Steve Jobs' biological father had hoped to one day reunite with the son that he had never known. It was a meeting that would not come to pass.
On Wednesday, the 80-year-old Abdel-Fattah Jandali, a retired professor of political science, declined comment after Apple announced that Jobs had died. But in an August interview with Britain's Sun newspaper, Jandali expressed regret at having had no contact with Jobs over the years. He and his ex-wife were unmarried when they had a boy. The baby was later adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, and named Steve. But in the interview, Jandali said he would have done things "entirely differently" if he could live his life again.
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."
"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."
In the wake of his death, Jobs' ancestry on his father's side was nonetheless a topic among many Arabs, and Syrians in particular who hailed him as "a great Arab American" and "the most famous Arab in the world."
Just how far Jobs would have gone had he and his biological parents settled in Syria? A 21-year-old student identified only as "Rana" told Reuters: "I felt sad, not because he is of Syrian origin but because we will miss the inventor and his inventions," she said. "But I think that if he had stayed in Syria, he would not have invented anything."
For its part, the United States Embassy in Damascus made sure to connect Jobs and Syria. In a post, it noted:
Many people in America and around the world are mourning the death of Stephen Jobs from Apple. By all accounts, Stephen Jobs was a brilliant innovator and businessman. Not so many know that Stephen Jobs' biological father was born in Homs, Syria's third largest city, and studied at the American University in Beirut. Like all great leaders and innovators Jobs never let himself be poured into a mold. Rest in peace, Stephen Jobs, grandson of Homs.