Steve Jobs, An Arab Genius!

Jihad el-Khazen from Dar Al Hyat by Jihad el-Khazen

I wanted to write about Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc., straight after he passed away on the fifth of this month. However, the approaching defeat of Muammar Gaddafi, and then his capture and death, as well as the developments relating to the other Arab uprisings, were all more important for a writer in an Arab newspaper. ….

Yet there is a ‘silver lining’ to this delay. ….. Arabs are indeed able to be creative, if given but half a chance, and can compete at the highest international calibers, if given equal chances, instead of squandering their lives running away from the security services or running after their daily sustenance.

Steve Jobs is my proof that the Arabs have not lost those abilities that were the forerunners of the Renaissance, which other nations saw and benefited from.


Newsweek dedicated its cover for Steve Jobs after his death, and twenty pages in the same issue, including two that featured magazines from around the world that had put the picture of Jobs on their covers and his achievements. The title of the lengthy report on Jobs was “Thanks for the Future” – in the sense that he gave the world its future.

With this same spirit, the Economist said in an editorial entitled “the Magician” that the technological revolution that Steve Jobs started was only just beginning. The Economist also ran a report entitled “A Genius Departs” that highlighted the most astonishing achievements of the late Apple CEO.

The Observer chose to run an ‘inspiring’ speech delivered by Steve Jobs at the 2005 Stanford University commencement, where he only completed one semester before dropping out to start Apple Computer Inc. with two of his friends and pave the way for the future of the world.

Before his death, the same newspaper had published a report on Jobs entitled “What made Steve Jobs a giant among the world’s greatest communicators?”


I can say with confidence that every single newspaper in London published many articles about him, sometimes ten or even twenty articles, with ensuing comments and responses that all included words like genius, inspiring, intriguing and innovative.

When he resigned, I had quoted the Western press and how he was compared to historical geniuses like Thomas Edison, a comparison that the Washington Post repeated after his death. A majority in the media and among the readers considered him more important than Edison and John Rockefeller, and other top inventors and businessmen.


As I read about this genius who was born to a Syrian father, I think of the limits of the abilities of any Syrian or Arab who is given a chance, and I think about the situation in Syria today, and all I feel is sadness. So I take refuge in the mirage of hope, hope for a better future.

Comments are closed.