When you’re a dictator, you can have a weird dream and then decide to make it come true. I tend to think that’s how the Qur’an inked in Saddam Hussein’s blood came to be. And now someone needs to figure out what to do with it.
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, almost eight years ago, 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 unfortunate calligrapher says:
“I don’t like to talk about this now,” says Baghdadi, speaking by telephone from the US state of Virginia, where he now lives. “It was painful part of my life that I want to forget about.”
I imagine so. What a shame to be so good at your craft that you are forced to use it for such a travesty.
My feeling is keep it, save it, exhibit it. It’s important to remember history. What do you think?