Knoxville Iraqi Refugee Comments on Life in Iraq, Hussein's Execution Plans

Knoxville (WVLT) – Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is reportedly in Iraqi custody, officials say he will be executed before 10:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday night.

As WVLT Volunteer TV's Jessa Goddard reports, the world is now watching to see how Iraqis will react to the news, including Iraqi refugees here in Knoxville.

Ten years removed and thousands of miles away in her northwest Knoxville home, Cinderella Agoubi and her two small sons wait for word that Saddam Hussein has been put to death.

"You know, if you see on the news, they are just waiting for this moment. So, the Iraqis over there, they are just watching for that to happen, because everyone lost someone in their family and they want justice," explains Agoubi.

Even ten years later, Agoubi vividly recounts life under Saddam's regime, in constant fear of death, when Saddam waged war on other Middle Eastern states, and even his own people.

"Like every woman in Iraq she wears black because someone died in the war because of Saddam Hussein. Or every home have a black sign it means someone died in the war," says Agoubi.

But now she paints a different image, and not the one you see on TV.

Since the fall of Saddam, she and her husband, Milad, have returned to see schools reopen and churches built.

In fact, Milad is there now, serving the National Baptist Church of Iraq that he began since the overthrow of Saddam.

Cinderella says it's that freedom that US troops are fighting and dying for, and their deaths are not in vain.

"But still with all of these bad things happening, it's better than when it was with Saddam Hussein, and we think this is the result, these terrorists, they are the result of Saddam Hussein regime when he was there," says Agoubi.

Will Saddam's death spark more violence, or will it finally bring lasting peace to the Iraqi people?

It's an answer that will come not in the years or months, but within the hours.