Abu Ali was working as a cook for the Ministry of Tourism in Iraq when he was told to report to a palace on the outskirts of Baghdad. To his horror he was brought before Saddam Hussein who told him: ‘Make me a tikka’. Ali bowed and went to the kitchen and made the dish. Saddam said he liked it and gave him 50 dinars, worth about $160 in today’s money. The Butcher of Baghdad asked Ali if he wanted to work for him and of course he said yes.