Most memorable MidEast interviews of 2021

Raghad Saddam Hussein, Al Arabiya

Raghad Saddam Hussein, Al Arabiya
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Updated 31 December 2021

Raghad Saddam Hussein, Al Arabiya

Raghad Saddam Hussein, Al Arabiya

Network: Al Arabiya

Release date: Feb. 16, 2021

Main topics: Relationship with Saddam Hussein, political comeback, family matters

Raghad Hussein, the daughter of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, gave a six-part televised interview on Al Arabiya in her first media appearance in years, hosted by Sohaib Charair, Al Arabiya’s senior presenter.

The interview was viewed more than 480 million times on the Al Arabiya and Al Arabiya English YouTube channels.

In the interview, Hussein discussed her memories, family matters, her husband’s death and her willingness to eventually return to Iraq and play a political role, which led to diplomatic tensions in the region and controversy in Iraq.

In the first part of the series, Hussein denounced Iranian interference in Iraqi politics and lamented the “absence of real power,” which she said led to Iran’s actions in Iraq. She also warned against dividing Iraq, saying that “each phase may have any requirements with the exception of dividing the homeland.”

She also labeled her father’s rule as a “glorious time for Iraq,” defending executions and abuses that took place.

During the interview, Hussein also revealed the secrets of her childhood, saying that she had “never heard her father yell at anyone at home” and recounting his feud with her husband, Hussein Kamel Al-Majid.

When asked about her intentions to play a bigger role in Iraqi politics, Hussein said: “Everything is possible.”

The interview generated controversy and divided opinion. Raghad Hussein is regarded as a polarizing figure in Iraqi society. Some applauded her charisma and separated her from her father’s legacy, saying that they would vote for her if she decides to enter politics.

Others were less enthusiastic about Hussein’s potential return to politics, reminding people of the atrocities committed under her father’s rule.