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Iraq: Saddam Hussein’s Bedroom Available for Rent to Newlyweds | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Basra, Asharq Al-Awsat- The tourist office of the Babil Governorate in Iraq is offering former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s bedroom in the Al-Hillah Presidential Palace for rent to newlyweds and married couples. This is the first time that the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism has utilized property of the former regime [for the purposes of tourism].

The director of the Al-Hillah Presidential Palace resort informed journalists yesterday that “the bedroom of former President Saddam Hussein is available for rent to newlyweds for 200,000 Iraqi Dinars [IQD], which is equivalent to $180 dollars, per night.” He added that “this room is only one among many in the Presidential Palace that also includes 31 [other] suites, which are also available for rent at prices ranging from between 75,000 IQD and 200,000 IQD”

The Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities revealed that it had a dissenting opinion with regards to how the Presidential Palaces in the Babil Governorate should be used.

Tourism Ministry spokesman, Abdul-Zahra Al-Talqani informed Asharq Al-Awsat the Tourism Ministry had a dissenting opinion towards the tourism resort that had been established in the time of Saddam Hussein, and which had been re-opened by the Babil Province. He added that “a ministerial committee has been formed in this regard to make observations as to how this facility should be used.” Al-Talqani added that the tourist resort was comprised of the large palace, and its grounds and annexes.

Newlyweds Lama and Khalid Al-Lizan, who were married last Monday and would be spending their honeymoon in Syria, said that they did not think it would be appropriate to spend their honeymoon in Saddam Hussein’s bedroom. The groom informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “It is possible that I would visit Saddam Hussein’s bedroom to take a look…but to sleep in the same bed that perhaps Saddam Hussein himself slept on, this would be strange and impossible.”

Khalid Al-Lizan added “Perhaps luxurious rooms that once belonged to Kings or Presidents may be a desirable tourist attraction, but if that person is no longer among the living then I do not think it would be an easy thing for newlyweds to sleep on the bed of a deceased person.”