The 32-year old has shared with Sputnik the details of a “cold and scary” night in 2003, when she and her family fled war-torn Iraq.
“We were in Mosul. My mother Raghad and Aunt Rana, Saddam’s second daughter, took their kids and went to Syria without delay. While we were crossing the border on foot, Syrian border guards opened fire. It was really frightening, but no one, fortunately, was hurt”, Hareer recalled, adding that having spent several days in Syria they set out to Jordan, after the Hashemite Kingdom issued an invitation for them to travel there.
She recalled that after the American occupation, the new Iraqi authorities issued a decree prohibiting potential refugees from obtaining foreign passports, with numbers of families left without documents whatsoever.
“We were hospitably welcomed by Jordan and Qatar, as well as given passports, lodging and financial support”, Hareer, who is one of Saddam’s 15 grandchildren, said adding that most of the families who fled at the time continue to live in Jordan, except those who got married, like her, or went to study abroad, which many of her young relatives made up their minds to do.
Hareer remembers perfectly well how she, a teenage girl at the time, felt about her grandfather’s court procedure that the whole family followed very closely, and his subsequent execution, referring to those days as “extremely hard”.
“He was simultaneously our president, grandfather, and our favourite hero”, Hareer noted with pain, before going on:
“I think these broadcasts made it possible to show the real Saddam Hussein to the whole world, as most people had a wrong understanding of him. So, everyone saw him in the court the way our family knew him”, she added.
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لـَسـتُ أرثيـكَ.. لا يَجـوزُ الـرِّثـاءُ كيفَ يُـرثى الجَـلالُ والـكِـبـريــاءُ ؟! لـَســتُ أرثـيـكَ يا كـبـيـرَ المَعــالي هـكـذ ا وَقـْـفــََة ُ المَعـالي تـَشــــاءُ! هـكـذ ا تـَصعَـدُ البـُطولـَة ُ لـِلــَّـــهِ وَفـيـهــا مِـن مـَجـْــد ِهِ لأ لا ءُ! هـكـذ ا في مَـد ارِهِ يَـســـتـَقـِرُّ الـ نـَجـْمُ.. تـَرتـَجُّ حَـولـَـهُ الأرجــاءُ وهوَ يَعـلو..تـَبقى المَحاجـِرُ غـَرقى في سـَــناهُ وَكــُلــُّهــا أنـْــــــداءُ! رائعة الشاعر المرحوم عبد الرزاق عبد الواحد💫 #حفيدة_صدام #حرير_حسين_كامل #hareer_hussain_kamel
When asked about her best memories while in Iraq, Hareer stated with confidence that everything was fine in the country, adding she still cherishes the best memories about her school, her home street and surroundings. She pointed out that her Iraqi past had been largely reduced to merely memories:
“I didn’t take anything with me, apart from a pair of trousers and a couple of T-shirts”, the woman said.
New Life Among Jordanians
She then dwelled on the family’s asylum in Jordan, stressing that life there hasn’t all been peaceful and tranquil.
“We were bombarded with threats, especially my mother was. This is the reason why we were sometimes prohibited from going outside and living a normal life”, Hareer complained, stating though, that Jordanian people’s “love, respect, humane attitude and care” outweighed all the rest, helping them to successfully get over the woes of the past.
“The government granted us documents, an apartment, monthly social care, and good security”, Saddam’s granddaughter detailed, going on to say that those who were their friends in Iraq, remain so. At the point she had an opportunity to sign up for a course at the department of economics at the Canadian University in Jordan, which she took at once.
She said her life in Jordan resembles that of millions of other women around the world: after graduation she settled down, choosing to take care of her family, which she really likes doing, along with writing and reading. Hareer has notably completed and published – at her own expense — a book of her family’s memories about their life in Iraq – “Saddam’s Granddaughter.”
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أينما يوجد شيعيٌّ مضطّهدٌ في بلدٍ ذو حكمٍ سنيٍّ أنا معه، أينما يوجد سنِّيٌّ مضطّهدٌ في بلدٍ ذو حكمٍ شيعيٍّ أنا معه، أينما يوجد مسيحيٌّ مضطهدٌ في بلدٍ ذو حكمٍ إسلاميٍّ فمعه، أينما يوجد مسلمٌ مضطّهدٌ في بلدٍ ذو حكمٍ مسيحيٍّ أنا معه، أينما يوجد يساريٌّ وعلمانيٌّ أو ليبراليٌّ مضطّهدٌ في بلدٍ ذو حكمٍ دينيٍّ أنا معه، أينما يوجد متديّنٌ مضطّهدٌ في بلدٍ ذو حكمٍ علمانيٍّ أنا معه.. هكذا أفهم الإنحياز إلى الناس… الشارع فقط وهتافات الساحات تمثّلني. — زياد عيتاني⚜️ #حرير_حسين_كامل #hareer_hussain_kamel
“The book sheds light on the side of our life that was hidden from the general public. Having read it interested readers will be able to understand us better”, Hareer shared.
Hareer’s Dreams For the Future
To a question on how she would choose to address the US, she responded:
“The whole world has now seen the outcome of the US occupation. Many have felt the effect for themselves. Iraq and the whole world have paid a huge price”, she noted, going on to urge Americans to “restore what they have broken…”
Although she has travelled pretty extensively, there are still places she would really like visit sometime soon – such as Russia, which she says has been accelerating in development since Vladimir Putin took office, Japan and other parts of Asia.
Yet, all of her bigger dreams are certainly centred around her native country and compatriots:
“[I dream] about a unified Iraq. So that Muslims, Christians, and members of other religions in Iraq have equal rights and that they live in peace. Iraq has suffered a lot and now deserves all the best”, Hareer pointed out emotionally, adding the Iraqis should by all means stay unified and “put an end to the deplorable separation and hatred”.
This isn’t a dream, she stressed, as the country “lived like that for centuries before”. “We just need to restore this”, Saddam’s granddaughter concluded.