Bin Laden Dreams

An analysis of why westerners dream about Bin Laden and what it might mean.

When I first came to New York about a year after the 11 September attacks, I had a dream about Osama Bin Laden.

The al-Qaeda leader was sitting two seats over from me on the plane. His face was oddly wrapped up in his turban so at first I did not notice, but the man sitting between us, gently poked me and whispered: “I think that guy is Osama Bin Laden.” I saw that it was, and I was horrified.

I put the word out to friends and friends of friends and I spent many nights googling and trawling through blogs, collecting the dream, one after the other, like pearls on a thread, driven by this profound and comical idea of the world’s most isolated and sought after man appearing all over the West, in the most intimate of places – our bedrooms.

I was curious to find out what kind of portrait would appear if I brought these shards of nightly visions together.

As I found more and more dreams, one thing became clear to me – most of the dreamers seemed a lot less fearful about this man than the governments wanted them to be.

It seemed to me that the dreams expressed a need to re-humanise this “creature”.

That most of us secular Westerners have a hard time accepting this idea of “absolute evil” which, of course, is a very religious idea.

And the “war on terror” – a notion propped up by so many linguistic absurdities and rhetorical acrobatics, that the dreams in contrast, seem fairly sane.

I can’t remember whether or not I’ve ever dreamed about Bin-Ladin. But if I do, I’ll post about it here.



Filed under arab, arabist

2 responses to “Bin Laden Dreams

  1. zokilavabe

    So, are you gonna blog the “tolerant” Sudanese people clamoring for British teacher to be put to death?! Geez, it makes me angry.

  2. I’ve been thinking about it all day. I am on the verge of it, but I can’t organize my thoughts. I am really surprised that thousands of Sudanese people are clamoring for her death, or at least thousands are showing up and demonstrating.

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