Growing Up Bin Laden
I feel the sudden temperature drop in the café, but realize the icy stares are not directed at me. She stands straight, looking everyone in the eye. She’s been through this before.
He’s huge. 7 feet, 300 pounds maybe. Potbellied, tattoos fading, almost bald. He sucks in air. And spits. I watch it land on her cheek; she rubs it off.
Minutes pass. The café empties out. I walk over to her.
“What really happened?” I ask.
“My name. Fatima … ” she pauses, “Bin Laden.”
“Hmm. But … that doesn’t mean you’re related.”
She sighs, “I’m his daughter.”
This is one of those things where most of us are aware of the basic premise. But based on accounts from his first wife and fourth son, this book Growing Up Bin Laden puts you smack in the middle of it all. There were sections where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read more. If I could take more. I would take a break, contemplate, and then continue. This is not a book of defense, or justifications, or even an accusatory write up. It just recounts. Through memories and incidents of what shaped the man, and their world. It’s unbelievable what faith can push one to do. I only wish faith in hope and humanity could be equally stronger if not more.