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Growing Up bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World Paperback – December 7, 2010
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“Apart from anything Bin Laden’s wives may have to say that might be useful to intelligence officers..., there is also a powerful natural curiosity about the women and their children: What was it like to live with the founder of Al Qaeda, to call him husband or father? As with Hitler or Pol Pot, you want to understand whether his bizarre combination of grandiosity and viciousness carried over to domestic life ― in Bin Laden’s case, whether he perhaps was an eerily ordinary parent, complaining about what was for dinner, nagging the kids about their homework....
The most vivid look the American public has had at Bin Laden’s family life is from a 2009 memoir by his son Omar bin Laden and Omar’s mother, Najwa bin Laden. They wrote 'Growing Up bin Laden' with the assistance of Jean Sasson, an American writer. The book includes what may be the most complete account available of the terrorist’s immediate family” ―Scott Shane, The New York Times, May 15, 2011
“The most vivid look the American public has had at Bin Laden's family life is from a 2009 memoir by his son Omar bin Laden and Omar's mother, Najwa bin Laden. They wrote 'Growing Up bin Laden' with the assistance of Jean Sasson, an American writer. The book includes what may be the most complete account available of the terrorist's immediate family.” ―Scott Shane, The New York Times, May 15, 2011
“Fascinating. . . . Together, Najwa and Omar provide an intimate account of a family life that became steadily more dangerous and bizarre. . . . From affluence and comfort in Jeddah they were reduced to penury and privation in Afghanistan, all the wives and their many children living without electricity, running water, or even real beds, in forced pursuit of Osama's jihadist dreams.” ―The Washington Post
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Top Customer Reviews
Their description of Osama's journey from devout Muslim to a jihadist is fascinating.
Their "take" on the reasons why Osama came to hate the West, particularly Americans and the British, is ---again---fascinating.
Furthermore, the main reason (according to them) that he plotted, planned and committed the acts that led to 9-11 are, if they are true, shocking and seem to involve his feelings of personal betrayal by the Saudi royal family regarding certain events of the First Gulf War.
The book starts off a bit slowly but catches up speed quickly and now I want re-read it and try to absorb more details.
Sasson was the first major writer to open up the veiled life of Saudi women in her blockbuster, "Princess." Many critics, including the illustrious Christopher Hitchens, dismissed it as over-written and false. Then, after the Gulf War, we found out that Sasson was right. Now she takes us into the family life of Osama bin Laden. This is an important book. If we think of bin Laden as a one-dimensional monster, we will never understand him. He's an enemy of democracy and western liberalism, but we'll never prevail over him and his followers if we remain ignorant of all aspects of his life.
This is the most fascinating book I've read in a long, long while.
As the stories told by Nawja and Omar unfolded I could easily picture the lives they lived and was touched by their loyalty to Osama bin Laden. But I was so deeply shocked when Osama told Omar and his brothers that they meant no more to him than any other Afghani, that even now there lingers an ache for them. Maybe one day Ms Sasson will interview Osama and get his side of the story!
This is an easy, informative and interesting read. Although the events are harrowing at times Nawja and Omar hold onto their hope until the very end when they are forced to accept reality.
I bought three copies of this book. My first after reading I gave to a friend. The second for my Kindle. The third to a friend who had worked for the Bin Laden family in Saudi Arabia
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting read. Keeps you intrigued as you want to know more about one of the most dreaded man of all times.Published 8 days ago by Nishant Sharma
It a good book. I found it to be a deeper read than most books, but I learned a lot about their way of life and a bit of history from another side. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
Ghost written by Jean Sasson, the insider information about Osama's real character and family life comes from his first wife, Najwa, and fourth son, Omar. Read morePublished 29 days ago by sally tarbox
This book takes you inside the world of a family we knew nothing about till now. Learning about the Bin Laden family breaks my heart to hear about the struggles they faced. Read morePublished 2 months ago
I would highly recommend this book. It gave some insight into his family, his religion, his culture, and his life. It also gives a glimpse of life in that part of the world. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I really enjoyed this book. It kept my attention and was very informative. I was glad to hear that his family was not totally in agreement with his beliefsPublished 3 months ago by carol
Eye opening book explaining how much hate there is in the Middle East for Americans.Published 4 months ago by nancy Sheridan
It is amazing. When we know news about people and their remarkable acts when may think we know everything there is to know. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jenniffer janeth Vargas