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I was Saddam’s prisoner

How a holiday to Iraq in the summer of 1990 turned into a months-long nightmare

Waiting in the immigration queue at Saddam International Airport, I was feverish with anxiety. I watched as my father, Sadiq Rahim, leaned into a glass booth where an Iraqi officer slowly checked our family’s passports. Taped on the glass was a photo of Saddam Hussein in sunglasses and a black beret. Before flying out, our parents had warned my older sister and me that Iraq wasn’t like Britain: a stray joke or misplaced comment could land us in serious trouble. Our one…

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