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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
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
Fabulous! A private glance into a world most of us will never know. Insight into the man who was responsible for many changes in our way of life; his motives, and the role that... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Margaret R.Mckiernan
This book is so informative, helps you to understand what reason bin Laden and his cohorts hated us in the United States. Read morePublished 2 months ago by debbie watson
I throughly enjoyed learning about the loved of Omar, Najwa, Osama, and their family members. Omar's tales of his difficult childhood were deeply troubling. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sam Hughes
This is a well written story that will stick with you. Very interesting perspective and insight. Interesting account Highly recommendPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great and interesting read about how little Osama bin Ladens family knew of his intentions and how different their own hearts were...only wanting peace. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lianna Howell