No More Baby Saddams

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During Saddam Hussein’s reign, many Iraqi parents proudly named their sons after the ruthless dictator. But since the fall of his regime, parents are opting for the names of religious leaders.

“We haven’t had even one Saddam since the fall of the regime on April 9th,” said Imad Fahr Hassan, a worker for Iraq’s National Registry in Baghdad.

According to Hassan, the most popular name these days is that of Ayatolla Muhammad Bakhr Hakim, the Shiite leader that was murdered last August. “We registered more than 20 babies under that name in the week following his murder,” said Maysoon Rabiyar al-Amra, director of the National Registry.

As the popularity of Saddam’s moniker fell, so did the names of his sons and daughters. Parents stopped naming their sons Udai or Kusai, and their daughters Rajad or Halla – names that were extremely popular during Saddam’s regime.

Still, no Saddam’s have shown up at the Registry to request a name-change, even though according to Iraqi law citizens are permitted to change their names and date of birth once in their lifetime. “I guarantee you the Saddam’s will come. As time passes, they will come to change their wretched name,” assured one of the National Registry workers.





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