"A word about Iraqi male names. In 1972 the government decreed that instead of using the family name, indicative of the clan, tribe, or the area of origin, men should use a maximum of three personal names - self, father, and grandfather. This order was issued primarily to mask the fact that al Tikritis - originating in the native area of President Ahmad Hassan Bakr and his relative, Saddam Hussein - held far too many top positions. Though this law has not been formally revoked, the use of the family names has crept back."
--Dilip Hiro, Iraq: In The Eye Of The Storm, 2002