Due to the Syrian refugee crisis and the Paris terrorist attacks on Friday 13 November 2015 there has been renewed interest in the fact that the late Steve Jobs' father is actually a Syrian muslim.
According to USA Today one of the most popular US newspapers 'some people couldn't help but turn to Twitter, wondering if there would ever be a Steve Jobs or Apple if the most restrictive "keep-them-out" policies were in place. "
As pressure mounted on the US and European governments to restrict Syrian refugee immigration in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, tweets referring to Steve Jobs' origins quickly spread on Twitter. John Nichols, a writer for The Nation – America's oldest weekly magazine – tweeted: "Those who propose sweeping bans on refugees might want to consider this: Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant."
Swedish trade economist, Hanna Norberg, tweeted: "Worthy reminder: Steve Jobs' biological father was also a #SyrianRefugee."
Steve Jobs was given up for adoption to the Jobs family
Jobs' biological father, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali was the youngest of nine children born into a wealthy Syrian muslim family. Born in 1931, he grew up in Homs, Syria, a city blighted by the country's current civil war.
According to the authorized Steve Jobs biography authored by Walter Isaacson, in the early 1950s, Jandali went to study in Beirut at the American University, before moving on to the University of Wisconsin. While working as a teaching assistant in Wisconsin, Jandali met German Joanne Schieble, who is Steve Jobs' biological mother.
Jobs was conceived out of wedlock, though Jandali and Schieble did eventually marry. In the year Steve Jobs was born – 1955 – he was put up for adoption by his biological parents.
Jandali and Schieble went on to have another child, a daughter, the writer Mona Simpson [born Jandali]. In the Steve Jobs biography, Isaacson writes that Jandali and Schieble initially didn't intend to get married as Schieble's father had vowed to 'disown her should she wed Abdulfattah, a Muslim.'
Jobs was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. Paul was a former US Coast Guard, while Clara was a housewife. In the Jobs biography, Isaacson writes: "Years later, Jobs would bristle whenever anyone referred to Paul and Clara Jobs as his 'adoptive' parents or implied that they were not his 'real' parents.' Jobs, who died in 2011, instead referred to his biological parents as "my sperm and egg bank."
Steve Jobs had no interest in meeting his Syrian Father Jandali
When interviewed by Isaacson, over 40 times spanning two years, for the Jobs biography, Jobs stated that he had 'no interest in meeting his biological father. However, his sister Mona did track him down (it seems that Jandali had not had contact with his daughter for some years). Jandali was in Nevada, working in the restaurant trade, where he apparently 'met' his son. Yet neither Jobs nor Jandali knew they had 'met.'
One of the more fascinating accounts featured in the Jobs biography describes how Jandali tells his daughter Mona Simpson that "he wished she could have seen him when he was managing a Mediterranean restaurant north of San Jose. `That was a wonderful place,' he said. "All of the successful technology people used to come there. Even Steve Jobs.'" Apparently at the time Jandali did not know that Steve Jobs was his son.
According to the biography, Steve Jobs did have an amicable relationship with his biological mother. Following her divorce from Jandali, she went on to marry George Simpson, an ice skating instructor, but the marriage did not last.
Jandali, who is still alive, is now on his fourth marriage. During a 2011 interview, published by Ya Libnan - a Lebanese website – Jandali talked about his children: "Steve is my biological son, but I didn't bring him up, and he has a family that adopted him. So if it's said that I'm the 'father of invention', then that's because my biological son is a genius and my daughter a brilliant writer."
I thank God for my success in life, but I'm no inventor….I'm proud of my son and his accomplishments, and of my work. Of course I made mistakes, and if I could go back in time I would have put some things right. I would have been closer to my son, but all's well that ends well. Steve Jobs is one of the most successful people in America, and Mona is a successful academic and novelist," he added.
Discussion about Steve Jobs half-Syrian ancestry
A report published by Raheem Kassam (apparently from a "muslim" family) Editor of the right wing Breitbart news site in December 2015 says that Steve Jobs should not simply be described as being "Syrian". In the aftermath of the Paris atrocities Debbie Dingle, a Michigan Congresswoman, appeared on Fox News declaring 'Steve Jobs is a Syrian.'
Raheem Kassam former closest adviser to Nigel Farage leader of the right wing United Kingdom Independence Party had the following to say: "Obviously, that's a massive fib, and a 'racist' one too, as Ms Dingell's assertion relies on forcing the children of immigrants to maintain their parents' country of origin as a national identifier. It also flies in the face of the ideas of integration and assimilation."
There seems to be some disagreement as to whether Steve Jobs' father was a refugee or simply an immigrant. It seems that Abdulfattah "John" Jandali who had been studying in Beirut in the Lebanon left because it was unsafe for him to stay there. It seems that he then entered the US on some type of visa legally, but not as a refugee. Perhaps this does not really matter that much.
According to Mr Kassam writing for Breitbart, Jandali was 'an economic migrant – not a refugee – evidenced by the fact that he later returned to Syria with the intent of joining the country's diplomatic corps. And he was an economic migrant at a time when net migration into the United States stood at around 250,000 people a year. Today you're looking at around 1 million people a year – and that's just legal immigration.'
Steve Jobs might never have existed if abortion was legal in 1950s
Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, USA to a Syrian muslim father and a German-Swiss mother Joanne Schieble whose family was catholic. In the 1980s Jobs hired a private detective to find his birth mother Joanne Schieble which he eventually did. He had the following to say:
"I wanted to meet [her] mostly to see if she was OK and to thank her, because I'm glad I didn't end up as an abortion," he said. "She was 23 and she went through a lot to have me."
If abortion had been legal in the 1950s, the Apple magnate might never have been born, perhaps leaving the world without iPhones, iPads and the MacBook
Steve Jobs, son of a muslim Syrian immigrant along with Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, are responsible for much of the mobile technology we use today. In fact, as of January 2016, 1 billion Apple devices were in active use worldwide, a legacy left by Jobs that will long be remembered.