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Banksy reminds the world that Steve Jobs was a son of a Syrian migrant

Hanna Kozlowska
By Hanna Kozlowska

Investigative reporter

This post has been corrected.

World-famous street artist Banksy unveiled a mural on Dec. 11, in the sprawling refugee camp in Calais, France. The painting portrays Steve Jobs, legendary founder of Apple, as a Syrian refugee.

In the mural, Jobs carries the original Macintosh computer, and a large black sack over his shoulder.

Banksy released a rare statement to go along with the mural:

“We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant. Apple is the world’s most profitable company, it pays over $7billion a year in taxes–and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”

Jobs’s father, Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, was born in Homs, a city ravaged by Syria’s brutal civil war, in 1931. He studied at the American University in Beirut, and then came to the US to continue his education at the University of Wisconsin. There he met Joanne Schieble, who would become Jobs’s biological mother. The couple gave the baby up for adoption in 1955 in San Francisco.

Jandali, who is still alive, told the Lebanese website Ya Libnan in 2011 that he was proud of his son:

“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 [novelist Mona Simpson] a brilliant writer.

I thank God for my success in life, but I’m no inventor… 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.”

Banksy has also sent materials from his dismantled “Dismaland,” a one-time theme park that parodied the Disneyland parks, to Calais for use as building materials. An estimated 5,000 migrants and refugees are staying at the camp, also known as “the Jungle.”

Correction: This post originally stated that in the mural, Steve Jobs was carrying the original Apple computer, while he is carrying the original Macintosh.

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