EXCLUSIVE. Omar bin Laden: “9/11 tousled my life”


IHe’s the fourth baby of some of the well-known terrorists on the earth, Osama bin Laden. He had utterly distanced himself from her, even earlier than the 2001 assaults on the USA. Omar bin Laden, 41, now lives in Normandy, the place he seeks serenity within the work he produces and sells world wide. he goes again to Level about his childhood, the load of his identify, why he selected France and the way the French welcome him.

Level : Why do you paint?

Omar ben Laden: I’ve all the time been curious about portray. Once I was younger, I appreciated to attract or paint at college, however my father did not encourage artwork. Let’s simply say I by no means mentioned artwork with him, however he did not need me to color faces or individuals. No human illustration, simply animals, deserts, landscapes. Once I arrived in France in 2016, I formally registered as an artist, however above all I began in earnest through the interval of confinement. I improved my fashion and located a method to specific myself. I particularly needed to understand how the general public would obtain this work.

The general public appears welcome as your work are having some success, however do you suppose they promote nicely as a result of they’re signed by bin Laden?

Sure, I believe so (smile)! Generally I even work to order. Folks ask me for particular topics, however I principally paint my work in relation to my story. It is a sort of remedy.

What do you want to color?

I paint issues associated to my life. In Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Afghanistan. For instance, I paint mountains in Afghanistan.

There are additionally boats…

Sure, I paint boats in the midst of the ocean, as a result of they don’t seem to be tied to any land, and that represents for me what I usually did not have, that’s, freedom, calm, not relying on anybody.

Are there any subjects you refuse to debate? Your father forbade your faces, for instance…

Sure, however I did it anyway. Probably not, as a result of I am not pleased with it, I haven’t got the fitting approach for it.

And in the event you had been requested for a portray associated to 9/11, would you do it?

I am pondering of portray a damaged watch with the time at 9:11, with the large hand at 11 and the small hand at 9. I do not forbid that…

I think about that in France, as a Muslim, I can apply Islam with none downside.

You say portray boats as a result of it evokes freedom: do you be at liberty at the moment?

Sure, I really feel an increasing number of free, particularly since I moved right here to France. I like nature, landscapes, horseback driving. I used to be very nicely obtained there.

Why did you select France?

I’ve lived in lots of international locations, resembling Egypt or different Gulf international locations, and I might have settled in a number of European international locations, however I most popular France, the place the second faith is Islam. I think about that in France, as a Muslim, I can apply Islam with none downside.

Do you intend to return at some point to dwell in Saudi Arabia, your nation of origin?

No, as a result of it is very popular there, I am used to the climate right here! Then I am going again there as a vacationer, I’ve each proper to go there.

In his work, there are deserts or Afghan mountains. Do you have got nostalgia in your life earlier than?

First, I do not remorse it. I lived 20 years in Saudi Arabia and 5 years in Afghanistan, and in every single place I went, I’ve a chunk of me that stayed there. However I additionally took issues from every of these locations, and that is what makes me who I’m at the moment.

Even when I’m stopped by the police, every little thing goes nicely.

Is it tough to be known as Bin Laden?

Generally, sure, it’s tough. The response generally is a little unfavorable at first, it scares individuals, due to my father’s story, however after that, they make sense of issues. In France, it’s extra in sure administrative our bodies that it’s generally difficult, as a result of there’s shock, at the least to start with, however with the inhabitants, every little thing is okay, every little thing is regular.

Are you able to fly with none issues?

Sure, and I even have much less problem than most individuals, as a result of after I board, the (safety) individuals know who I’m and depart me alone! Even when I’m stopped by the police, every little thing goes nicely.

Have you ever ever considered altering your identify?

No, as a result of that is not the tradition within the Center East. After which I assume who I’m.

How was your childhood along with your father?

I used to be born in 1981 and all through the Nineteen Eighties I did not have a lot contact with my father, who was at warfare with the Russians in Afghanistan. He was additionally helped by the USA… At the moment, I had a number of respect for my father. He was an important man, obtained by kings, princes. I used to be the son of a powerful persona!

When and why did you resolve to go away your father?

I left in 2000. At the moment, I used to be in coaching camps in Afghanistan and I needed a extra regular life. I used to be uninterested in not seeing the remainder of my household, of not with the ability to marry like everybody else.

What had been you doing in these camps?

Within the morning we had a faith class, then within the afternoon we went on lengthy rides within the mountains, then generally we educated in fight with the dealing with of weapons.

Was the objective to make you a fighter?

Sure, however that is all I used to be rejecting, as a result of I am not an aggressive particular person. I might by no means have completed this. We are able to struggle when there’s nothing left to debate, however we should all the time focus on first.

Have been you raised to hate the West?

It wasn’t pure hatred, it was a political and even financial battle that my father led, as a result of the Individuals had been after the riches of the Arab world first. He needed to stop Individuals from getting their arms on riches that weren’t theirs.

I feared for my life, the assaults might come from wherever.

Throughout the 9/11 assaults, do you know your father was concerned?

No, I used to be in Saudi Arabia and, like everybody else, I discovered that he should have performed a task whereas watching tv. Then I assumed one thing was going to occur, however I did not know the place or the extent.

READ TOO9/11: Declassified FBI memo confirming Saudi path

Did you are feeling in peril at that second?

No, as a result of I did not really feel in the least accountable for all of this. I had left my father as a result of he completely disagreed with him. Alternatively, 9/11 ruined my life,my identify was related to my father’s. After that, for a number of years, I could not transfer anymore, go to many international locations. My identify was banned, cursed in every single place. I’ve had darkish years, been rejected, no matter you do. I went to Egypt, the place I received married in 2006. There, I did not really feel protected in any respect. We had been checked in on a regular basis, we had been watched, my spouse and I. I feared for my life, the assaults might come from wherever. We needed to transfer nation repeatedly all through the Center East as a result of I used to be against my father. Beginning in 2008, we had been lastly in a position to journey nearly in every single place.

Even in the USA?

No, not one of the household can go. Besides wives.

How did you react when your father was killed by the Individuals in Might 2011?

I discovered from tv. As a son, it is all the time unhappy to lose your father, however in comparison with what he is turn out to be, it was higher that method than being enemy primary on a regular basis. He was in perpetual flight. It was a predictable consequence…

READ TOO“I used to be in Afghanistan to revive peace, to not fund bin Laden”

Did he attempt to name you again to him earlier than he died?

Not. I had no additional contact with him after 2000.

What had been your final conversations?

He simply stated, “God be with you. »

Do you continue to have contact with any of your brothers and sisters?

Sure certain. A lot of them dwell in Saudi Arabia, Qatar or different Center Japanese international locations.

READ TOOMan Sorman – The West has been incorrect since September 11, 2001

Psychologically, how do you handle to hold this heavy household heritage? Are you adopted?

I’ve a really tough previous, I’m like a sufferer and I proceed to undergo. I occur to go to the physician, though speaking about all this stirs up a number of issues… In addition to, my spouse is a psychologist.

Do you suppose you’re an instance to observe to point out that you would be able to get out of the best way that others have set for you?

To me, whenever you’ve been via all of it, it’s a must to be optimistic and affected person, all the time pondering that issues will finally get higher. I hope my testimony will assist others to recuperate.

Omar bin Laden’s work are on show at Arielle Brocante in Le Teilleul (Manche). An exhibition and sale is deliberate from 16 June. One other will happen this fall in Paris.


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