Saddam Hussein’s eldest daughter, Raghad, is releasing a new jewelry line in her adopted home of Jordan, leaving many scratching their heads.
Raghad Hussein has been a source of conflict and confusion since the early ’90s, when she and her husband Hussein Kamel al-Majid defected to Jordan and supplied the United States and the United Nations with information about Saddam’s weapons programs.
Her new jewelry line, the British Daily Mail newspaper reported, will retail at select stores in Amman and is inspired by both her father, “the butcher of Baghdad,” and her late husband.
This mix of muses is especially interesting considering her father had her husband killed after Kamel al-Majid was deceived into thinking he could come back to Iraq without consequence, and some believe she was even an integral part of the plot, according to an August report in the German magazine Der Spiegel.
Included in the collection is a pendant in the shape of Iraq with a diamond set in Baghdad’s location, a turquoise bracelet modeled after one Raghad made from a gem her father gave her, and a set of diamond earrings she created from the design of a ring she received from her late husband.
Residents of the Jordanian capital, Der Spiegel reported, know Raghad Hussein as a person who enjoys the finer things in life. Raghad has been a guest of the royal family in Jordan since 2003, and some believe her apparently frequent shopping sprees and plastic surgeries are funded by the Hashemite kingdom.
There is even a (possibly apocryphal) story that Raghad was in a beauty parlor when news of her father’s imminent execution reached her.
But as of late, Saddam Hussein’s daughter’s hedonistic tendencies are being overshadowed by a newfound devotion to Islam and vocal support for the Islamic State, which has teamed up in Iraq with Hussein’s Baath party.
“These are victories of my father’s fighters and my uncle Izzat Al-Douri,” Raghad told the Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper last year.
Statements like that have drawn international criticism against “Little Saddam,” as Raghad is sometimes called. There have even been more dramatic allegations that Raghad has funneled money to militants in Iraq, which resulted in Interpol posting an arrest warrant for her in 2010 over alleged direct involvement in Iraqi terrorism, Fox News reported.
With a history like Raghad’s, it’s unclear where exactly the proceeds from her jewelry line, some items of which cost more than $1,500, will ultimately end up.