Wednesday, March 19
Saddam Hussein's family
San Fracisco Chronicle, March 19, 2003
The Iraqi leader rose from a poor childhood to assume brutal control of his country and head a sometimes brutal family.
Hussein al-Majid, Hussein's father: A peasant farmer, he died a short time after Hussein's birth. Little is known about his life or where he is buried. .
Subha Tulfah al-Musallat, Hussein's mother: A domineering woman, she defied the typical status of women in the town of Tikrit, where they were often kept isolated. After her death in 1982, a huge shrine was built in Tikrit at government expense to celebrate the "Mother of Militants." .
Ibrahim al-Hassan, Hussein's stepfather: Subha married "Hassan the Liar," as villagers called him, after the death of Hussein's father. His stepfather was an illiterate shepherd from the poorer fringes of an already poor village. His sons - Hussein's half brothers - have played a critical role in government intelligence and security agencies. .
1 SADDAM HUSSEIN: Hussein was born April 28, 1937, in the small village of al-Auja near Tikrit. At 20, he joined the Baath party. A year later, he escaped to Egypt after a failed Ba'ath Party coup. He attended the Cairo School of Law and returned to Iraq when the Baathists briefly seized control of Iraq in 1963. He played a prominent role in a 1968 coup that re-established the party's control, becoming vice chairman of the ruling Revolutionary Command Council. Just over a decade later, he emerged as Iraq's absolute ruler,
a position he has occupied for 23 years. He has three daughters - Raghad, Rana and Halan - and at least two sons, Odai and Qusai; he is widely thought to have a third son, Ali, who is about 18. .
Sajida Tulfah, Hussein's wife: As is customary in traditional Iraqi tribal society, Hussein was betrothed to marry his first cousin, Sajida, at an early age. The two reportedly didn't meet until Hussein was 21, and married soon afterward. Sajida bore Hussein five children, and in her early years worked as a schoolteacher. She later became known for her excessive shopping sprees in Geneva and Paris. .
Rana Hussein, Hussein's daughter: Wife of Saddam Kamel. She defected to Jordan with her husband in 1995. She is believed to be alive but hasn't been seen in public since. .
Hussein Kamel al-Majid, Hussein's cousin and son-in-law: His claim to fame is a starring role in the Iraqi film "The Long Days," a story about Saddam Hussein's 1959 attempt on the life of then-President abd al-Qassim. He was married to Hussein's younger daughter, Rana, until he was executed along with his brother, Hussein Kamel, for defecting to Jordan. .
Raghad Hussein, Hussein's daughter: Favorite daughter and wife of Hussein Kamel. She defected to Jordan with her husband and has also not been seen in public since her husband's death. .
Hussein Kamel al-Majid, Hussein's cousin and son-in-law: The former liaison with U.N. weapons inspectors, Kamel rose in the ranks from presidential chauffeur to running a special security agency to protect Hussein. He created the elite Republican Guard and supervised the Iraqi nuclear weapons project. After a fierce family feud in 1995, Kamel, who married Hussein's favorite daughter, Raghad, defected to Jordan with his brother and wife and called for Hussein's ouster. Seven months later, he and his brother returned to Iraq believing they had been pardoned. Three days later, they were executed by a presidential guard led by "Chemical Ali" Hassan al-Majid. .
Ali Kamel, Hussein's grandson: Hussein's first grandson and son of Raghad and Hussein Kamel. .
Odai Saddam Hussein, Hussein's older son: Commander of the Fedayeen Saddam, a militia force of 30,000 trained to squelch any popular uprising, Odai, 38, has a fearsome reputation for brutality and violence. He gained his power base through control of about a dozen newspapers and the most popular television and radio stations in Iraq. He is estimated to have a net worth of hundreds of millions of dollars gained from a number of other businesses, including food processing and, allegedly, illegal oil smuggling. He was badly wounded in an assassination attempt in 1996. .
Qusai Hussein, Hussein's younger son: Qusai, 36, is known for inheriting his father's skill in administration. His executive responsibilities have included playing Kurdish factions against each other, managing the U.N. weapons inspectors and guarding the security of his father. After his uncle Hussein Kamel defected and was murdered, Qusai assumed Kamel's key command posts. He was shot in the arm last year in an assassination attempt. .
Halan Hussein, Hussein's daughter: Not much is known about Halan. .
Barzan Ibrahim, Hussein's half brother: The Iraqi representative to the United Nations in Geneva from 1988 to 1998. .
Watban Ibrahim, Hussein's half brother: Iraq's interior minister until his dismissal in 1995. Later that year, his leg was amputated after Odai, Saddam's older son, shot him at a family gathering. .
Sabawi Ibrahim, Hussein's half brother: Chief of general security of the secret police agency, Mudiriyat al-Amn al-Amma, until Hussein fired him in 1995. .
Khairallah Tulfah, Hussein's uncle: An officer in the Iraqi army and a nationalist who spent four years in prison after a 1941 coup against the then- ruling monarchy and the British. He was Hussein's first political mentor. At 10, Hussein lived with Tulfah in Baghdad and later married his daughter, Sajida. .
Adnan Khairallah Tulfah, Hussein's cousin and brother-in-law: Hussein's boyhood friend and his wife's brother, Tulfah served as minister of defense until his mysterious death in 1989. In a family feud, over a mistress, Tulfah supported his sister. He was killed a year later in a helicopter crash that many believe was orchestrated by the president. Although that has never been proven, a former Hussein bodyguard interviewed on "60 Minutes" claimed Hussein ordered him to plant a bomb in the helicopter.
Ali Hassan al-Majid, Hussein's cousin: Also known as "Chemical Ali," for his role in the attacks on Kurds in northern Iraq in which between 60,000 and 200,000 were killed with poison gas in 1988. In 1991, he was appointed Hussein's interior minister and later served as defense minister.
Source: www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/iraq/family.html; Associated Press