Osama bin Laden’s son is an avid painter of Americana

Omar bin Laden, the fourth-eldest of Osama bin Laden’s sons, loves to color Americana.

In a uncommon interview, Omar, 39, told Vice that traditional Western flicks — resembling Clint Eastwood’s 1992 movie “Unforgiven,” his favourite — function inspiration for the person whom Vice dubs the “heir apparent of al Qaeda.” His work — a naif fashion outlined by its rudimentary use of colour and brushstroke — typically depicts the indicative parts of Westerns, resembling desert landscapes with cacti, practice tracks and dried bones.

“I like old Western films,” Omar stated. “I respect cowboys. I love cowboy dignity.”

The painter’s favourite work, titled “Arizona Desert,” illustrates a country cabin amongst a forest of cacti beneath a shiny moon. Another, “American Dream,” incorporates a bull cranium and a gnarled desert shrub in opposition to a mountainous, clay-red backdrop.

The scenes should not not like these by which he grew up in Saudi Arabia — one other frequent topic of his work — with half of his time spent on the bin Laden household farm, the place they reared horses, goats and gazelles.

“The need to draw and paint runs in my blood,” stated Omar, referring to his mom, Najwa Ghanem, and others on his maternal facet who’ve dabbled with the comb and canvas.

“I miss the fun times I had, the times when I was too young to know and too innocent to see the world around me,” he advised Vice. “I miss the vast stretches of desert dunes and rolling seas. I miss the peace of childhood.”

portrait photo of Omar bin Laden
Omar bin Laden: “I want the world to learn that I have grown; that I am comfortable within myself for the first time in my life.”

The innocence of childhood rapidly gave option to turmoil because the bin Laden household finally relocated to Sudan, after which Afghanistan, the place al Qaeda rose to prominence. At simply 16, Omar was thrown to the frontlines of the Afghan civil conflict. Within 5 extra years, his father would lead the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults in New York City and Washington, DC — acts of terror that Omar has publicly condemned.

The elder bin Laden was later killed throughout a US raid on his compound in Pakistan in 2011.

Omar, who now resides within the French countryside of Normandy, finds solace from his previous struggling — together with post-traumatic stress syndrome, bipolar dysfunction and different emotional scars — in portray “from [the] heart,” due to spouse Zaina Mohamed Al-Sabah, who urged him to choose up the pastime through the coronavirus pandemic. His footage present him an escape to “the world of dreams and imagination,” moderately than the “dark road” of his reminiscence.

“I want the world to learn that I have grown; that I am comfortable within myself for the first time in my life; that the past is the past and one must learn to live with what has gone by,” he stated. “One must forgive if not forget, so that one may be at peace with one’s emotions.”

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