The times were rough. Indoctrinated into an ideology which treated infidels as sub-humans, my task was clear: to blow myself up and kill as many U.S.
military heretics as possible.
I blew myself up in Iraq and killed many U.S. soldiers. The exhilaration of fulfilling my sacred duty was indescribable. Imagine attacking your worst
enemy and performing a coup de grace on them!
I knew I was dead - it was patently obvious. They say you just do not realize it sometimes, but me.. I knew the score. I could feel it. My body was
not the same.. it was ethereal. The essence of my very existence was gone, torn to pieces by the shrapnel bomb I had been proudly displaying on my
belt before unleashing its fury on unsuspecting enemy forces.
For my glorious deed, I expected a reward. You can guess what was supposed to have been on the menu.
Alas - there was nothing. Only all-encompassing darkness, permeating the very essence of my being. Akin to a huge solitary confinement cell, I could
not collect my senses. I really thought I was in hell, and that thought terrified me beyond belief. I thought I failed. I thought I had not pleased
Surrounded by timeless darkness, I saw a vortex of light. That tautology, that biggest cliche of all, became my truth. My experience of ''seeing the
light'' was no longer vicarious.
The vortex sucked me in with great force. Flowing through the space-time continuum, I suddenly felt air in my lungs. I cried. And cried. And cried...
then, it dawned on me: I had just passed through the birth canal!
I could finally see what was happening around me. As an Arabic speaker, my linguistic competence was not advanced enough to understand everything..
but I could detect a clear accent, the accent I would never, ever, mistake for another: the New York City accent.
I refused to even scan my body, refused to acknowledge the worst plight of all: that I was now female. An AMERICAN female. The more I denied the
obvious, however, the more conspicuous it got I was a victim of Ockham's razor.
''Would you like the boy to be circumcised?'' I heard a question. For a second there, I thought it was about me, but my hopes were quickly
dispelled... all sorts of epithets were flying around, as if floating in mid-air, trying to humiliate me even more.
''What a sweet little girl!''
''Your room's waiting for you!''
Were two - out of many - I had heard. They were still the milder versions, mind you!
I did not even register what was happening throughout my stay at a hospital. Could not face the ''maternity ward experience''. The situation was
so absurd, so grotesque, I could not even grasp the phantasmagoric enormity of it happening to someone else, let alone to me!
Even death would have been a better choice!
But death was not to visit me anytime soon...
I was taken to my new house. Mother drove. By that time, I knew I was indeed in New York City. We arrived at our (sounded so strange back then!) house
and I was taken to my room. The lack of independence, lack of any control over my life mercilessly drained the life energy out of me. I was prepared
to face a myriad of scenarios, but this one was definitely not one of them.
''Here we are!'' my mother clapped her hands and smiled. ''Do you like it?
The room filled with dolls and pink. In the middle, there stood a playpen. What's there to dislike?
''Inside..'' my mother sweet-talked as she held me in her arms. ''Good girl!''
In the blink of an eye, she left, leaving me in the room with every doll staring at me, as if scanning my every move. The agents of the panopticon
(meaning, the dolls, in case you're wondering) were definitely unwilling to help me escape as I quickly realized the boundaries of the playpen were
now the boundaries of my world. Heck, I even tried to anthropomorphize the flowers! To no avail.
I began waving my hands furiously, as if trying to vent all my anger on the outside world.
''Allah!'' my mind screamed. My reptilian brain took over as I was ready to strike the enemy. The ''enemy'' turned out to be one of those
stupid toys hanging above my head.
''I must have hit it''.
''This has to be hell!'' I cried. ''This has to be hell! Even the toys are extremely evil!''
Another epiphany hit me: my current parents were Jewish! I had not realized that before, but.. my senses never failed me! The latter - invariably -
meant I was Jewish as well. And so, I cried, and I cried.. and cried.
''How could this happen? Are they really my parents? What about my true family?'' thoughts kept crossing my mind, racing uncontrollably.
I contemplated suicide. Then again, given my experience with the other side, such a move would have been incredibly risky! Besides, as warped as it
seemed at the time, I felt a sense of affinity towards my parents.
''If they're Jewish, they've gotta be rich, no?'' I thought to myself in Arabic. ''I can use it to my advantage!''
While battling the absurdity of my ''infantly condition'', I noticed a poster on a wall. Puzzled, I read the writing. It screamed:
9/11/2001 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!
''2001?'' the date struck me like lightning. ''What?! Impossible!''
You see - I was the one who had orchestrated the attacks. I witnessed the great work. The Great Satan was dealt a great blow on that day. I died as
the martyr, killed by the U.S. forces in Iraq.
So why was the story different on the poster? I had to re-master the art of walking, with numerous pangs of embarrassment serving as my companions.
Then, finally, with my higher-than-average intelligence, immersed in the English language, re-discovering the arcana of syntax and comparative
linguistics, I embarked on my arduous quest of studying various conspiracy theories. I kept hoping one of those internet places filled with a mosaic
of minds would shed light on what was going on. Eureka. That day finally came.
I am Osama Bin Laden. But not the one you know. Or knew. I am Osama Bin Laden from an alternate reality. A hidden hand behind the attacks which
changed everything. Where I come from, there never was a conspiracy. Could my current reality be controlled by the Illuminati? Who knows. All I do
know is I just described a short story of my death.
And that of my re-birth.