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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 June, 2003, 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK
Last 'Saddam novel' found
Saddam Hussein
The whereabouts of Saddam Hussein are still unknown
Copies of a final novel allegedly written by deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein have been found in Baghdad.

The novel, called Get Out of Here, Curse You, were being stored at the Information Ministry buildings in Baghdad before going on sale when the US attacked Iraq in March.

It tells the story of Salem, an Arab nobleman who defeats his American and Jewish foes, represented by foreign tribes.

Salem's victory is said to mirror the attacks on the US on 11 September, 2001. The book includes the destruction of two towers.

Ali Abdel-Amir, an analyst and writer, said he thought it was Saddam's fourth book and was written "sometime in 2002".

Written by employees

He said the Iraqi dictator did not write the books himself, but came up with plot outlines and forced a committee of Information and Culture Ministry officials to actually write them.

"Saddam would record the outlines of his novel on a tape recorder and palace employees would transcribe it and give it to the committee, whose members included a number of writers and intellectuals," Abdel-Amir said.

"They would write the novel and return it to Saddam. It would go back and forth until the novel got his approval."

Signed "a book by its writer", Saddam's nom de plume, the new book was said to be allegorical.

"Saddam of course is Salem," Abdel-Amir said.

Views on women

"Saddam presents the Jews in his novel as this foreign intruder under the name of Hisquel. Hisquel's ally, a Roman tribe leader, is the United States.

"Of course Salem defeats them soundly in a battle between good and evil," Abdel-Amir said.

The book also showed Saddam's view on women - most of the female characters were portrayed as adulterous and deceptive.

Most Iraqi newspapers had heaped praise on Saddam's novels.

"Writers did not dare do otherwise," Abdel-Amir said. "Who would dare criticise his work and stay alive?"

Saddam had already had three other novels published. Last year these were made part of the official curriculum for Iraqi schools.

Saddam's first book was a novel called Zabiba and the King, which was an Iraqi bestseller in 2000. It was later made into a play.

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