Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Veiled Kingdom – Carmen Bin Ladin


the veiled kingdom

During the years I lived among the Bin Laden family in Saudi Arabia, Osama came to exemplify everything that repelled me in that opaque and harsh country: the unbending dogma that ruled all our lives, the arrogance and pridefulness of Saudis and their lack of compassion for people who didn’t share their beliefs. That contempt for outsiders and unyielding orthodoxy spurred me on to a fourteen-year fight to give my children a life in the free world.

I suppose this was the first time I realized that someone could pay for their beliefs with their life.


The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom


“… all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”

“No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath the river.”

“He felt I had shamed him, and I suppose, in his world, I had. But fathers can ruin their sons, and I was, in a fashion, ruined after that.”

“War had crawled inside of Eddie, in his leg and in his soul.”

“That’s what heaven is. You get to make sense of your yesterdays.”

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”

“Love, like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive.”

“The unspoken blame for this never found a resting place –it simply moved like a shadow from husband to wife.”

“The water of their love was hidden beneath the roots.”

“The waters of their love fell again from above and soaked them as surely as the sea that gathered at their feet.”

“She realised this was protocol, their way of being nice while being helpless…”

“On earth, Marguerite said, when you fell asleep, you sometimes dreamed your heaven and those dreams helped to form it. But there was no reason for such dreams now.”

“Life has to end,” she said. “Love doesn’t.”

“… the paleness of surrender becomes the colour of Eddie’s days.”

“… each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”