One thing we can agree on, is that dictators, terrorist group leaders, and gang leaders are cold-hearted people with vicious personalities and feelings which if it weren’t for them they wouldn’t have been in their positions. In addition, such cruel leaders always try not to look soft in front of their followers and group members to ensure obedience and to prove to their enemies that they are not easy targets. Such reasons make it hard for the lenient soft personality to be spotted, and the fun times they spend are only observed by few.
Despite how cold-hearted someone can be, or how bad a person and his intentions are, there is always the fun side in them (part of the human nature). Here are some people that you wouldn’t have expected them to have even a tiny portion of that fun side.
1- Osama Bin Laden liked Volleyball and was good at it
When talking about the former Qaeda leader the first thing that would occur to you is the hatred he had for the US and west and everything that represents them in the world, despite all that the only thing he did not hate about the US was volleyball, the sport that was invented there in the late 1800s. These are not assumptions but in fact information from close people to him like Nasser Al-Biheri, who was the personal guard for the terrorist during the 9/11 attacks.
As a matter of fact, there are several occasions were Bin Laden talked about this sport hobby and have mentioned the other former Qaeda leader Mohammad Atef who also was an excellent player who played volleyball matches against Bin Laden to keep it competitive.
2- Saddam Hussein was a novel writer some of which are romantic
What are Saddam’s most memorable accomplishments? Probably genocides against innocent civilians who opposed his rulings and ideologies, turning Iraq into a big museum for his statues, cities, and villages with his name, and going into losing wars that costed Iraq major losses.
Despite his bloody history that is filled with massacres and killings, he had a passion for literature, however, whether he wrote these novels or just took credit for them and printed his name on the cover cannot be known but there are at least 4 books that were linked to him.
One of these books was “Men and the City” that discusses the beginning of Al-Baath party. Another was “The Fortified Castle” which used single characters to describe the relationship between different groups in Iraq and “Begone Demons” which discussed a conspiracy theory by lead by the Christians and Zionists against the Muslims and Arabs, the novel was published in Japan and was translated to Turkish and was about to be published in Jordan, but the government banished it.
The most interesting one however was “Zabibah and the King” and which was discovered by the CIA in an Arabic library in London and linked it to Hussein because it was about a love story between the king or Iraq the 8th century and a woman named Zabibah who was married to a man who beats and rapes her; The novel in a way was relating to Saddam’s personal life, him as the king, and Iraqis as Zabibah, and her husband is the United States, in addition to other characters who represented Israel and Hussein’s political opponents.
3- Al Capone loved music he even has a song
The 20th century was an essential period in the United States’ history, it is when alcohol became legal and the organized crime became a part of the American societies, and throughout the history, there are probably two crime lords who are known for organized crime, Pablo Escobar who made billions by importing and selling cocaine, and Al Capone who, the Italian man with his black hat and violent actions.
Al Capone’s alcohol work did not mean his era was less violent than the following decades in the crime business since he was known with his merciless actions until he ended up in the famous prison Alcatraz. It could have been the prison time he spent which brought his sensitive side to the surface and lead him to liking music and writing composing songs, most of which are lost, except for “Madonna Mia”, a song he wrote to his wife to explore his love and sympathy.
Al Capone’s life in prison was not like other prisoners where he had furniture in his cell, Banjo to play music, and he even was allowed to meet with other prisoners of whom had music and singing talents.
4- Kim Jong-il was obsessed with Basketball
Post the Korean war and the separation of Korea into north and south, the south was ended up with a democratic ruling with a capitalist economy opened to the world and backed by the US, on the other side North Korea which was backed by China and The Soviet Union became a communist country ruled by one family, “Kim”, which passed the presidency from one generation to another, leaving the country isolated from the rest of the world.
North Korea was ruled at a certain period by Kim Jong-il, the current president’s father, which was also a dictator was a big fan of the NBA, and Michael Jordan was his favorite player whom he invited twice to visit him in North Korea and which the player refused, but he ended up getting a signed ball from the player when the country’s secretary to the US visited it.
The dictator’s obsession did not stop there, he also tried to make basketball the official sport in North Korea which is nearly impossible due to the country’s population having the shortest average height in the world and because he created a different version of the sport where for example a Dunk counts as a 3 pointer and a swish 3 pointer gives the team 4 points instead of 3, and if a team scores in the last 3 seconds of the game it counts as an 8 pointer !! However, missing a free throw would deduct a point from the team.