Many people around the world have been cursed with cringe-inducing names (as this BBC story
proves). Some, however, are more unfortunate than others.
On last week's edition of Radio Free Iraq
's weekly call-in show, "Open Windows," host Ferial Hussein spoke to a caller named Saddam Hussein, who complained that he has been facing discrimination and employment problems in Iraq due to his name.
Internally displaced from Diyala
, Saddam told Ferial that he had graduated from teaching academy and was attempting to find work with the Ministry of Education. He claimed that although he possessed the basic credentials required for the position, his application was rejected solely on the basis of his unfortunate name.
Saddam explained that his name has become a source of problems for him ever since he moved to Najaf -- a city that is predominantly Shi'a. He complained that he has often been summoned to the police station to check his documentation and papers. "How many other people have to do that?" he asked in frustration.
Ferial asked if Saddam had considered changing his name to avoid such discrimination, as this was his "legal and human right." Saddam responded that he was indeed trying to do so. "It affects the way people treat me," he said. "I want to be judged for who I am, not only on the basis of my name."