Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Got What He Deserved, But What Comes Next?

By Jala Ayman
Junior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
CAIRO, Egypt – ‘What goes around comes around’ is probably a common thought circulating about Osama bin Laden's death.
When his death was announced, many people didn’t believe it and thought it was just a rumor to cover up something else. That certainly was what my family thought, but when President Barack Obama announced it, the truth finally set in for us.
Bin Laden was the head of Al Qaeda, also known as “the base.” For the past 10 years bin Laden has been on top of the most wanted list for his criminal activities – the most infamous of them are the 9/11 attacks.
What happened on Sept. 11, 2001 was simply atrocious and, in my opinion, inhumane. Many victims suffered, be it the families of the martyrs or the martyrs themselves.
The total number of deaths in the Sept. 11 attack was 2,996, and 2,977 of them – all but the 19 terrorist hijackers – were the true casualties.
The sheer number of casualties took the humanity out of those attacks, because to some it measured the intensity of the cruelty and to some it just turned it into a figure. That’s heart-breaking because what many don’t realize is that behind each and every one of these deaths is a story, memories and a deep sense of loss.
I know what it’s like to lose someone special, so I know what the victims’ families must feel like.
The death of the murderer of their loved ones probably opens up so many wounds and brings back so many memories and what I wish them with all of my heart is a closure.
Losing someone you love is the hardest thing anyone has to go through.
The general effect of bin Laden's death is JOY; joy because justice has been served, joy because to some of the families of the victims this may have restored their faith in justice and finally, joy because this is a justice befitting the martyrs.
That joy was greatly displayed at New York’s ground zero. The former World Trade Center site has always been associated with death and loss and maybe now, pride and justice will be added to them – pride because bin Laden was finally caught and justice because he died, which is an apt punishment for his actions.
What concerns me now and many others after bin Laden's death is, what’s next?
Bin Laden’s death may have crippled Al Qaeda, but how long will they remain crippled – a few days, a few weeks, a few months or a few years?
No one knows, and that’s what’s frightening.
Bin Laden was diabolical, but also so are his followers. And since every action has a reaction, the reaction is what frightens everyone and what makes some doubt the death of bin Laden.
The reaction could be catastrophic without a doubt, because we all know what Al Qaeda is capable of. My genuine hope is that the joy many are experiencing doesn’t turn into regret or despair.
What will happen next is the question on everyone’s mind, whether it is regarding Al Qaeda or around the world. This year has had its fair share of tragedies, and I don’t think we’ll be able to handle any more.

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