It is a story that we might have been all too familiar with: a son is neglected by his Alpha male of a father who happens to also be over-achieving and workaholic. The son would go on to have careers that are dead-end, get tangled with fraught relationships, and fail in marriage for one too many times. That may sound harrowing but it is a reality that a son will likely to have to live through—especially if your last name is bin Laden. We are talking about Omar bin Laden, the son of the ever infamous Osama bin Laden.
Omar bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia from Osama’s marriage to Najwa, his first wife. The family was forced to relocate to Sudan when Saudi government revoked Osama’s citizenship. Soon, Osama chose Omar as his chosen son, taken along his journey to Afghanistan. At first, Omar was a mere lackey to the supreme leader of al Qaeda but soon progressed to being proficient enough to handle AK-47 assault rifles and to man a Russian tank. His life changed ever since and far removed from what should be deemed normal, having abandoned the comfort zones he once had while still in Saudi Arabia or Sudan.
But a rift formed between Omar bin Laden and his father and it all started with a puppy. A follower of his father gave him a puppy, which Omar fall in love with. He named the puppy Bobby. But his love for the puppy didn’t stop his father from using the dog as a guinea pig for the al Qaeda to test their new chemical weapon on. The final nail in the coffin for Omar was what happened several months before 9/11. He was disgusted at his father stance and the way the man took to “leave a mark” in the history of humankind.
Omar bin Laden chooses a path so distinctly different from what his father perceived as the truth. There are a number of reasons behind this. It could be the rebellious spirit inherent to many children, which eventually spoils whatever their parents have in mind planned for them. It could be losing the beloved pet that drove him away from his father’s path. And the fact that no one has yet to be able to pinpoint the reasons for this is enough to indicate the importance of learning terrorism deeper and more comprehensively.