BEIRUT

Middle East

‘Syrian pride’ kept Steve Jobs' estranged father from reaching out

  • 33-year-old web designer Nikola Ivkovic takes a picture with his iPad of an In Memoriam photo of Steve Jobs, who founded and ran Apple, on display in an Apple store in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday Oct. 6, 2011. Jobs died peacefully on Wednesday, according to a statement from family members who were present. He was 56. (AP)

BEIRUT: Steve Jobs’ biological father wanted to make contact with his son before his untimely death but said his “Syrian pride” prevented him from doing so. On Wednesday, upon hearing the news of his son’s passing, he told the media he had “no comment.”

Abdel-Fattah Jandali, the biological father of the legendary Apple founder, an 80-year-old Syrian-American Muslim  and former political science professor, now living in Nevada, had expressed regret at giving up his son for adoption and had hoped the two could meet before it was too late.

In an August interview with the U.K.’s The Sun, Jandali said: “If I could live my life again I would do things entirely differently. And even more so in recent years when I have heard that my son is gravely ill. It makes me feel like time is running out and that I am totally helpless.”

He added: “This might sound strange, though, but I am not prepared, even if either of us was on our deathbed, to pick up the phone to call him.

“Steve will have to do that as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune. I am not. I have my own money. What I don’t have is my son ... and that saddens me.

“When he became ill I thought maybe he might contact me to find out about my medical history but the call never came.”

Jandali was a political science student from Homs at the American University of Beirut when he met Carole Schieble, an American graduate student. In 1955, when Jobs was born, the young couple was unmarried. According to Jandali, Schieble’s conservative father forbade her from marrying him, leading her to give their son up for adoption. The baby was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, and was named Steve.

In an interview with The Sun in August, Jandali had expressed his desire to meet his son. He later said he regretted the interview.

 
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