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Osama’s mother opens up about ex-al Qaeda chief in first-ever interview

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Osama’s mother opens up about ex-al Qaeda chief in first-ever interview

Alia Ghanem, the mother of former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, has opened up for the very first time about various aspects of her son’s life from being a shy boy to becoming the global symbol of terrorism.

“My life was very difficult because he was so far away from me … he was a very good kid,” Ghanem, who is now in her mid-70s and in variable health, made opening remarks during a candid interview to The Guardian.

The interview, which took days to complete, was carried out at Bin Laden’s family mansion in Jeddah, the Saudi Arabian city that has been home to the Bin Laden clan for generations.

Osama’s mother opens up about ex-al Qaeda chief in first-ever interview

Osama’s mother opens up about ex-al Qaeda chief in first-ever interview

Ghanem had kept her silence regarding affairs of the family and his son throughout his two-decade reign as al Qaeda leader, a period that saw the strikes on New York and Washington DC, and ended more than nine years later with his death in Pakistan.

Sitting between Osama’s half-brothers, Ghanem recalled her firstborn as a shy boy who was academically capable. “He became a strong, driven, pious figure in his early 20s while studying economics at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, where he was also radicalized,” she said, claiming that the people at university ‘changed’ him.

According to her, Osama became a different man after meeting several people at the university including Abdullah Azzam, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was later exiled from Saudi Arabia and became Osama’s spiritual adviser. “He was a very good child until he met some people who pretty much brainwashed him in his early 20s. You can call it a cult. They got money for their cause. I would always tell him to stay away from them, and he would never admit to me what he was doing, because he loved me so much.”

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Ghanem, being after being born and raised in an Alawite family in Syria, moved to Saudi Arabia in the mid-1950s, and Osama was born in Riyadh in 1957. She divorced his father three years later, and married Mohammed al-Attas, then an administrator in the fledgling Bin Laden empire, in the early 1960s. Osama’s father went on to have 54 children with at least 11 wives.

According to Prince Turki al-Faisal, who was the head of Saudi intelligence for 24 years, between 1977 and 1 September 2001 (10 days before the 9/11 attacks), “There are two Osama bin Ladens, one before the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and one after it. Before, he was very much an idealistic mujahid. He was not a fighter. By his own admission, he fainted during a battle, and when he woke up, the Soviet assault on his position had been defeated.”

Turki admitted that Osama travelled to Afghanistan with the knowledge and backing of the Saudi state, which opposed the Soviet occupation along with America, adding that the Saudis armed and supported those groups who fought it. “He developed a more political attitude from 1990. He wanted to evict the communists and South Yemeni Marxists from Yemen. I received him, and told him it was better that he did not get involved. The mosques of Jeddah were using the Afghan example.”

The rise of Hamza bin Laden, Osama’s youngest child who has reportedly taken his father’s mantle in Afghanistan, may well cloud the family’s attempts to shake off their past. It may also hinder the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to shape a new era in the kingdom, aiming to no longer offering legitimacy to extremism.

See also  Remembering the Legacy: The Passing of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Youngest Son

This article originally appeared on The Guardian.

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Current Affairs

Remembering the Legacy: The Passing of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Youngest Son

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Martin Luther King Jr

In Memoriam: The Recent Loss of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Youngest Son

Atlanta, GA – January 22, 2024 – The world mourns the recent passing of Martin Luther King III, the youngest son of the iconic civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. The news of his demise has sent ripples through communities far and wide, as people reflect on the enduring legacy of the King family and the impact they’ve had on the ongoing struggle for civil rights.

A Life Well-Lived

Martin Luther King III, born on October 23, 1957, was the youngest of the King siblings, following in the footsteps of his renowned father. Throughout his life, King III dedicated himself to advocating for social justice and equality, much like his father did during the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement. From an early age, he found himself thrust into the public eye, growing up in a family that played a pivotal role in shaping the course of American history.

Continuing the Legacy

In the spirit of his father’s tireless efforts, Martin Luther King III became an influential figure in his own right. He carried the torch of the civil rights movement, striving to promote equality and justice for all. His contributions extended beyond the boundaries of his familial ties, as he engaged with various social and political issues throughout his lifetime.

A Catalyst for Change

King III’s commitment to positive change was evident in his involvement in numerous organizations and causes. He used his platform to address issues such as racial inequality, economic injustice, and access to education. By actively participating in the fight for justice, he aimed to create a world where his father’s dream of equality would become a reality for all.

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Reflecting on the Loss

As news of Martin Luther King III’s passing spread, condolences poured in from leaders, activists, and ordinary citizens alike. The loss is not only felt by his family but by a nation that recognizes the indelible mark left by the King family in the ongoing struggle for civil rights.

Honoring a Visionary

The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. lives on through the work and dedication of his children, and Martin Luther King III was a torchbearer for the ideals his father championed. While the world mourns his departure, it also celebrates the enduring impact he had on the fight against injustice.

Conclusion

In times of sorrow, it is essential to reflect on the contributions of those who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place. Martin Luther King III leaves behind a legacy of resilience, determination, and a commitment to justice that will continue to inspire generations to come. As we remember his life, let us renew our commitment to the principles he stood for, ensuring that the pursuit of equality and justice remains at the forefront of our collective consciousness.

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Sarah Ferguson Faces Another Health Challenge with Second Cancer Diagnosis

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In a surprising turn of events, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, revealed on Monday that she is grappling with a malignant form of skin cancer. This marks her second cancer diagnosis within a year, adding to the list of health challenges faced by members of the British royal family.

At the age of 64, Ferguson, who is the former spouse of Prince Andrew, the brother of King Charles, took to social media to share the distressing news of her recent diagnosis of malignant melanoma.

This announcement comes in the wake of her previous health battle, where she underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery last summer after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The revelation of yet another cancer diagnosis underscores the Duchess’s resilience and the ongoing health concerns within the royal family.

Ferguson expressed her shock and shared the news with her followers on social media platforms. The Duchess has been known for her openness regarding her health struggles, and this latest revelation sheds light on the continuous challenges she faces on this front.

Malignant melanoma is a serious and potentially life-threatening form of skin cancer, making this diagnosis particularly concerning. The Duchess’s journey with cancer has been closely followed by the public, and her willingness to share her experiences serves as an inspiration to many facing similar health battles.

The royal family has been no stranger to health issues in recent times. With each revelation, the public gains insight into the vulnerabilities faced by even the most prominent figures. This candidness helps raise awareness about various health conditions and encourages individuals to prioritize their well-being through regular check-ups and early detection.

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As Sarah Ferguson confronts this new health challenge, her resilience and openness will undoubtedly serve as a source of strength for others grappling with similar adversities. The royal family’s commitment to transparency about their health journeys contributes to a broader conversation about the importance of regular health screenings and maintaining a proactive approach to well-being.

In conclusion, Sarah Ferguson’s announcement of a second cancer diagnosis emphasizes the unpredictable nature of health and the importance of fostering a culture of openness and support. As the Duchess faces this latest hurdle, her journey becomes a testament to the strength required to navigate life’s uncertainties, inspiring others to prioritize their health and well-being.

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Red Beach has been identified on the location of China’s northernmost coast

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Red Beach identified as China's northernmost coast

SHENYANG, China, July 30, 2018 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/Knowledge Bylanes — Recently, the “China’s northernmost coastline” monument was unveiled at Red Beach National Scenic Corridor in Panjin. As a national 4A level scenic spot, Red Beach National Scenic Corridor is famous for “China’s most wonderful leisure corridor” and “China’s most romantic recreation coastline”, where receives more than 2 million tourists annually, according to Panjin Red Beach Wetland Resort Administrative Committee.

Red Beach National Scenic Corridor is located between 40 degrees 39 minutes to 41 degrees 27 minutes latitude north, and east longitude 121 degrees 25 minutes to 122 degrees, where is the northernmost coastline of China. Red Beach National Scenic Corridor is one part of the Liaodong bay coastline, which stretches for 118 kilometers in Panjin city, extending in the shape of a trumpet. China has more than 32,000 kilometers of coastline, water of this part will freeze every winter, commonly known as “sealing-off the sea”, forming a magnificent ice row. As the entrance of Liaohe River into the sea, the affiliated shoals of Red Beach National Scenic Corridor are formed by a large amount of sediment deposited by Liaohe River, commonly known as “great mud bank”, which are very suitable for the growth of seepweed and reed, breeding the world-famous red beach and green reed.

There are more than 100 kinds of seepweeds over the world, and the seepweed growing in Red Beach National Scenic Corridor is unique, which has two red opposite leaves, like the wings of a pair of birds. On the tidal marsh, the seepweed and reed are keeping a thick growth from summer to golden autumn, which forms a world spectacle of “red beach green reed”. October is always considered as the best viewing season for Panjin red beach.

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Panjin city has entered a new era of regional tourism, implementing a further advance on “Making an illustrious red beach and singing reeds”. The representative tourism of Red Beach National Scenic Corridor concludes visiting flowers, beautiful countryside, characteristic ancient towns, hot springs, sightseeing and leisure, which is favored by tourists at home and abroad.

SOURCE: Panjin Red Beach Wetland Resort Administrative Committee

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