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Growing Up Bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside their Secret World Paperback – 1 May 2011


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Growing Up Bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside their Secret World + Yasmeena's Choice: A True Story of War, Rape, Courage and Survival + American Chick in Saudi Arabia
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (1 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185168901X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851689019
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

”Always interesting and highly readable, this is recommended for the many people who will wish to learn more about this man.”

(Library Journal)

“A compelling look at the intimate family life of a notorious man, as told by his wife and son.”

(Booklist)

"Despite her neutrality, her story is still an indictment -- showing us a terrorist leader who is embarrassed easily, obsessed with a long-dead father, terrified of women, and who thinks of his children as nothing more than cannon fodder."

(New York Post)

"The psychological portrait of the world's most wanted man is all the more devastating for being written by two people who apparently once revered him."

(Culture (supplement to the Sunday Times))

“The thrill of being a fly on the wall of the bin Laden family.”

(Time Magazine)

"Their accounts cannot be subject to normal verification. Even so, they have been woven into a fascinating narrative by an American writer, Jean Sasson"

(Catholic Herald)

"this thoughtful, well-researched book"

(The Good Book Guide)

“Lifts the lid on the secretive life of the world's most wanted man… It is certainly fascinating, if deeply unnerving, to read such vivid first-hand accounts about life within Osama bin Laden's family.”

(Daily Mail)

“The most intimate portrait yet of the al Qa’eda leader.”

(The National)

“Fascinating”

(The Sunday Times)

Review

"GROWING UP BIN LADEN is a critical missing corner piece of the Osama bin Laden puzzle, filled with astonishing secrets that could only be told by the al-Qaeda leader's loved ones."

(Dalton Fury - 'New York Times' bestselling author of 'Kill bin Laden')

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. S. D. R. on 26 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked this up in a bookshop almost by accident, having vaguely remembered something about the fact that Bin Laden's wife and son had left his compound shortly before the attack on the Twin Towers. Frankly, even if it hadn't been about one of the world's most wanted men and his family, it would still have been riveting just for the glimpse it gives on another world. How many novels or even factual books can you pick up written by Arab women about their closeted lives, their hopes, their fears, their secret existences - the things they are forced to accept or endure?

Yet here is Najwa Bin Laden - cousin, childhood friend and ultimately wife of decades of Osama - mother to 11 of his children - telling her moving and heartbreaking tale in a way that no loving mother could fail to relate to. The decency and gentle temperament of both Najwa and her son Omar, who for so long went along, out of love and respect, with the wishes of Osama bin Laden, shines through. For him they endured constant domestic instability, separation, and utter privation - with a lifestyle steadily deteriorating from comfortable residences in Jeddah and Mesina - and a rather less good life in Khartoum, to the misery of life in storm-tossed rock shacks on top of Tora Bora mountain - with Najwa enduring pregnancy in these miserable conditions. Short of food and with not even basic sanitation or cooking facilities for her enormous family and that of her sister wives - who were dragged around with her along with their children too - she put up with everything without complaint - even as he doubts and fears increased as she watched her husband turning into a world pariah.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Natalie on 13 Feb 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
A man does not make a family, this is a fascinating book looking at the life and trials of a family and despite all the challenges and heartache they are a family like any other. It will change the way you look at things!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By mdev44 on 9 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found this book really moving and thought provoking. I dont usually bother writing reveiews but I did as this is a story that must be read . It gives great insight into the family and Osama Bin Ladens ways of thinking. It doesnt glamourize terrorism but shows how someones fundamentalist ideas can affect a whole family. I felt so sorry for the children and the wives of the man .. but was intriqued to learn maybe a new angle of what made Osama the man he became. a truly beautiful book, easy to read and genuinely fascinating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Lock on 27 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An very well written account of one of the most hated men by the people who knew him the most.

The book takes us on the journey from the son of a billionaire in Saudi to living in a cave in Tora Bora with no running water or electricity. It also gives us a fascinating insight to the quality of life in Saudi Arabia for a women married to a strict Muslim. There are sentences that will totally surprise you, one of the ones that stands out for me was when Osama asked his wife to look for another wife for him, in order to have as many children as possible. By the age of 32 he had fathered 9 children to 4 different women.

It's a real page turner and the story moves very quickly, there are maybe one or two anecdotes about Osama's father that could be shortened, but it doesn't take away from the amazing story.

This is a very easy, informative and extremely interesting read. Although the events are harrowing. The book isn't as long as the page numbers suggest as many pages contain photos and there is a large appendix.

Even if you're only slightly curious about Bin Laden, I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nathan on 23 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
A very interesting book with lots and lots of facts about Osama's life. Very well researched, organized and beautifully written. Definitely worth a read !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Simpson on 31 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a fantastic account of the Bin Laden family and their traumatic life
I would like to congratulate Najwa and Omar for their tenacity and courage.
I would love to know if now in 2014 they were happy and re-united with children and siblings.
Osama Bin Laden was a cruel man and showed his contempt for his family when he abandoned them .
I am a Christian but he certainly wasn't a true Muslim . My understanding of Islam is a religion of peace and forgiveness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Traveller on 31 Mar 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. It gives a real insight into the lives of Bin Laden's family and how they coped, not just the side of him that was portrayed by the press.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mariya Koleva on 19 Sep 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to everyone how like to read real stories. I really enjoyed reading another Jean Season's book.
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