Abdelaziz Bouydnayen is 59 years old, and is one of the most famous performers in Ouarzazate, Morocco.
Bin Laden may have officially died in 2011, his look-alike continues to haunt the streets of Ouarzazate, the city of Moroccan cinema. Since 1985, a man named Abdelaziz Bouydnayen has played the extras alongside big Hollywood stars in films shot in the region and in particular in the Atlas Production studios, created in 1983 in the heart of the “door of the desert”.
“The Ten Commandments”, “Gladiator”, “Prison Break” … Abdelaziz Bouydnayen would have appeared in hundreds of movies in parallel with his little job as a cigarette seller. In 2008, a Belgian director hired him to play the role of bin Laden in a film. Through his resemblance to Al Qaeda’s historical leader and the multiplication of post-September 11 documentaries and films, Abdelaziz Bouydnayen is surfing on the bin Laden slot and becoming “the most famous figure in Ouarzazate”.
If one believes the articles about him and tourist blogs, the double looks pleased to show his “museum” of photos of him alternately disguised as a disciple of Jesus, soldier, and terrorist leader.
Abdelaziz Bouydnayen, in an article published on the National website, explains “adore this work” which “gave him the opportunity to meet famous foreign actors”, including “Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt and Jean Claude Van Damme”.
When we know Osama bin Laden’s authority for jihadists around the world, from al-Qaeda to the Islamic state organization, it is a safe bet that Abdelaziz Bouydnayen is not about to take his retirement.