This is not strictly related to the subject of Islam in China but since President Barack Obama is a big news today i thought I should add my two cents as well. President Obama’s half-brother Mark Ndesandjo lives in Nanshan and does some business in China. He even has a long time Chinese girlfriend. The two half-brothers however have very divergent views on their African heritage. While Obama celebrates his African heritage, Mark does not share the same views with his half-brother. Here is an excerpt from Asian Offbeat.
Ndesandjo, who had an elite education in the United States, collecting a degree from Brown University, a masters in physics from Stanford and an MBA from Emory, did not share Obama’s emotional view of his roots. Obama painted a disappointed picture of his half-brother in his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, in which he celebrated his own return to Kenya and rediscovery of his African inheritance.
At a rather tense lunch, Obama quoted “Mark” – his family name is never given away in the book – as saying Kenya was “just another poor African country” to which he felt little attachment. Mark added: “there’s not much work for a physicist, is there, in a country where the average person doesn’t have a telephone.”
According to Obama’s account, Mark looked him in the eye and said: “You think that somehow I’m cut off from my roots, that sort of thing. Well, you’re right.”
“At a certain point I made the decision not to think about who my real father was. He was dead to me even when he was still alive. I knew that he was a drunk and showed no concern for his wife and children. That’s enough.” Barack Obama senior fathered eight children by four different women.
Obama wrote that Mark didn’t want to ask himself a lot of questions about the meaning of racial identity, dismissing the idea with the words: “life’s hard enough without all that excess baggage.” Asked last week whether he was quoted accurately in the book, Ndesandjo did not respond.