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Saddam home videos show private life

Saddam Hussein attends a party for his 50th birthday in 1987.
Saddam Hussein attends a party for his 50th birthday in 1987.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Home videos of Saddam Hussein shot many years ago show fleeting glimpses into the private life of the longtime dictator and his first wife, Sajida.

The four tapes, showing benign scenes of Saddam's private life in the late 1980s, were obtained earlier this week by CNN from an Iraqi who said he took it from Sajida's house.

In one of them, he is attending a festive party marking his 50th birthday -- April 28, 1987.

Military aides and men wearing tuxedos are present. Children are heard chanting paeans to "Father Saddam."

Saddam -- smiling widely, looking thinner and in better shape than he has in recent news footage -- lights candles and cuts a big cake. He is wearing a well-tailored suit.

One of his sons-in-law, Saddam Kamel, is there. Saddam Kamel later defected to Jordan, then returned to Iraq and was executed on the orders of Saddam's son, Uday.

It is not known where or exactly when the party was held.

In another video, Saddam is walking on a snow-covered mountainside holding hands with Sajida in the Dohuk area in 1989. A military aide is seen in the footage. They are both wearing winter overcoats. Saddam is wearing a furry winter hat.

A third video shows Saddam, wearing his trademark beret and military uniform, giving Sajida and other women kisses on the cheek at what was Saddam International Airport. Sajida was headed to Cairo at the time.

Sajida and the other women have their heads uncovered and are wearing modern clothing.

A fourth video shows Queen Noor, now the widow of Jordan's King Hussein, being greeted by Sajida and other Saddam officials.

Sajida is the first wife of Saddam. She is the mother of Uday, Qusay and three daughters. She and Saddam separated in the late 1980s. Her whereabouts are unknown.

Over the years, Iraqis for the most part have seen only formal footage of Saddam and other family members.

But a rare snatch of personal life was seen on Iraqi Youth TV when a video was broadcast of Uday feeding his pet lions at his personal zoo behind one of his villas at Al Jumhariya Palace in Baghdad.


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