Oddly Enough

"Osama Bin Laden" rejected for dream island job

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A dream job looking after a tropical island in Australia has attracted over 11,000 applicants -- including Osama bin Laden who failed to make the shortlist.

A spokeswoman for Tourism Queensland said the group had received over 11,000 video applications since advertising the A$150,000 ($96,000) “best job in the world” as caretaker of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

One of the applications was a 30-second prank video showing the world’s most wanted man, with nonsensical sounds dubbed over his real voice.

Using subtitles, bin Laden argues his case for the six-month contract, describing himself as “outgoing,” “familiar with sandy areas” and experienced with “large scale event coordination.”

He lists his interests as arts, crafts and renovating. Videos showing bin Laden speaking are widely available on the Internet.

A spokeswoman for Tourism Queensland said a person using bin Laden’s identity had lodged an official application with required video that has made its way onto video sharing website YouTube, but the application has been rejected.

“While Tourism Queensland encourages people to be creative in their applications, they have to meet the selection criteria, including appropriate content, if they want to be considered for the job,” said the spokeswoman.

“The ‘Osama bin Laden’ application was submitted via the website but it was rejected because the content was not deemed to be appropriate.”

The $1.7 million “best job in the World” marketing campaign has attracted huge international interest, with applicants from 162 countries responding to the opening which closes on February 22.

Queensland’s Tourism Minister Desley Boyle acknowledges the campaign was aimed to lure visitors to the islands of the Great Barrier Reef but insists the job offer is also genuine.

The successful applicant will have the chance to live rent free on Hamilton Island for six months in an oceanfront villa, spend their time exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy