The Chechen, his brother and the country they betrayed

Kamal Kobeissi

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I have been reading about the murdered Chechen Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger detained brother Dzhokhar, his partner in the bloody Boston twin bombings last Monday. I think what I have read so far is equal to more than a huge book. But I haven’t read anything stating that Tamerlan held a stable job to support himself, his wife and his younger daughter, Zahra, who is almost three years old.

He enrolled in a graduate institute where he later met his wife, who comes from a wealthy background. She finished her studies and achieved her dream in 2007 and graduated. She stayed with him, married him, converted to Islam and wore the veil, exactly like he wanted her to do. However, he withdrew from the graduate institute as he did not bear staying there for more than two years. He did not finish his education and he left defeated.

‘A corpse’

I surfed a YouTube channel registered in his full name for hours. I did not find a single video that has anything to do with a cultural or educational topic or at least any topic that can help a 26-year-old man like him develop his capabilities and move on with his life. I also did not come across any comment by him on any other video that may have interested him. It is as if he lacks curiosity; as if he is a corpse that has nothing to do with life's affairs.

He is a model of those who betrayed a country that provided job opportunities. And instead of working hard to show gratitude, they terrorized and treacherously killed people thinking that paradise has only one bridge paved with innocent corpses.

Kamal Kobeissi

On his YouTube channel, I found other users' religiously inciting videos. They included interpretations of Islam. But the videos confirmed that he deviated away from an understanding of the Qur'an, including the verse: "And we have not sent you except as a mercy for mankind."

These videos reflected his deviation from the religion; a religion that boasts tolerance and permanent motivation to produce, build, develop, and make efforts to support families and the poor.

He spent his time practicing boxing as a hobby. He failed in improving at it so it remained a dream for him that one day he will represent the U.S. at the Olympics. He did not succeed and he was once again defeated. He also spent his time reading religious books, which he probably did not know that someone other than him wrote, and someone else printed, and someone else packed and distributed. He was probably not aware that a laborer somewhere put effort to make a living out of this.

The family

News agencies published photos of his father Aznur and of his house in a town in the Russian republic of Dagestan. We can see that Aznur's house is a simple one that seems to lack necessities. He also had two sisters. His mother lived with one of them in New York.

His younger brother and partner in crime is perhaps even worse than him on a moral level. His younger brother is lazy, reluctant, and lacks a conscience. Although he is a student at medical school, you do not find any piece of information that states he ever had a job. He lacks conscience to the extent that two days after the Boston bombings, he attended a party where he danced and enjoyed himself until dawn.

I read about the Chechen and his younger brother, and I remembered some of those I have known in my life who were not religious but when their circumstances got tough, they rushed to immigrate to find work and support their families and thus be respectable.

I had a friend in Brazil who during the country's bad economic circumstances in the 80s lost most of his capital in Sao Paolo. He and his family were about to be sleeping on the streets at some point. What did he do? He left his wife and two kids in Sao Paolo and went to his brother who owns a small fabrics shop in Dakar, Senegal's capital. A year later, he brought his family and children to Dakar. They all worked together. He and his brother are currently owners of capital envied by competitors.


The Chechen is the complete opposite of that. He is a model of those who do nothing and above all kill innocent people and betray a country that received them as refugees and that welcomed them. He is a model of those who betrayed a country that provided job opportunities. And instead of working hard to show gratitude, they terrorized and treacherously killed people, thinking that paradise has only one bridge paved with innocent corpses. And thinking that only murderers of innocent people cross that bridge in the name of a tolerant religion that they deviated from, believing they are on the right path.

And so, a verse from the Quran applies to them: "… Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds" (Verse 104 of Surah al-Kahef (The Cave).

The Chechen planned on killing and dying without thinking of a daughter left behind, alone without him. With his daughter, he left behind an American wife who comes from a respectable family and who converted to Islam for him. He abandoned all his strong ties. He left them to confront their fates because he selfishly thought that immortality cannot be achieved for Muslims unless by taking a shortcut; a quick act of murder and terror.

Kamal Kobeissi, a Lebanese writer based in London, is a reporter and news producer at Al Arabiya. Kobeissi immigrated to Brazil in late 1975 at the start of the Lebanese civil war, where he stayed 18 years and released a book titled "The causes of the Lebanese war." He has worked in several Middle Eastern newspapers in the British capital, with focus on current affairs and investigative reporting.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.