn’t know about Saddam Hussein. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: He Had no Real Ideology. Though Hussein was technically a president, as a person, he had no ideology. He spent 20 years creating an image, and his opponents spent the same amount of time fostering the opposite image, but the truth was that Hussein was willing to do anything to bring Iraq into the 20th century.

Number Fourteen: He Borrowed From Stalinism. According to expert Said K. Aburish, Hussein must have studied Stalin, and he probably made Stalin his personal hero. Like Hussein, Stalin had humble beginnings and was raised primarily by his mother. More than any other figure, Hussein used Stalin as someone to look up to.

Number Thirteen: He Was Illiterate Until Age 10. Hussein had very humble beginnings, and he came from a poor family. He had to steal to eat growing up, and he couldn’t actually read or write until he was 10.

Number Twelve: His Name Means “One Who Confronts.” His 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,” “powerful collider,” and “powerful confronter.” How accurate.

Number Eleven: He Married His Cousin. Hussein’s official marriage was to Sajida Khairallah Talfah, who was his cousin. He was 21 when they were married, and Hussein eventually married for a second, unofficial time, to Samira Shahbandar.

Number Ten: He Had the Keys to Detroit. In 1980, Hussein 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 Nine: He Has a 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 Hussein’s blood. He apparently donated up to 57 pints of his own blood to make the book.