Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Great Dictator of Fairy Tales Taken to the Gallows!

The book cover of Zabeebah and the King, a historical romance written by Saddam Hussein, was plagiarized from a painting by a Canadian artist.

Picture credit and information about Saddam's ghostwritten historical epic, Be Gone Demons! This is a superb article by the Telegraph.

Picture credit and information about Saddam's last novel, Devil's Dance.

Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq, was executed after a long public trial. According to FOX News, Saddam reportedly told his executioners, "Iraq is nothing without me." Here is a good CNN report about his crimes and his execution.

In my opinion, the televised testimony of women who had been abused, tortured, and humiliated in Saddam's prisons for no reason was the most moving aspect of the trial.

Hussein was executed for his complicity in the 1982 Dujail massacre. The "crimes against humanity" occurred after some people attempted to assassinate Saddam.

Saddam wrote a number of historical novels. His first novel was reportedly Zabeebah and the King (See also "Zabeiba" and "Zabibah"). According to the Telegraph, Saddam may have killed one of his ghostwriters:

[D]istinguished writers were asked to improve Saddam's yarns. Mujiba al-Anizi, whose husband, Sami, contributed to his first novel, Zabibah and the King, recalled how he was summoned from his job one morning and told he had three days to produce a book from the president's notes.

"Sami normally came home and kissed his children goodnight," recalled Mrs al-Azizi. "But that evening he just stood in the hallway sweating. He said 'our uncle' had given him a special task."

Two months later, just as 250,000 copies of Zabibah and the King were being anonymously distributed, Mr al-Anizi came home, walked into the kitchen, drank a jug of water and fell down dead. His widow believes he was killed on the president's orders to hush up his role in the book.

Zabeebah and the King was followed by The Impregnable Fortress, and Get Out, Damned One! (Be Gone Demons!).

A Canadian artist, Jonathon Earl Bowser, claims that the cover of Zabeebah and the King was plagiarized from a painting called The Awakening that he did in 1998. The cover of Zabeebah and the King and Bowser's painting The Awakening do look exactly the same. Here is Bowser's website.

The best article I have ever read about Saddam's psychology was published in the Telegraph and is titled "Saddam: The Great Dictator of Fairy Tales."

The article describes Saddam's historical epic Be Gone Demons! A Baghdad shopkeeper told the Telegraph reporter: "Everyone bought [Saddam's book] just to see what was on the president's mind. Most people concluded he was mad."

I think a lot of Iraqis are saying "Be gone demons!" about Saddam and his Baathist regime.


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