While the world mourned the death of Steve Jobs, a little known fact about the great man came into the spotlight. Steve Jobs, born as Abdul Latif Jandali, was of Syrian origin. As it turns out he was born to an American mother Joanne Carole Schieble and a Syrian Muslim father Abdul Fattah Jandali.
Schieble’s conservative father refused to allow the marriage between the two and the baby was put up for adoption and a couple from California, Paul and Clara Jobs took him in.
Jandali, an immigrant to the US from Homs went on to become a political science professor while Schieble, a graduate student became a speech language pathologist. The couple eventually married and had a daughter (Steve Job’s sister), Mona Simpson who is a novelist.
When Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple for treatment of his pancreatic cancer, Jandali mailed him his complete medical historyin the hope that it might help him get better. Jobs, however refused to speak to the father who abandoned him so many years ago. Steve Jobs did, however track down his biological mother and he was also in contact with his biological sister.
The fact that Jobs had Syrian origin first came to attention in 2007 when the monthly English Syrian Forward Magazine ran a story, “Forgotten Syrians”. It traced celebrities who had Syrian origin 3-4 generations back and Jobs was one of the surprise entries on the list.
Tech savvy Syrians all over the world proudly claimed Steve Jobs as one of their own on Twitter and Facebook. Though they were unanimous in declaring that he probably would not have achieved as much if had he worked in Syria.
As one twitter user iAlsager put it,
If Steve Jobs was really Syrian and in Syria then his name would be “Steve looking for jobs
Many Syrians are calling for a nationwide movement to reclaim Steve Jobs as their own but the fact is that no matter who claims him, the world lost one of the most influential CEOs of all time. A visionary, inventor, marketing genius and Apple’s salesman extraordinaire, he will be missed.
It won’t be out of place to mention here that Jandali family of Syria descends from Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H).