Saddam Hussein was born on April 28, 1937 in the village of al-Auja, on the outskirts of Tikrit in northern Iraq. His name means, "One who confronts" in Arabic. He was married in Cairo in 1960 to his first cousin Sajidah. They have had five children, three girls and two boys. Their names are Hala, Rana, Raghad, Qusai, and Uday. In July of 1979, Saddam being the second in command, announced that the present leader General Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr had stepped down because of poor health and that he had been chosen by the Baath party as Iraq's new President, commander in chief, and head of the government as well as the party. The new President had inaugurated his administration, and then called a meeting with nearly a thousand high-ranking Baathists and government officials. He then ordered guards to seal the doors, and then he revealed that he had learned of a plot against him. He began to read off a list of names of alleged "conspirators", and after a party members name was read, they were removed by the guards. Saddam recorded the whole proceedings and circulated the tape as a warning to anyone who might think to go behind Saddam's back. When the meeting had ended, more than fifty men had been led from the room. Days later, Saddam forced senior party members to join him in the firing squad to kill the "traitors". The era of Saddam Hussein has officially begun.