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svdgrift's picture

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Ready to feel incredibly old? Kids learn about Osama bin Laden and 9/11 in history class now.

So this is a portrait of Osama bin Laden, but I guess his beard and face of the 2000's public enemy #1 kind of gave it away. Osama was one of the founders of al-Qaeda, the guys responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

It feels ridiculous to recap this, but here we go... in short, on September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners. The first two flew into the World Trade Center in NYC, a third one crashed into the Pentagon. The fourth plane was probably on its way to Washington DC, but a group of brave passengers overcome the hijackers and the plane eventually crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Al-Qaeda is also responsible for many more attacks in Europe, Africa and Asia, but 9/11 is what most kids will probably learn about at school. Blame it on western media bias.

Osama Bin Laden was born to a billionaire family in Saudi Arabia where he attended the elite secular Al-Thager Model School. He also studied at the King Abdulaziz University, but apparently he was more interested in religion, charitable work, poetry and soccer (FOOTBALL guys). Osama had either 5 or 6 wives, which resulted in about 20 to 26 children. We can only hope they will all rebel against their dad, like any normal kid. In 1988, he formed al-Qaeda and was banished from Saudi Arabia. He stayed in Sudan until the U.S. forced him to leave again in 1996. He moved to Afghanistan and declared a war against the U.S.. After the 9/11 attacks, US president George W. Bush started the War on Terror and the FBI placed a $25 million bounty on Bin Laden. 10 year later a Navy Seal team found Osama in a compound in Abbottabad. They shot him and gave him an Islamic burial at sea. I guess we just have to believe President Obama on that one.

In 2010, Marlene Dumas finished her portrait of Osama. The painting caused mass controversy in the Dutch press. Not necessarily because she painted a terrorists, but more because people thought she portrayed him as a Mr. Nice Guy. Marlene responded by saying, "I don't say you should support him, or not. I am just fascinated by that particular image, and all that it relates to.” Marlene has always felt guilty being a white South-African. When she was younger she thought being a white South-African was the worst thing anybody could ever be. That was until she found out basically every country screws over its minorities, not just South Africa. Perhaps her feelings of guilt made it easier for her to identify with the bad guy instead of the victim.

P.S. Dear NSA, if you read this, I’m NOT an aspiring terrorist. Don't let my Google searches fool you!