Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Iraqi Names

"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


Anonymous said...

In the traditional system that you mention is creeping back, do Iraqis usually have just one family name only?

Iraqi Mojo said...

Yes, the surname of the children is the same as the surname of the father.