Monday, January 16, 2012

Uday Hussein

Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti (18 June 1964 – 22 July 2003), (Arabic: عُدي صدّام حُسين‎) was the eldest son of Saddam Hussein from his first wife, Sajida Talfah. He was the brother of Qusay Hussein. Uday was for several years seen as the heir apparent of his father; however, Uday lost his place in the line of succession due to his erratic behavior and troubled relationship with his father and brother. Following the United States-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, he was killed along with his brother by a secretive combined Special Forces Task Force (Task Force 20) during a brief gunfight in Mosul.

Uday produced the newspaper Babel and a local Iraqi TV channel called "Al-shabab TV". He was briefly married to the daughter of Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri, who was Vice President and Deputy Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, but he later divorced her.

Uday Saddam was born in Baghdad to Saddam Hussein and Sajida Talfah while his father was in prison.

Uday graduated from high school with very high marks. He started his University days in Baghdad University College of Medicine. He only lasted in the Medical College for three days, so he moved to College of Engineering about a kilometer away. Uday earned a degree in engineering and graduating from Baghdad University, ranking #1 in a class of 76 students. However, some of his professors have testified he barely squeaked by on many courses, mainly using his status as Saddam's son to get high marks.

Although his status as Saddam's elder son made him Saddam's prospective successor, Uday fell out of favor with his father. In October 1988, at a party in honor of Suzanne Mubarak, wife of then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Uday murdered his father's personal valet and food taster, Kamel Hana Gegeo, possibly at the request of his mother. Before an assemblage of horrified guests, an intoxicated Uday bludgeoned Gegeo, reputedly administering the coup de grâce with an electric carving knife. Gegeo had recently introduced Saddam to a younger woman, Samira Shahbandar, who later became Saddam's second wife. Uday considered his father's relationship with Shahbandar an insult to his mother. He furthermore feared losing succession to Gegeo, whose loyalty and fidelity to Saddam Hussein was unquestioned.[3] Mubarak later called him a "psychopath".

As punishment for the murder, Saddam briefly imprisoned his son. The original sentence was eight years; Uday probably served only three months in a private prison. In response to personal intervention from King Hussein of Jordan[citation needed], Saddam released Uday, banishing him to Switzerland as the assistant to the Iraqi ambassador there. He was expelled by the Swiss government after he threatened to stab someone in a restaurant.[citation needed]

Saddam later appointed Uday head of the Iraqi Olympic committee and soccer federation, and subsequently the head of one of Saddam's security organizations. In the former role, he tortured athletes who failed to win. Uday seemed proud of his reputation and called himself abu sarhan, Arabic for "wolf".

Uday sustained permanent injuries during an assassination attempt in December 1996. Struck by eight bullets while driving his Porsche, Uday was initially believed to be paralyzed. Evacuated to Ibn Sina Hospital, he eventually recovered but with a noticeable limp. Despite repeated operations, however, a bullet remained lodged in his spine and could not be removed due to its location near the spinal cord.[citation needed] In the wake of Uday's subsequent disabilities, Saddam gave Qusay increasing responsibility and authority, designating him as his heir apparent in 2000.

Uday opened accounts with Yahoo! and MSN Messenger, which created controversy when the provisioning of the accounts allegedly violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iraq. Uday also amassed a large video collection, found in his palace in 2003, much of which featured himself in both public and private situations.

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