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Pakistan teen says bin Laden's death is good for his country

Posted May 3, 2011

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— A teen from Pakistan is about to finish his junior year at Millbrook High School in Raleigh thanks to a State Department student exchange program that was started to build bridges with the Middle East after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Babur Farid, 17, is from Peshawar, a large city in northwest Pakistan just a three hours' drive from the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday. Farid said his American classmates have been many peppering him with questions this week.

"People were like, 'Are you sad about his death?'" Farid said. "No, I'm happy."

Farid said he has seen how the violence and atrocities perpetrated by bin Laden's terrorist group Al Qaida and the Taliban militia of Afghanistan have affected his people.

"(Bin Laden has) killed more Muslims than Jews. He was a top priority for our country, too, so I was very glad," he said.

It's a matter that hits close to home. Peshawar is near the Afghan border, an area plagued by lawlessness where terrorist groups have found strong support.

babur farid Pakistan teen says bin Laden's death is good for his country

Farid said a band of criminals held his father captive for 55 days last April.

"Some people just kidnapped him for ransom. Me, my brother and my mom were just standing there. We didn't know what to do," he said.

Farid said his father was walking home from the clinic where he works when he was taken.

"These are just like regular criminals who need an opportunity... and this is the best environment for them," he said.

When he returns to his country, Farid said his hopes for the future are being pulled in two directions. For now, he thinks about becoming a doctor like his father, but sometimes his heart tells him to work for his country.

"To remove these bad elements from our society and let our people live in peace," he said.

While he came to the U.S. to "increase cross-cultural understanding," Farid said he was surprised by how open-minded and accepting Americans are and how his perceptions have changed during his time here. 

But he wants to make one thing clear, he joked.

"Our country is not a desert. People ask, 'do you ride a camel when you go to school?'" Farid said.

Farid returns to Pakistan in June.

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  • phishin87 May 4, 2011

    I'm glad this young man had the opportunity to receive an education in America. I appreciate that he was brave enough to make a statement and state his view. It must be annoying to be asked ignorant questions all the time but it's nice to see that aspect didn't hinder his view of American's.

  • crystalallis May 4, 2011

    I think we all know that is not what Farid was thinking or saying. What he is trying to express is the fact that not all people who live in the Middle East love Osama.

  • NU Blackshirts May 4, 2011

    "(Bin Laden has) killed more Muslims than Jews. He was a top priority for our country, too, so I was very glad," he said.

    I guess if he would have killed more jews it would have been OK.

  • hellorhighwaters May 3, 2011

    Sounds like this kid has a good head on his shoulders. (Mind you, I say sounds like.) Hope being here as an exchange student has opened his eyes to the senseless violence in his country.
    Upon his return home, maybe he can show others the senselessness in being violent.