Hussein’s egotistical endeavours

Photo Of The Day

Photo Getty Images. Iraqi Imams, or mosque prayer leaders, view the 605-page Koran written with 24 liters of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's own blood donated over three years at the "Mother of All Battles" Umm al-Maarik mosque March 11, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. The mosque was built with minarets styled after Scud missiles. The complex includes a lake in the shape of a map of the Arab world.

Photo Getty Images.?Iraqi Imams, or mosque prayer leaders, view the 605-page Koran written with 27 litres of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s own blood donated over two years at the “Mother of All Battles” Umm al-Maarik mosque March 11, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. The mosque was built with minarets styled after Scud missiles. The complex includes a lake in the shape of a map of the Arab world.

Saddam?s Koran Written In His Blood

Saddam Hussein, by many accounts, was a?megalomaniac.? As a testament to his own greatness, Hussein erected more than 300 palaces across Iraq and dozens of statues ? of himself ? throughout the country, during his reign.

But for all of Hussein?s egotistical endeavours, perhaps not were more outlandish than his copy of the Koran.

It was etched in the blood of a dictator in a ghoulish bid for piety. Over the course of two painstaking years in the late 1990s,?Saddam Hussein?had sat regularly with a nurse and an Islamic calligrapher; the former drawing 27 litres of his blood and the latter using it as a macabre ink to transcribe a Qur’an. But since the fall of Baghdad, it has stayed largely out of sight – locked away behind three vaulted doors. It is the one part of the ousted tyrant’s legacy that Iraq has simply not known what to do with.

The vault in the vast mosque in Baghdad has remained locked, keeping the 114 chapters of the Muslim holy book out of sight – and mind – while those who run?Iraq?have painstakingly processed the other cultural remnants of years of Saddam and the Ba’ath party.

“What is in here is priceless, worth absolutely millions of dollars,” said Sheikh Ahmed al-Samarrai, head of Iraq’s Sunni Endowment fund, standing near the towering minarets of the west Baghdad mosque that Saddam named “the Mother of All Battles”. Behind him is the infamous Blood Qur’an, written in Saddam’s own blood.

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