Zabiba and the King is an allegorical love story between a mighty king (Saddam) and a simple, yet beautiful commoner named Zabiba (the Iraqi people). Zabiba. WHAT IS IT ABOUT? Zabiba and the King is an allegorical love story between a mighty king (Saddam) and a simple, yet beautiful commoner named Zabiba (the. Zabiba and the King is an allegorical love story between a mighty king (Saddam) and a simple, yet beautiful commoner named Zabiba (the Iraqi people). The stomping grounds of a young Saddam Hussein near Tikrit, Iraq. DID SADDAM HUSSEIN REALLY WRITE THE NOVEL?.
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Zabibah and the King is a romance novel, originally published anonymously in Iraq in , . Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version . According to a May 25, article in the New York Times, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, perhaps with the assistance of a committee of writers. Army helicopter: the rest of the family and servants fol-. Page 8. Page 9. Page Page Page Page Page KINGS. Page Page Page
To ask other readers questions about Zabiba and the King , please sign up. See 1 question about Zabiba and the King…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Sep 21, Sincerae rated it liked it Shelves: I wanted to read this book for a long time ever since I learned about it previous to the invasion of Iraq.
Saddam Hussein had long been an intriguing figure to me, and I felt the true extent of who he was and what he was about was not being presented in the media. Either I read about Zabiba and the King in print or heard about it on television. I can't recall which, but the novel was spoken of as a tool the CIA was using to dissect the mind of the then president of Iraq, which the media and I wanted to read this book for a long time ever since I learned about it previous to the invasion of Iraq.
I can't recall which, but the novel was spoken of as a tool the CIA was using to dissect the mind of the then president of Iraq, which the media and DC had obsessed about close to fifteen years.
Saddam Hussein had been called everything from a dictator, monster, butcher, and thug.
Suddenly we were being told he wrote books. So to me, he wasn't so one dimensional after all. Saddam Hussein never attached his name as the author of this book, but it's said that everyone in Iraq knew who wrote it. I've even asked an Iraqi friend who said it's true. Was this modesty and humbleness on the part of the president of Iraq? Zabiba and the King was said to be an allegory when I first read or heard about it.
The heroine, Zabiba 'raisin' in Arabic is a woman of the people, of the peasant class, which Saddam Hussein reminds the reader throughout. Throughout the novel he praises the common people. He himself was of peasant, Bedouin stock, so Zabiba represents his roots.
Some have said Zabiba symbolizes Iraq.
The king who is her platonic and philosophical lover represents Saddam Hussein, and Zabiba's brutish and abusive husband is the American government and military. Reading the story and its' scattered notes, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it's true. So what exactly is this curious novel which is deadly boring at times, but also exciting and suspenseful at others?
Is it an allegory? It is certainly a romance.
Is it a political treatise? Is it a social commentary about the nobility of the peasant and working classes and the corruption, immorality, and hypocrisy of the merchant classes and the elites? Is it a psychological novel? Is it a suspense novel? Is it an historical epic? Is it a philosophical novel filled with many proverbs, wisdom, and also ideas from the Quran? Is it a subtle diatribe against the American government, the Zionists, and the Gulf Arabs?
Is it a sort of treatise to feminism not third wave and the strong, smart, and independent woman?
Does it begin in ancient Iraq and winds up in modern Iraq at the inception of the Baath Party? What was Saddam Hussein trying to do here? Read and decide.
So ending, in my opinion, Zabiba and the King is all of the above. Yes, the long, drawn out philosophical conversations between Zabiba and the king at the palace get interminable and boring at times, but I happened to like some of the wisdom and the innocence of the two protagonists, being that I am an old schooler and a romantic.
Because of the dry parts and some of the disjointedness of Zabiba and the King I don't want to give it more than three stars. It's a curious and somewhat intriguing book. I would give Saddam Hussein a B- for effort. A couple of my favorite quotes: Zabiba to the King: Do you want to bridle my freedom, clip my two wings which allow me to fly between the trees and to enjoy the beauty of the flowers and branches leaning over the surface of the river?
Violence always brings a horrendous amount of pain, independently of whether it is a man who rapes a woman, an army of enemies invading the nation, or a law being violated by those who spurn it. But it is even worse when one is betrayed to the point of humiliation, whether by a country or a human being.
Saddam Hussein wrote several books during his lifetime.
According to a related article in the Boston Globe, Mohammed H. Radhi Al-Saffar, the Charge d'Affairs for the Iraqi Embassy in Ottowa, Canada, said it was "impossible" that this book could be in violation of copyright law; but, as unbelievable as it may seem, the cover art of Mr Hussein's novel is, in fact, The Awakening , an oil painting I created in - an image which has been published as a limited-edition print, and for which I hold the registered copyright.
The painting is not meant to "represent the Iraqi people To state the matter simply, this printing of Zabibah and the King with The Awakening on the cover is a blatant infringement of copyright but also kind of hilarious.
Me and my work - with a copy of Saddam's book, sent to me by a fan in London, UK The cover of Zabibah and the King It is perhaps not surprising that this book was not available in North America, but a fan in the U. I have confirmed that, in addition to the unauthorized use of The Awakening on the cover, this Iraqi Gov't publisher at the request of the dictator, one assumes also illegally reproduced 3 more of my images on the inside of the book: The publisher, a strong supporter of U.
While the allegory is controversial and, at times, unsettling, it gives the reader an opportunity to "play detective" and attempt to decipher any hidden meanings. The stomping grounds of a young Saddam Hussein near Tikrit, Iraq.
The era of the story is the mid's to early 's A.
While it is no secret that the release of this book in Arabic was an overnight best seller in Iraq and even became an on-stage musical production in Baghdad, the book promotes the establishment of a quasi-democratic form of government that the editor and others believe would not have been allowed to be published in Iraq unless Saddam were intimately involved in its creation.
Many Iraqis firmly believe it was penned by Saddam Hussein. PDF Language: English Published: Help Centre.