Bin Laden’s Niece in GQ Photo Spread
Wafah Dufour, Osama bin Laden’s niece, has posed for a racy photos for GQ magazine.
Osama bin Laden’s niece, in an interview with GQ magazine in which she appears scantily clad, says she has nothing in common with the al Qaeda leader and simply wants acceptance by Americans. “Everyone relates me to that man, and I have nothing to do with him,” Wafah Dufour, the daughter of bin Laden’s half brother, Yeslam Binladin, says in the January edition of the magazine, referring to the al Qaeda leader. “I want to be accepted here, but I feel that everybody’s judging me and rejecting me,” said the California-born Dufour, a law graduate who lives in New York. “Come on, where’s the American spirit? Accept me. I want to be embraced, because my values are like yours. And I’m here. I’m not hiding.”
Dufour, who adopted her mother’s maiden name after the September 11, 2001, attacks that have been blamed on bin Laden, appears in several provocative photos in the magazine. In one, she is sprawled on a bed wearing lingerie and a feather boa. In another, she appears in a bubble bath-filled tub.
The pictures are likely to be considered obscene by conservative Muslims in and outside of Saudi Arabia where women are required to be veiled.
The article is entitled, “It IsnÃ¢€™t Easy Being the Sexy Bin Laden“and appears on pages 51-58 of the January issue which arrived in the mail yesterday. She’s a reasonably attractive woman but I don’t find the photos particularly provocative. Of course, I’m not a devout, traditionalist Muslim. A small version of the full-page shot that opens the article in the print edition, taken from the Web excerpt, is at right.
The other photos have her playing the guitar and showing a little leg; submerged in a tiny bubble-filled bathtub and exposing her shoulders and part of her leg; and as an 8-year-old posing with her family.
This is a legitimate case where, as the old joke says, you read it for the article. The Web version has only a small part of the story, which is pretty fascinating.
Ms. Dufour passes by Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, who is lunching with designer Isaac Mizrahi, then stops at the next table to meet former Sony Music chairman Tommy Mottola and NBC head Jeff Zucker.
Ã¢€œYou know Wafah bin Ladin?Ã¢€ Valvo asks the men loudly.
Ã¢€œWafah Dufour,Ã¢€ she snaps, shooting him a look thatÃ¢€™s more pleading than hostile.
The niece of the man who orchestrated the destruction of the World Trade Center seventy-eight blocks to the south has a point. After September 11, the name bin Laden (which is how itÃ¢€™s spelled when referring to Osama) turned radioactive, borderline satanic-by-association. It made her feel cursed, presumed guiltyÃ¢€”made her wonder if it might keep her from ever getting a record deal. So she took her motherÃ¢€™s maiden name, Dufour, which makes for a better ﬁrst impression, even though the bin Laden taint is always there.
Ms. Dufour, whoÃ¢€™s vague about her age but almost certainly younger than 30, sits down at a good corner table and thanks me for helping her tell her story. Ã¢€œItÃ¢€™s really important for me,Ã¢€ she says with a French accent. Ã¢€œI was born in the States, and I want people to know IÃ¢€™m American, and I want people here to understand that IÃ¢€™m like anyone in New York. For me, itÃ¢€™s home.
Ã¢€œItÃ¢€™s really tough that I have to always explain myself,Ã¢€ she continues in a soft, husky voice. Ã¢€œItÃ¢€™s like every time I meet someone, I have to move a huge mountain thatÃ¢€™s in front of me, and sometimes I get tired.Ã¢€
One can imagine.
Update: The other two photos, courtesy This is London:
Update (3/11/06): See Wafah Dufour Bin Ladin Reality Show