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Growing Up bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World Hardcover – October 27, 2009

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From The Washington Post

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com Reviewed by Thomas W. Lippman For readers who have been living on another planet for the past decade or so, here is the news: Osama bin Laden is a monster, a priapic zealot who was as cruel and arrogant in family life as he has been in his bloodstained public career. Not only is he a mass murderer, he is committed to inflicting death on as many people as possible. He lives to kill, the pursuit of violent jihad overpowering even the most basic human feelings and paternal concerns. He was a tyrannical and selfish father who deprived his many children of education, food and the comforts of modern life. From his wives he insisted on absolute subservience, sexual and otherwise. His only friends are the sycophantic thugs of his al-Qaeda entourage. At home he forbade laughter, not that there was much to laugh about. We may have long suspected all this. Now our suspicions are confirmed by "Growing Up bin Laden," a repellent but oddly fascinating as-told-to memoir by bin Laden's first wife, Najwa, and fourth son, Omar. Assuming that their accounts, as recorded by Jean Sasson, are truthful, we have an inside-the-tent view of a person so blinded by his cause that he strips himself of all humanity. According to Omar, who finally broke with his father when Osama told his sons to add their names to the list of suicide-bomber volunteers posted on a mosque, "My father hated his enemies more than he loved his sons." In "The Bin Ladens," Steve Coll's history of the family, Najwa and Omar are minor characters. And so they would have remained but for the decision -- not fully explained in this book -- to tell their stories to the public. Their narratives of life with the greatest of contemporary criminals add little except small details to what is already known, but they add up to a horrifying portrait. Some of those details are useless -- bin Laden's favorite food as a young husband was "zucchini stuffed with marrow" -- but others contribute useful pieces to our understanding of him. For example, he is not left-handed: He fires his weapon from the left side because he is nearly blind in his right eye. He likes to listen to the BBC on a portable radio. He has kidney stones but is not on dialysis. He talked one of his men into killing a monkey by convincing him that a monkey is actually a Jew. Salim Hamdan was not his driver, despite what U.S. prosecutors said, because he never had any one particular driver; he parceled out the honor among his followers. Together, Najwa and Omar provide an intimate account of a family life that became steadily more dangerous and bizarre as Osama dragged them along from Saudi Arabia to Sudan to Afghanistan. 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 book's early chapters are the least interesting because they recount Najwa's happy girlhood in Syria, which seems to have been marred only by an overdose of adjectives: All grapes were juicy, all apples sweet, all pecans crunchy, all emotions intense. Throughout the book, in fact, Najwa's story is less compelling than infuriating because of her unquestioning submission to her husband. Confined like bin Laden's other wives to the house, she was ignorant of what he was really up to, so she tells us little about al-Qaeda. Omar, being a boy, is increasingly drawn into his father's grim life as he progresses toward adulthood. He describes his growing awareness of the true nature of the father he loved and his growing alienation from a life committed to violence. His father assumed he would willingly join the gang he assembled in Afghanistan to plot and train for attacks against infidel targets, but young Omar wants peace and a nice wife, not war and death; his break with his father seems inevitable. That he later caused a small scandal by marrying a much older British woman does not detract from the sad power of his account here. It is not necessary to read this book to understand the al-Qaeda threat, but for those seeking deeper knowledge of Osama bin Laden and how his mind works, the book is a valuable supplement to the existing libraries. bookworld@washpost.com
Copyright 2009, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1
My Youth
najwa bin laden
I was not always the wife of Osama bin Laden. Once I was an innocent child dreaming little girl dreams. These days my thoughts often drift back in time and I remember the little girl that I was and the safe and happy childhood I enjoyed.
Often I’ve heard adults speak of their childhood with regret and even anger, glad that they have escaped the younger years. Such talk is ba.  ing to me, for if I could, I would go back in time to the .rst part of my life and I would re­main a little girl forever.
My parents and siblings and I lived in a modest villa in the port city of Latakia, Syria. The coastal region of Syria is lovely, with sea breezes and fertile land where lucky farmers grow fruit and vegetables. Our backyard was abun­dant with green trees bursting with delicious fruit. Behind our narrow seaside plain one could see the picturesque coastal mountains, with terraced hills of fruit orchards and olive groves.
There  were seven people living in the Ghanem  house hold, so our home was undeniably hectic. I was the second child born to my mother and father and enjoyed good relations with my older brother, Naji, and my younger siblings, Leila, Nabeel, and Ahmed. There was also a half-brother, Ali, a few years older than the children of my mother. My father had been married several times before he married my mother, fathering Ali with an earlier wife.
My closest sibling was Naji, who was one year older. Although I loved my brother dearly, he, like most boys, possessed a mischievous streak that caused me many moments of terror.
For example, I was born with a fear of snakes. One day, Naji used his pocket money to slip into the local bazaar to purchase a plastic snake, then knocked very politely at my bedroom door. When I answered, my brother gave me a ro guish grin and suddenly thrust what I thought was a live snake into my hand. My piercing screams stirred the entire  house hold as I dropped the snake to run so fast one would have thought I was riding on air.
My father happened to be home and rushed to deal with the crisis, almost certainly believing that armed bandits had come to murder us. When he . ­nally realized that my hysterics  were caused by Naji, who was proudly bran­dishing the fake snake, he stared long and hard at my brother before he began to shout a father’s threats.
Naji remained unrepentant, crying out over Father’s yells, “Najwa is a cow­ard! I am teaching her to be brave.”
Had we been able to see into the future, when snakes would become routine visitors to my mountain home in Afghanistan, perhaps I would have thanked my brother.
My favorite spot in the villa was the upstairs balcony, a perfect place for a young girl to escape to dreamland. I spent many enchanting hours lounging there with a favorite book. Generally, after reading a few chapters I would use my .nger to hold the page and gaze outward to the street below me.
The  houses in our neighborhood  were nestled closely to one another, with small commercial establishments all around. I loved to observe the busy tra.c of human beings rushing throughout the neighborhood, completing their daily tasks so that they might retire to their homes for an agreeable eve ning of dining and relaxing with their families.
Many of the families in our neighborhood had originated from other lands. Mine came from Yemen, a faraway country that was reported to be spectacu­larly beautiful. I was never told speci.cs as to why our ancestors had left, but so many Yemeni families have emigrated to nearby countries that it is said Ye­meni blood .ows throughout the entire Arab world. Most likely it was simple poverty that drove our Yemeni ancestors to sell their livestock, close their homes, abandon inhospitable . elds, and leave behind forever old friends in fa­miliar towns.
I can imagine my ancestors sitting in their home, the men, dashing with their curved daggers, possibly chewing the leaf of the qat tree, while the women, with black eyes intensi.ed by kohl, listened quietly as their men dis­cussed the challenge of parched land or missed opportunities. The old incense trade had died out, and the rains  were too uncertain to grow reliable crops. With hunger pangs stabbing the small bellies of their children, my ancestors were likely persuaded to mount tall camels and trek through the green valleys brimmed by those high brown hills.
Upon their arrival in Syria, my ancestors established their home on the Mediterranean, in the large port city of my own birth and childhood. Latakia was noted in texts over two thousand years ago, described as having “admirable buildings and an excellent harbor.” Framed by the sea on one side, and fertile land on the other, it has been coveted by many, and in the pro cess was occu­pied by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Ottomans. Like all ancient cities, Latakia has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times.
Up until the time I married and traveled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, my life experiences  were limited to my family home, my school, my hometown of Latakia, and my country of Syria.
I was a daughter proud of her parents. When I was old enough to under­stand the things people said around me, I became aware of friendly talk regard­ing both the inner and outer beauty of my family. I was glad, of course, that we were respected for our good character, but my girlish pride was particularly pleased by talk of our handsome appearance.
My father worked in trading, which is a common way for Arab men in the region to make their living. I never knew much about my father’s daily life, for daughters in my culture do not accompany their fathers to work. I do know that he was diligent, leaving our home early in the morning and not returning until the eve ning hours. His hard work ensured an ample living for his family. Looking back, I believe that my father had a soft touch for his daughters. He was .rmer with my brothers, whose naughty ways sometimes made it neces­sary for him to be alert.
Mother remained in our home caring for our personal needs. She was a gifted cook and fastidious house keeper. With a husband, three sons, and two daughters, her work was never .nished. Much of her day was spent in the kitchen. I’ll never forget the wonderful meals she prepared for her family, be­ginning with a delicious breakfast of eggs, cheese, butter, sweet honey with cottage cheese, bread, and jam. Our lunches might be hummus, made of chick­peas and spices, various vegetables fresh from the garden, newly picked toma­toes and cucumbers, mint-pickled eggplants stu.ed with garlic, and pecan nuts. Our nighttime meal would be served between seven and eight. Our big eyes were often greeted by plates of mother’s delectable rice with peas, stu. ed grape leaves, okra and kibbe, a particularly popular dish for Arabs, which is basically ground lamb with bulgur wheat mixed with salt, pepper, onions, and other spices.
Of course my sister and I helped with the  housework, although our duties were light compared to Mother’s tasks. I kept my bed neat, washed dishes, and when I was not in school, was my mother’s kitchen helper.
Mother was the chief disciplinarian for all the children. In truth, when I was a young girl, I was frightened of her strict rules regarding the social con­duct of her two daughters. This is not unusual in my culture, for girls are the shining light of the family, expected to be perfect in every way, while it is anticipated that sons will sow wild oats. Should a female child behave badly, the entire family su.ers enormous disgrace in the eyes of the community. Had I seriously misbehaved, it might have been di.cult for my parents to . nd a family who would allow their sons or daughters to wed into our family. A girl’s careless actions might deprive brothers and sisters of worthy marriage part­ners.
When I was a teenager, my mother did not agree with how I dressed. While she was a conservative Muslim woman, covering her hair with a scarf and wearing dresses that cloaked her from neck to ankles, I rebelled against such traditional dress. I resisted her pleas to dress modestly, even refusing to cover my hair. I wore pretty, colorful dresses that  were not so old-fashioned. In the summer I rejected blouses that covered my arms, or skirts that hung to my ankles. I would argue with my mother if she spoke against my modern fashion. Now I am ashamed that I caused her such grief.
I remember how proud I was when I .rst went to school. I wore the usual girls’ uniforms, which was a jumper when I was very young, though once I began secondary school, I could no longer ignore my mother and wore a jacket over my dress for modesty.
How I loved school! School expanded my small world from family mem­bers to new friends and teachers who had so much information crammed into their heads that I didn’t know how their skulls kept from bursting. I was an inquisitive child, and read as many books as possible, mostly enjoying stories about faraway places and people. I soon came to realize how much I shared with other young girls my age, no matter where they might live.
In my culture school- age boys and girls rarely mix outside the family circle, so my school was for girls only. I came to know a number of impoverished stu­dents, and their poverty taught me one of the greatest lessons of life. I particu­larly remember one friend whose family was so poor that her father could not purchase school supplies or even food for the lunchtime break. Without con­sidering how it might a.ect my situation, for my family was of modest means, I shared my money, my food, and my school supplies with my little friend. I felt the greatest rush of happiness at her reaction.
Since that long- ago day, I have learned that the joy of giving is more acute when sharing creates a personal hardship. It is easy enough to share when a person has plenty.
I recall a second friend, who was often on the verge of tears. I soon learned that her father had recently divorced her mother. My poor friend was not even allowed to even see her mother, but was forced to live with her father and his new wife. My sensitive heart ached for her situation, for every child wants their mother near. I realized that sharing does not necessarily mean the giving of money or goods; there are times that the greatest gift is to set aside one’s own troubles and listen, to care about another’s heartache.
I happened to meet this childhood friend by chance recently. My heart sang with joy when she told me that she had found happiness in the second part of her life. She took the veil out of choice, and she married happily. She didn’t surprise me by saying that her children bring her the greatest joy.
While school was a mind-opening pleasure for me, there  were other hobbies that added spice to my life. Contrary to many people’s assumptions about the lives of conservative Muslim women, I was a skilled tennis player. Although I never owned special tennis attire, I would wear a long dress so that I did not ex­pose too much of my legs while leaping about, slip on comfortable shoes, and practice for hours. My goals  were to hit the ball just right, or return a serve with such power that my girlish opponent would be left standing with her mouth open in surprise. Yet in truth, the main thing was the sport. To this day I can still hear the laughter that would ring out when my girlfriends and I played tennis.
I also loved riding my colorful girl’s bicycle. Once again I would select a long dress so I would not expose my legs to bystanders, then run out of the house with my brothers and sister to pedal up the gentle slopes of Latakia. We would squeal with laugher as we .ew past surprised neighbors on the way down. Other times I would  ride my bicycle to the homes of my girlfriends or nearby relatives.
For many years I experienced great joy as a .edgling artist, painting por­traits and landscapes on canvas and smooth pieces of pottery. I spent hours mixing the colors and making the pictures pleasing to my artist’s eye. My sib­lings  were impressed enough by the quality of my paintings to predict that Najwa Ghanem would one day become a world-famous artist.
These days I am unable to enjoy such pursuits, but even now, as a mother alone with many responsibilities to my young children, I still derive some small pleasure from using my imagination. In my mind I often paint beautiful scenes or strong faces conveying great intensity, or I imagine my muscles being stretched tight from cycling up and down a steep hill, or even winning a tennis match against a faceless opponent.
I suppose one might say that Najwa Ghanem bin Laden is an artist without paints, a cyclist without a bicycle, and a tennis player without a ball, a racket, or a court.
My siblings had their own hobbies as well. We all liked musical instru­ments and it was not unusual for guests to hear a guitar strumming from some hidden corner of our home. My older brother even gave me a present of an ac­cordion. I am sure I was a funny sight, for I was slim and delicate and the ac­cordion better suited to the hands of a hefty musician.
The best time was the summer, when relatives would come to stay in our home. Most of all, I took pleasure in visits from my father’s sister, Allia, who lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. My Auntie Allia was lovely in every way, inspir­ing awe in everyone who met her. Since she dressed so fashionably when visit­ing us, I was surprised to learn that back home in Saudi Arabia she wore the hijab, which means full cover for a woman, including her body, face, and hair. In Syria, however, she wore modest but elegant dresses that covered her arms and legs. She also wore a .imsy scarf over her hair but did not cover her face.
Auntie Allia was known for her kindness even more than she was for her style and charm. Whenever she heard of a struggling family, she would secretly provide for their upkeep.
I overheard my parents speak quietly of her .rst marriage to the very a.  u­ent Mohammed bin Laden, a wealthy contractor in Saudi Arabia. Because of his special friendship with King Abdul Aziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, Auntie Allia’s .rst husband had become one of the wealthiest men in a country brim­ming with wealthy men.
The marriage was brief and my auntie had only one child from Mohammed bin Laden, a son named Osama. After her divorce, my auntie married Mu­hammad al-Attas, a Saudi man who worked for Auntie Allia’s . rst husband. Attas was known to be a caring husband to my auntie and kindly stepfather to my cousin. Never have I heard a hard word spoken against my auntie’s hus­band. Together the couple had four children, three sons and one daughter.
I knew them all very well, for the entire family accompanied my auntie when she visited relatives in Latakia. We had many meals together in our home, occasions I remember as being particularly festive, with lighthearted talk and laughter. Osama, of course, was part of the group. My cousin, already a year old at the time of my birth, was always in my life.
Once I became seven or eight years old, memories began to stick. Osama seemed much more than a year older than I, perhaps because he was such a serious, conscientious boy. He was a mystery to his cousins, yet we all liked him because he was very quiet and gentle in his manners.
In describing the young boy Osama that we all knew, I would say that he was proud, but not arrogant. He was delicate, but not weak. He was grave, but not severe. Certainly he was vastly di.erent from my very boisterous brothers, who  were always teasing me about one thing or another. I had never been around such a soft- spoken, serious boy. Despite his serene demeanor, no one ever thought of Osama as being weak-willed, for his character was strong and . rm.
When Auntie Allia and her family visited, the entire family would some­times take day trips to the mountains or the seashore. During such family jaunts, we kids would run about with excitement, racing each other on the beaches, playing hide and seek, or tying a rope to a tree and then making a swing or jumping the rope. I remember how thoughtfully Osama would select juicy grapes, handing them to me to eat o. the vine. My brothers meanwhile might be shouting gleefully that they had found some crunchy pecans lying under the branches of the tree. Other times we all might climb short-trunk trees to pluck sweet apples or thrust our hands through bushes laden with tart berries. Although Mother warned us about snakes, I was so happy to be playing with my cousins that even my fears didn’t hinder my activities.
There  were sad moments, however, including September 3, 1967, when my cousin Osama’s father, Mohammed, was a passenger in a small airplane that stalled and crashed. At age sixty-one, Osama’s father was killed, along with several other people.
My cousin was only ten years old, but he had greatly loved and respected his father. Osama had always been unusually restrained in his manner and in his speech, but he was so stricken by the death of his father that he became even more subdued. Through the years he spoke little of the tragic incident.
My mother’s voice was hushed when she told me about Osama’s loss. I was so shocked I  couldn’t react, but I did retire to the balcony to re.ect on my love for my own father, and the emptiness I would feel without him.
When they were young, my brother Naji and Osama sometimes got them­selves into trouble. Once they were camping and on a whim decided to go for a long walk, hiking to Kasab, a town in our Latakia Province, close to the Turkish border—and managed to walk themselves right across the border into Turkey. In our part of the world, straying into another country can result in serious consequences, with careless travelers disappearing forever.
A Turkish army o.cer spotted the strangers on his territory. As he yelled excited threats and pointed his weapon, Naji and Osama exchanged a single glance, then turned and ran faster than horses until they reached a garden. Thankfully the Turkish guard did not follow them clear into another country.
On another occasion, Naji and Osama went to Damascus, the ancient city that is the capital of Syria. Osama always enjoyed long walks more than most, and after a brisk hike, the two boys and their friends found shade under a tree. They were tired and a bit hungry. You might know that the tree just happened to have branches heavy with succulent apples. Tempted at the sight of the fruit, Naji and his friends climbed the tree, telling Osama to stay behind as a look­out. Naji said later that he knew that his pious cousin would probably balk at plucking apples from a tree that was not his, so he didn’t want Osama partici­pating in the actual pilfering.
The boys scrambled up the tree, but before they had time to gather a single apple, a mob of men started running in their direction, shouting angrily while whipping leather belts in the air.
“Apple thieves!” the men yelled. “Come out of the tree!”
There was nowhere to escape, so my brother and his friends slowly retreated from the safety of the bushy limbs to face their challengers. As their feet touched the ground, the men began to beat them with those strong leather belts. In between gasps, Naji yelled for Osama to “Run away! Run away as fast as you can!”
Osama was their guest, and it was important that a guest not be harmed. Also, Naji knew how dearly Auntie Allia loved her .rstborn son. My brother did not want to return home with bad news about Osama.
At Naji’s urging, Osama dashed away from the confrontation. For some reason the owners decided it was of the utmost importance to capture the . ee­ing boy, so they kept after Osama until they caught him, threatening him with their belts. Alone, without the protection of his relatives or friends, Osama was set upon by one of the largest men, who leaned forward and bit Osama’s arm, a bite so strong that Osama carries a slight scar to this day.
Osama pulled the man’s teeth from his .esh and pushed him away, then faced those angry men: “You had better leave me alone! I am a visitor to your country. I will not allow you to beat me!”
For some reason Osama’s intense expression made those men turn away. They lowered their belts, staring at him for a few minutes before saying, “You are being released only because you are a guest to our land.” By this time, my brother and his friends had made their escape. With Osama in the clear, the apple thieves  were allowed to re unite and return to a place of safety. Osama’s wound was cleaned and bound and thankfully he did not su.er from an infec­tion.
Those happy days of childhood years passed too rapidly, and as I entered my teenage years, unanticipated emotions began to swirl between my cousin and me. I was not sure what was happening, but knew that Osama and I had a special relationship. Although Osama never said anything, his brown eyes lit with pleasure anytime I walked into a room. I trembled with excitement when I felt my cousin’s intense attention. Soon our hidden emotions would rise to the surface and change our lives forever.
Excerpted fromGgrowing Up Bin Laden by Najwa bin Laden, Omar bin Laden, and Jean Sasson.
Copyright © 2009 by The Sasson Corporation.
Published in November 2009 by St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction
is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or
medium must be secured from the Publisher.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Printing edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312560168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312560164
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really don't know how to describe this book----it is not a book that is at all disrespectful of Osama bin Laden yet it is brutally honest. Two of the authors, a wife and a son of bin Laden, clearly love(d) the man but they have quite a saga to tell about life with him before he became a hate filled terrorist.
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.
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Bin Laden is just like a lot of spoiled rich kids, except that he's not. We find that he was heir to a construction fortune, but that he was a fine busnessman in his own right. He excelled at civil engineering. He likes to drive fast cars--fast. He allowed his first wife to select his third wife, as though she were choosing new decor for the living room. He takes his family from the luxury of Saudi Arabia to the poverty of a mountain cave in Afghanistan.

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.
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I was sorry when I came to the end of Growing Up Bin Laden; I wanted more. I read it slowly and savoured it as much as I could, but it is a page turner. I worked for many years in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; I have travelled overland through Afghanistan and Pakistan and can vouch that Jean Sasson has caught the atmosphere and the modus vivendi of the region.

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.
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We all knew,for the most part,what kind of man Bin Laden was. But Through reading this book, I have learned about his beginnings,and what drove him to his eventual determined destruction of the western world.Narrated by his first Wife,who was also his first cousin,and one of their sons,they talk about him as they percieved him.His first wife,who was very much in love with him when they married,eventually saw him for what he was,as did his son.He eventually took four more wives.A few left him eventually.This is a man who came from great wealth at an early age,and wound up with nothing. Toward the end of his life, they were without a country or a home,often living in caves high up in the mountains with no running water or electricity.I really felt sorry for the children,who got little or no fatherly attention from Bin Laden.The son he wanted to groom for terrorism,wanted nothing to do with it. He seemed like a gentle soul who just didn't fit in with his father's plans. This is a wonderful book that delves into Bin Laden's personality,his hatred,and his personal life,as told by his family members.If you are looking for a really good book about his life,get this one.
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This is a "can't put down" until you've finished book. A brilliant insight in how the mind and obsession of Osama Bin laden worked.
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
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I give a 5 stars to Osama's wife, son and to Mrs Sasson for taking the time energy to write this book. Thank you to Omar for wanting "us" to get a more accurate picture of what made his father the terrorist we were told he was. the great lesson I've got from this book is that ANYBODY could become hateful,vengeful to the point of killing.If a soft 17 year old man, shy and quiet could develop into hate, I-you-us too could unleash the most destructive instincts we all carry inside.It seems the betray from a admired and loved one is a very stong trigger... Osama was not the 1st and will not be the last to react with hate,vengence and act upon these feelings of retaliation to fellings of let down, un-aknowledgment, put aside . What would have happened if the royals would have agreed to include Osama in the fight in Kuwait? recognize his efforts? we will never know... but I suspect we would not have the 9/11.
I wish Omar and his mother peace in the heart.I believe readers cannot remain untouched by the story of the unfolding of Osama's life and the choices he made in the name of JUSTICE.Again thank you for all who made this book available to all.
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