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memri
May 31, 2003 No.
509

Saddam's New Book: 'Begone, Accursed One!'

The London-based Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat recently reported that among the documents found in Iraq was a book written by Saddam Hussein titled 'Begone, Accursed One!' The volume was printed, but not distributed, due to the war. Like his previous books, 'Zabiba and the King,'[1] 'The Fortified Castle,'[2] and 'Men and the City,'[3] the author's name does not appear, and instead the book is referred to as "A Story By Its Author." The following are excerpts of the article which appeared in Al-Hayat:

According to the newspaper report, "the story is written, in general, in a defective style, and in its preface the author (Saddam) intimates that sometimes the devil enters the body of a person and then the dervishes or the mental health professionals strike the ground on which the person in whom the devil resides is standing with a stick and say: 'Begone, accursed one!'"

"According to Saddam – whose literary works have been praised by Iraqi literary critics, authors, and poets in hundreds of articles enveloping his works with a halo of genius and greatness – the devil lives among the wooden columns in old houses. But in the modern era, the devil's presence has shifted to the media and the television screens. The devil against whom Saddam rails in his fourth story exists only in women who wear colored lenses in their eyes, in 'the engine of an airplane,' and in 'the foreign occupation.' What is strange in Saddam's story is that its title is in line with the author's fate. The Iraqis say in this matter that it appears that the story 'Begone, Accursed One!' is Saddam's prophecy regarding his exit and the exit of his regime from Iraq."

"The 'author' of the story tells of a wise man named Ibrahim whose three children died, each one leaving a child. The [grand] children are Ezekiel, Joseph, and Mahmoud. The reference to the three monotheistic religions is obvious. Saddam focuses on the personality of Ezekiel (the Jew) and attributes evil traits to him: He is lustful, a lover of Mammon, treacherous, divides people so as to assure his own rise, and finds a way to conspire with non-Arabs (a Persian woman married to the sheikh of an Arab tribe.)"

"It appears that when Saddam describes the Jews and the Persians as outcasts with talents for conspiracy, he is implementing a saying by his uncle Khir Allah Toulfah: 'Allah erred in creating three: Jews, Persians, and flies.' The flies in the story 'Begone, Accursed One!' are the Byzantines, who, during the period in which the story is set, are another side hostile to the Arabs."

"The story is rich in descriptions of women's wantonness and debauchery… and the author creates in it the character of Salem, who struggles to expel the accursed Ezekiel from Al-Sham [Greater Syria]… [The story also] describes a scene in which two tall towers built by Ezekiel are burned, with a saying that Saddam Hussein repeated after the collapse of the World Trade towers in New York: 'This is the end of America.'"[4]


[1] Saddam's first book, 'Zabiba and the King' (2000), describes how the life of the king of ancient Iraq is changed when he meets a young common girl named Zabiba, and how wealthy merchants and Ezekiel the Jew, who speculate in Iraqi currency, conspire with the enemy against the country. The king joins the last battle against the enemy, and in the battle, Zabiba is killed and the foreigner defeated. The People's Council convenes to abolish the monarchical rule, in accordance with the will of the people, but the bourgeoisie is opposed. When it becomes known that the king has died a natural death, the people take power. See ww.alwatan.com/graphics/2003/02feb/8.2/heds/ct1.htm

[2] Saddam's second book, 'The Fortified Castle,' is about an "unnatural situation in the north of the homeland over the past decade" that has delayed the wedding of the hero, who fought in the war on Iran, to a Kurdish girl. The story describes a "fortified castle" whose power lies in its "unity and the unity of its sons." The hero's mother rejects all proposals to divide the castle, and stresses that "they bequeathed the castle and its land, and no one will buy it from them with money. Only those who give it their blood and defend it are its rightful owners." See www.shakoomakoo.com/deuxiem%20roman%20de%20Sadam.htm

[3] In his third book, Saddam tells of the period of his youth.

[4] Al-Hayat (London), May 21, 2003.