x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Syrians mourn loss of Jobs as one of their own

Mr Jobs was given up for adoption soon after his birth in San Francisco to an American mother, Joanne Carole Schieble, and a Syrian-born father, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali.

LONDON // While the world mourned the death of Steve Jobs in California, many Syrians were quick to claim the computer genius as one of their own yesterday through a little-known connection to his biological father.

Mr Jobs was given up for adoption soon after his birth in San Francisco to an American mother, Joanne Carole Schieble, and a Syrian-born father, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali.

Mr Jandali, 80, a former academic, has told how Ms Schieble's "tyrant" father refused to allow his daughter to marry a Syrian and so the baby was adopted by a married couple from California, Paul and Clara Jobs.

Only in recent years did Mr Jandali, born in the Syrian city of Homs and latterly an executive of the Boomtown Casino in Reno, Nevada, realise that the Apple chief was his son.

"Without telling me, Joanne upped and left to move to San Francisco to have the baby without anyone knowing, including me," Mr Jandali told the New York Post in an interview in August."She did not want to bring shame onto the family and thought this was best for everyone."

With Mr Jandali out of the picture at the outset, many Syrians were unaware of the connection between Apple and their homeland until recently.

But they were quick to embrace Mr Jobs when news broke of his death.

yesterdayMany Twitter users were quick to draw contrasts with Syria's uprising against President Bashar AlAssad, which has cost more than 2,900 lives, by a UN count.

* Reuters