Saturday 12 December 2015

Son of Syrian migrant creates the world's most profitable business

• Banksy paints the case for refugees

Migrants and refugees not welcome is the cold-hearted cry of some people, papers and politicians these days. But just think what would have been lost by banning all migrants or all Muslims. 

It’s something that the British artist, Banksy, has clearly been thinking about.

He’s just painted a mural on a desolate concrete bridge at the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais, depicting Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers, carrying an early version of his computer invention and a bin-bag of possessions. 

Why? Well, the late Mr Jobs was fathered by a Muslim migrant to the USA, Abdulfattah 'John' Jandali, who came from the Syrian town of Homs, now devastated by civil war. Steve Jobs was given up for adoption soon after his birth, but his biological origins cannot be denied.

As artist, Banksy – whose true identity is a closely-guarded secret – stated this weekend:

“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 $7b a year in taxes - and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”

This week Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, called for all Muslim migrants, refugees and tourists to be completely banned from entering the USA. The Trump plan paints all Muslims as potential terrorists – a view that clearly Banksy doesn’t share.

Banksy said that his work in Calais is intended to draw attention to the benefits of migration, and the message of his mural is clear: people who want to ban refugees could be depriving the world of the next Steve Jobs.

On his website Banksy has published photos of the terrible squalid conditions that thousands of refugees and migrants, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea, are having to endure. 

Nearby to Banksy’s mural of Steve Jobs is graffiti stating, ‘Nobody deserves to live this way.’

On another wall at the Calais camp, Banksy has painted bedraggled refugees desperately clinging on to a raft on the sea barely afloat, waving to a luxury yacht in the distance. The caption states, ‘We’re not all in the same boat’.

On another painting at Calais, which Banksy also published today on his website, a child is shown with windswept hair, a suitcase at his feet, wistfully looking at the distant British coast through a telescope, on which a vulture is perched looking at him.

Many of those living in make-shift tents and dwellings in the Calais camp are desperate to make it to Britain. However, there is no legal way for them to take the short journey, either under or over the sea. 

The would-be asylum seekers have to literally risk life-and-limb to make it to UK soil, at which point Britain has to accept the asylum seekers under international law. It’s clear that the British authorities would prefer that they didn't come, just as it’s clear that the French authorities don't want them either.

Last September the Apple corporation made a "substantial donation" to relief agencies working to help refugees fleeing Syria and the Middle East. Chief executive Tim Cook said that the company's collective hearts went out to those caught up in the crisis.

Recipient countries of refugees have often greatly benefited from offering them and their children safe refuge. 

They include Michael Marks, co-founder of retailer Marks and Spencer; Daniel Marot, the architect who designed Hampton Court; Alec Issigonis, who designed the Mini car; singer Gloria Estefan; comedian Ben Elton; Rashmi Thakrar, founder of Tilda rice, and Albert Einstein, the world’s most famous scientist..

.. and the list goes on and on.

Related articles by Jon Danzig:


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Posted by Jon Danzig on Saturday, 12 December 2015

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