Who is Sajida Talfah?
Sajida Talfah is the widow and first cousin of deceased Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. She is the mother of his two sons, Uday and Qusay as well as his three daughters, Rana, Raghad, and Hala. Talfah is the daughter of Saddam Hussein’s uncle, Khairallah Talfah. Before her arranged married to the former president, she worked as a teacher in a school. She hardly appeared with Hussein in public so her existence remained ambiguous to Iraqi people for most of the time. However, after Hussein married another woman, several pictures and videos of him with Talfah emerged in the Iraqi media. These were intended to display to the public that Hussein’s family life was not strained due to his second marriage. Talfah, who now supposedly lives in Qatar, was featured in the BBC drama titled ‘House of Saddam’. In this movie, her character was played by Iranian-American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo. According to some news reports, Talfah is placed at #16 in the Iraqi government's most wanted list.
Marriage & Family Life
Sajida Talfah got married to Saddam Hussein 1958. The couple had five children together: sons Uday and Qusay, and daughters, Hala, Rana and Raghad. In the year 1986, Hussein married Samira Shahbandar (who was a doctor) while still married to Talfah. The latter got enraged at this and her son Uday was also enraged. In a party thrown in honor of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s wife, Uday stabbed Kamel Hana Gegeo (Hussein’s personal bodyguard who introduced him to his second wife) to death.
In 1989, Talfah’s brother Adnan, who was an Iraqi Army General, died in a supposed helicopter crash. Many people believed that Hussein had commanded one of his bodyguards to place a bomb in his helicopter as he was insecure because of Adnan's increasing fame. Talfah was furious and blamed her husband for the incident, believing Adnan’s death wasn't an accident.
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Sajida Talfah is believed to have fled to Qatar a few hours before the bombing of Baghdad started on 19 March 2003. She is believed to have taken her daughter Hala along with her. In 2004, Talfah hired a defence team to defend her husband during his trial for charges on war crimes and other offences. Later on, it was disclosed that she had dissolved the team and had instead appointed Khalil al-Duleimi as the sole legal counsel.
On July 2, 2006, Muwaffaq al-Rubaie (Iraq national security advisor) announced that Talfah and her daughter Raghad were placed at #16 and #17 on the Iraqi government's most wanted list. It is said that Talfah had financed Sunni Muslim revolutionaries under Hussein’s reign. Later on, the lawyer leading Hussein’s defence team claimed that the charges against Talfah and her daughter were baseless. He also stated that Talfah, who was supposedly undergoing medical treatment at that time, lived in Qatar alone and had no contact with anyone including the lawyers.
In 2015, Sajida Talfah’s family denied rumors of her death.