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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 23:29 GMT 00:29 UK
Norway's Saddam changes name
Norway's Saddam Hussein (credit: Anders Martinsen - Aftenposten)
Norway's Saddam Hussein will change his name
A Norway-based Iraqi Kurd called Saddam Hussein has decided to change his name.

Living in Telemark, in southern Norway, Mr Hussein fled Iraq two years ago.

"It isn't very funny being called Saddam Hussein these days," he told Oslo's Aftenposten newspaper.

"As a Kurd it isn't good to be called Saddam, but when my father chose my name 20 years ago, we didn't know what we now know about Saddam," said the 20-year-old.

"The president was a respected man, including among Kurds. It wasn't shameful to be called Saddam then. But over the last 10 years in particular it has been difficult."

The man will rename himself Dastans Rasul Hussein.

I believe and hope that everything will be good in my homeland when Saddam has gone.
Norway's Saddam Hussein
However, he still appears in the telephone directory under the name he was given at birth.

"I get quite a few telephone calls. Some say... unpleasant things, but most people on the line are young people who laugh, say cheeky things and ask if I am really called Saddam Hussein."

Mr Hussein hopes the Iraqi leader will be removed.

'Gassed to death'

"I believe and hope that everything will be good in my homeland when Saddam has gone. My paternal grandmother and other relatives were gassed to death by Saddam in Halabjah in March 1988."

Mr Hussein's father is dead but his mother lives in Iraq.

He does not know how she is - and has not spoken to her recently.

He says he is worried about her fate and that of other family members.

Mr Hussein, who has lived in an asylum centre for two years, has a Norwegian residence permit; he does not know if he will ever go back to Iraq.

"I dream of a free Iraq, a good country to live in. And I so much want to believe that it will be a reality when this war is finally over."

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