The biggest news this week was the death of Steve Jobs, Apple founder and innovator extraordinaire. It was a big shock for me when I found out Thursday morning because I knew he was sick from cancer and had been for a while, but not to the point he was likely to die. To be honest, I’m not an Apple fan but I’d be foolish not to respect the fact that the man was responsible for several of the most ubiquitous and coolest products of the past decade and the driving force of his company. There’re tons of articles and tributes to him online, but one of the more interesting things about him that I didn’t know before was that he was half-Syrian and adopted (apparently I’m not the only one). His father Abdulfattah Jandali was a Syrian who was then a grad student in the US and because his mother’s parents didn’t approve of that fact, Jobs was given up and adopted by the Jobs family. Some Syrians are claiming him as one of their own in mourning and have even posted some witty tweets linking him to the current turmoil in Syria. It is unfortunate that Jobs didn’t have any relationship with his father and likely never spoke to him. “I honestly do not know to this day if Steve is aware of the fact that had it been my choice, I would have loved to have kept him,” Jobs’ father said in an interview with the New York Post in late August.
And then in China, a lot of people mourned Jobs’ death while asking why is it there is no Chinese Steve Jobs. Given that innovation and creativity are two things China’s always been criticized for having in short supply, and the fact that people like Steve Jobs are exceedingly rare, even in the US or Europe, it’s not surprising why there hasn’t been a Chinese Steve Jobs.