Here in Saudi Arabia, the most famous name, of course, belongs to the royal family, the Al-Sauds. Probably the next most well-known name belongs to the Bin Ladin family, a very wealthy group with deep ties to the royal family. The man who started it all was Mohammed Bin Ladin (1908-1967), who came to Saudi Arabia as a poor uneducated young man from Yemen before the onset of World War I. Eventually he started his own construction business, catching the attention of the royal family, and was awarded large contracts to build mosques in Saudi Arabia as well as other Middle Eastern countries.
Mohammed fathered at least 54 children and was married to over 20 wives. There are four distinct branches of the Bin Ladin family, depending on what countries Mohammed’s wives were from: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. The most famous member of the Bin Ladin family – terrorist Osama Bin Ladin – was born to Mohammed’s tenth wife, who was from Syria, so Osama is part of the Syrian branch of the family. The family numbers over 600, many of whom have denounced Osama’s activities. Osama was disowned by his family in 1994 and was also stripped of his Saudi citizenship because of public statements he made criticizing the government.
Today the Bin Ladin Group is involved in many enterprising activities beyond the realm of the construction business, reportedly with stakes in Microsoft and Boeing, among others.
About This Blog, and About Me: Susie of Arabia
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is KSA's 2nd largest city and is located on its west coast, right on the Red Sea. I moved here in 2007 with my Saudi hubby and teenage son. This journal reflects the things that I see here, life through my eyes, my lens.
Please be sure to also visit my other blog, SUSIE'S BIG ADVENTURE, which relates my experiences, thoughts, and observations about living in Saudi Arabia.
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