Mother’s Day is around. This year’s Mother’s Day has greeted them with a cheerful mood, proclaiming the whole world the value of affectionate motherhood which the hunted man of recent history could never taste. He and his merciless men killed thousands of men, women and children, throwing millions in perennial tears. Filled with the poison of hatred and vengeance, Osama bin Laden and his organization waged on a cruel war of terrorism, threatening the whole world everyday with various attacks.
A rare heart that could never understand the love of a mother
Osama bin Laden was the son of a Yemen born billionaire, who built a business empire based in Saudi Arabia and his mother Hamida was the tenth wife of his father. She was a Syrian girl of 22 years when she caught Osama’s father Mohammed’s fancy late in his life. With all pleasures of life, his family grew up in a privileged world.
An orthodox family that lacked affection
Mohammed bin Laden, Osama’s father, belonged to a family of polygamous oligarchy. He was a phenomenally successful construction entrepreneur, an immigrant to Saudi Arabia who developed close ties with the royal family of Saudi. He enjoyed full advantage of the indulgences permitted wealthy and powerful men under Islamic law, including changing wives. He had 54 children, more or less, born of 10 or 11 wives and one can imagine the situation in which was born Osama.
“Son of a slave”
Osama’s mother Hamida had lived a relatively modern lifestyle in Syria, including shopping trips to Damascus. She had an independent life earlier and had to struggle for her life within the confined compound of bin Laden. She was not an Islamic fundamentalist like others in the family and she was instead a sophisticated and well- traveled woman who favored Chanel suits. She never liked covering her face with a burka, and was scorned by the other wives and ex-wives of his father. By the time Osama was born, she was hated by the other women who referred to her as “the slave,” and called her son Osama, “son of a slave.”
Hamida found it hard to bear with the oppression of the bin Laden family. A woman had no place in Saudi culture and Osama’s parents divorced soon after he was born. Osama’s mother married Mohammed al-Attas and Osama was left to the care of nannies and other family people.
In the crude hands of cruelty
Osama could never taste the affectionate love of a mother in the Laden family. He was raised largely by nurses and nannies. Even when his mother was in the Laden family, she was kept in the background and sometimes not even living at the compound at Jeddah, but at other family residences. The nurses and nannies were treated even worse than the wives in Saudi.
Osama’s childhood was mostly with his father who, of course, had no time to care his dozens of children. The relationship with his father was probably the most important thing in Osama’s growth as a young boy, and he felt completely abandoned when his father died in a helicopter crash when he was only ten.
At the death of Osama’s father, the household was dispersed, and Osama was sent to live with his mother, whom he hardly knew. Stepping into his teens, Osama felt more and more that he was the black sheep, the only victim of the dispersal of the family. He could not respond to his mother who tried to reach out to him, but always kept his distance. Within a few months, mother and son had almost no interaction between them. Osama grew into a perverted adolescent.
Adam Robinson, an author and journalist who lived for ten years in the Persian Gulf area and conducted interviews with members of bin Laden’s family during the year before the World Trade Center attack has given a detailed study of Osama’s parents. Osama bin Laden, who could not the affectionate embrace of his mother and others around him, has been estranged from his family for some time and they were eager to knock him down from his pedestal by telling stories of his youthful partying with alcohol and prostitutes and of his involvement with drug smuggling in Afghanistan. There is no wonder that the heart that could not taste affection hated everything good in the world and enjoyed bloodshed and killing.
Moms, cheer up to embrace your children
A small kid of just three years ran to her mom with a small jade plant in a little pot. It had note:
With love, I give this special jade tree, in hopes that it will remind you of me. Right now this plant and I are rather small; but soon you will watch us both grow big and tall.
This plant and I are here to say, we wish you a special mother’s day.
It is Mother’s Day. A sharing of motherly affection is the only solution to the world. Mothers can form a better world. Let the children taste and enjoy the maternal love. Osama’s mom could not foster the mother-child relationship. It grew into tyranny and terrorism. No more bin Ladens. Moms, cheer up and make your children love you.
1) Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of the Terrorist, New York: Arcade Books, 2002 by Adam Robinson 296 pages).