Skip to comments.Profile of Osama Bin Laden's Mother the Concubine-- Calling Dr. Freud!
Posted on 10/22/2001 3:17:10 PM PDT by Shermy
FRIDAY OCTOBER 19 2001
The wife who was shunned
BY IAN COBAIN
Hamida: Bin Laden's mother
HAMIDA Al-Attas, a tiny woman in her early sixties, has probably had little to say about the way the world has changed since September 11. But today, as she sits in her villa overlooking the highway linking Jedda to Mecca, she will be watching events as closely as any.
Were she able to lift the veil of her burka, moreover, and talk openly, she could offer astonishing insights into the mind of the man that the West believes is to blame. Al-Attas is Osama bin Ladens mother.
Many hastily concocted media profiles of bin Laden tend to kill off his mother, and suggest that he was raised by his fathers first and favourite wife, Al-Kalifa. But his mother is very much alive, and has kept in close contact with her son.
Bin Laden has occasionally talked of the way his mother taught him to be pious and love the Prophet. He has also referred to a relative who flew to his Afghan camp five years ago to try to persuade him to accept a pardon from the Saudi royal family, come home and start anew. This was his mother, say Saudis who know the family.
What bin Laden would never discuss was how his mother was despised by his fathers other wives, who derided her as the slave. Nor would he speak about the pain he must have felt when his half-brothers sneered about the son of the slave. And he most certainly would not concede that the feeling of inadequacy this must have engendered contributed to his decision to enlist in the Mujahidin after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
Bin Ladens mother is said to have been the fourth of the wives of Muhammad Awad bin Laden, but she was probably the eleventh. Muhammad stayed married to his first three wives, but liked to rotate his fourth, divorcing one woman so he could marry another. By the time he died in 1968, he had had up to 20 wives. Most were Saudis and adherents to the conservative brand of Islam known as Wahhabism.
Tom Heacock, a former US Navy flier who was Muhammads private pilot in the early 1960s, would be dispatched from time to time to a far-flung corner of the kingdom to pick up yet another bride. Some were as young as 15, and were completely covered, from head to toe, Heacocks widow Grace recalls. But they were all exceptionally beautiful.
Ex-wives were given a home at Muhammads palace at Jedda so that his 50-odd children were raised under one roof.
Perhaps this explains the sadness that 14-year-old Osama expressed to a Spanish girl whom he met while studying English in Oxford in 1971. She told El Correo Español newspaper last week: He told us that his mother was very beautiful and that this was why she had caught the attention of his father. He had apparently confided, however, that his mother was not a wife of the Koran, but a concubine.
THIS IS NOT why Hamida was despised within the bin Laden household, however: she was, after all, surrounded by a small army of ex-wives who could have been described as concubines. Her burden was that she was not a Saudi, nor a Wahhabi, but a Syrian, the daughter of Damascus trader.
Simon Reeve, a journalist who met several members of the bin Laden family in 1997 while researching The New Jackals, a book about Islamic terrorism, says Osamas mother would often fly to Italy to shop. She shunned the burka when abroad in favour of dark Chanel trouser suits, he says.
Reports that bin Laden called his mother just before the New York and Washington attacks, and that those calls were monitored by US intelligence agencies, are almost certainly false, say Saudi and Western sources. But he is said to have been extraordinarily close to his mother, and to the other women in his life, including Al-Kalifa. But little is known about these women because they have no profile outside the family home. Few in the West know anything about his sister, for example.
Little is known about bin Ladens wives: he is known to have been married four times, first to a Syrian related to his mother, and divorced once. One wife is said to be called Om-Hamza, a lecturer in Koranic law; another may be called Sabiha. Not even members of the Western intelligence services know the names of the others.
One Saudi businessman says: I met his father many times and visited his homes. But was I introduced to any of the wives? No. Would I know their names? Of course not.
Hamida was freed to marry in 1968, when Heacocks successor, also American, crashed at a desert airstrip, killing himself and his boss. In the 1970s she married Muhammad Al-Attas, a Jedda businessman. Today, by all accounts, she enjoys the anonymity of being Mrs AlAttas; seldom seen, infrequently heard and rarely associated with the most feared and loathed man of the age.
So, he would marry, divorce....and then keep them around and continue supporting them? That doesn't make sense to me.
Not to mention hypocrites.
The Saudis deny this, but it's a situation obvious to everyone else.
Saddam Hussein has a similar problem - his mother was divorced by his father and tossed into the streets. Young Saddam, however, was raised by his mother (an unusual situation) in close proximity to her family who cannot be differentiated from street thugs and cut-throats.
Of such human debris are the ruling houses of the Middle East made - or at least Osama Bin Laden would like that to be the case. The ruling Saudi family are a totally different type of trash than his family. We know the Saudi ruling house in the West mostly from their drinking and carousing. Osama, on the other hand, is just your ordinary, garden variety religious fanatic who has decided a lot of other people should die for his beliefs.
Who else dresses like that? Hmmmm?
He has a very narrow world view, of both religion, and society at large. This is not a man of great imagination or empathy, someone else makes the plans, he funds and gives the go ahead. He does not see himself in anyway as evil. At least that is my guess.
For that matter racism WITHIN caucasian Europe between different ethnicities of whites is taken for granted.
White guilt is really the only race-guilt on the planet.
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