History of Muslim-Heritage and Silicon Valley (1976—Present)

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Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc.

Pierre Omidyar, the founder and creator of eBay.

Pierre Omidyar:— is the founder of the pioneering internet auction/trading website "eBay", which launched in September 1995.[1][2][3] He was born on June 21st, 1967 in France to Iranian parents of Muslim heritage.[n. 1] His real name is Parviz Omidyar, and he grew up amongst the "tight knit" north African Muslim community of Paris, where his mother had originally met her husband, having grown up as a Sufi Muslim herself.[4][n. 2] His mother is the head of the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, which promotes Iranian culture and arts, where he himself is now the director. His father was a surgeon who worked for John Hopkins University, but little is known about him (Omidyar himself has never gone into extensive details about him in the wider press). Omidyar's auction website has been so successful that at one point during the Great Recession of 2008 to 2013, the website had 100 million active users (defined as those who had bought and sold items within the last 12 months of that year), generating at least $4 billion dollars in sales volume per month (extrapolated to $48 billion dollars in sales volume per year).[5] Other sources have said that eBay generates a sales volume of $2,000 dollars per second.[6] Omidyar's own wealth has been estimated to be around the region of $7.7 billion dollars to $10.2 billion dollars between 2005 and 2007.[7][8][9] Currently Forbes estimates his wealth to amount to a steady $8.1 billion dollars.[10] In 2016, eBay had a marketplace activity of $80 billion dollars.[11]

The origins of eBay have some associated mythology, with the prime reason for the website allegedly having been found in order to let his wife Pamela Omidyar to sell Pez Dispensers.[12] However this isn't entirely true.[12] Omidyar was interested in having an auction website in order to create a free, open and fair platform in which to exchange goods, services and anything else of value, allowing the market to have a greater control over pricing rather than companies themselves.[12] He set up "Auction Web" (later to be renamed "eBay"), and carried out consultancy work under the name of Echo Bay Technology Group.[12] This was the company that would be merged over with his website to create the auction platform he is famous for today.[12] A year later in 1996, a total of 41,000 users had registered onto the site.[13] Their online community exploded and by 1997 ratings had to be brought in because Omidyar couldn't mediate all the disputes that were occurring between buyers.[13] Their reviewing system brough eBay even more popularity as trust began to form a more reliable format.[13] In 1999, eBay opened offices in Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia (and it now had a audience of 10 million active users).[13] In 2002 he had acquired PayPal, and by 2005 his total employee base swelled to 10,000.[13] In the same year he had acquired Skype.[13] The website allows almost anything and everything to be sold, from junk, newly manufactured items, televisions, phones, aeroplanes, and even kidneys,[14] and real estate.

A Sarah Palin signed XBox 360, one of the unusual items put on eBay.[15] Palin is a buffoonish politician that has gone down in history as one of the stupidest people ever elected, primarily because of her incoherence.

Jawad Karim of YouTube, Inc.

Jawad Karim, the Founder of YouTube.

Jawad Karim:— YouTube is a video platforming website that has been in operation since 2005,[16][17] and was primarily the idea of Jawad Karim, who first proposed the idea to his future partners Steve Chen and Chad Hurley at a dinner party in California.[18] Karim had grown frustrated at the fact he couldn't watch the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction live on TV at the 38th Super Bowel,[18][19] as well as a desire to see the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in Indonesia (a Muslim country),[18][20] where over 225,000 people died.[21] Karim approached the two, and the three of them set to work building the site (Karim and Chen were in charge of the technical side whilst Hurley affected the aesthetics).[18] By May 2005, the website went live for beta testing.[18] Karim had met the two whilst he was working for PayPal[22] (which was later bought by eBay for $1.54 billion dollars),[23] in 2000, having originally named it "Tune In Hook Up".[24] Amidst the Islamophobic atmosphere in the US,[n. 3] he was largely denied the credit he deserved, and soon became "forgotten" (he wasn't even mentioned in the press during these early years).[n. 4][25] Google eventually bought YouTube for $1.65 billion dollars—$1.76 billion dollars,[26][27] at a time when the website was averaging 100 million views every day, and 72 million unique visitors per month.[26] Rather unusually, Karim didn't receive much, making only $65 million dollars;[28][n. 5] Hurley and Chen got between $326—345 million dollars each.[27][n. 6]

The cultural significance of YouTube has been immense.[29][30] And a particularly noteworthy inclusion is the amount of Islamophobic rhetoric on the site. Pat Condell for instance was one of the first openly hostile racists to make a channel mostly dedicated to hating Muslims (and still does to this day); openly calling European Muslims "the enemy within", along with a host of video titles such as "Ha Ha Islamophobia", "Boo Hoo Palestine" and "Why I Support Israel". Condell has denied being a racist but has used explicit racist language and phrases such as "Arabs don't know the meaning of peace" and "Arabs...want blood.".[31] It is therefore unsurprising that Condell was one of the people who had radicalised Anders Behring Brevik, who murdered 77 children in Utoeya, Norway,[32] because he hated Muslims and mutliculturalism.[33] Other gems include "Rebel Media", "Sargon of Akkad" (who appropriates Persian culture and history and then serially lies and manipulates his viewers into believing seemingly unconnected facts) and atheists such as "Thunderf00t" who threatened Muslims with genocide (a Muslim, named "DawahFilms", spoke out against him, saying that if he ever threatened any Muslim, Muslims "will send him to the God he wish he knew").[34] Yet another is "TheAmazingAtheist" (well known for sodomising himself with a banana and pouring boiling oil over his bollocks),[35][36][37] and "MrRepzion" (a depressed man-child) who made a racist video because he was angry because one Muslim had washed his feet in a public bathroom).[38]
Despite being founded by a Muslim,[39] a section of the YouTube community have persecuted Muslims such as DawahFilms (pictured). [n. 7]

Steve Jobs of Apple, Inc.

Steve Jobs in the 1980s.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple[40] (alongside Steve Wozniak who later retired in 1985),[41][42][43] is of Syrian Muslim background on his paternal father's side. Jobs was born on February 24th, 1955 to a Muslim family,[44] although his mother—Joanne Schieble—was of Swiss/German-American Roman Catholic heritage,[45] who probably converted over to Islam at one point given that her boyfriend—Abdulfatteh Jandali[46]—went to back to Homs, Syria in 1954 for two months, where she learned how to cook Syrian cuisine.[46] Schieble, who came from a repressive household where Catholic females were tightly controlled, rebelled and asserted her own independence at the "University of Wisconsin" when she decided to open up a relationship with a Muslim. Jandali had moved to the US to work as a teaching assistant,[46] originally coming from a well off family; his father owned several oil refineries in Damascus and Homs, and had even had a monopoly on the wheat industry there.[46] Jandali graduated from American University, Beirut, moving to the US to study a PhD in economics and political science.[45][46] It was during the two months in Syria, the summer of 1954, that Jobs was conceived by the two.[46] Schieble and Jandali went back to the US with the hope that they would get married, but when her father found out he was so maddened that he threatened to disown his daughter outright for wanting to marry him.[46] She couldn't abort the baby either given the years of social stigma she'd underwent growing up Catholic.[46] Conflicted, she ran away to a home for unwed mothers, headed by a medical doctor in San Francisco, California.[46]

According to witnesses, Jobs exhibited a specific, perhaps excessive, amount of cruelty in business practice, which could be traced back to his sense of feeling abandoned by his biological parents.[46] He also—somewhat cruelly—only referred to them as his "sperm and egg bank" and "nothing more",[46] though it later became public knowledge that he searched for them privately.[n. 8] Later in his life however, he would get extremely defensive about who his real parents were, wincing whenever someone called his adoptive parents his "adoptive parents".[46] His real mother had fled out of the fear of her own "tyrant" father,[47] and through this fear, she had also abandoned Jandali as much as she had Jobs.[47] Her situation was not easy, and she was full of shame,[47] and was most likely confused as to what to do. Her father was also dying at this point,[46] though she also wanted to desperately keep him; but at the same time she didn't want to be homeless, and so decided a productive future with the right potential adoptees was best.[46] Jobs later met his mother formally through his biological sister, Mona, but never his father; distrusting him for blackmail,[48] as he didn't want to risk the press knowing about his private life. It was rather hypocritical/ironic of Jobs to do this,[49] as since 1978 he had done the same as his parents, abandoning his real-life daughter Lisa Brennan whom he'd conceived in 1978,[50] publicly denying she was ever his even when a DNA test determined she was 94.1% likely his.[51]

Steve Jobs first appearance in 1978.
Jobs passed away on October 5th, 2011, leaving his company worth over $600 billion dollars in market value making it the most valuable company ever.[52]

Six months later, Schieble's father passed away, freeing her to marry Jandali.[46] The couple had a second child, who they named Mona.[53][54] The marriage broke down for an unknown reason (possibly financial or adoption related).[45] Schieble left him when Jandali had to go back to Syria to start working. In 1962 they legally divorced each other.[55] Their relationship had been left fractured; after he had left, for at least 10 years he lost contact with his biological daughter.[56] Then when he managed to get back in touch, he lost her again when Schieble decided to move house.[56] By 2005, he had again been in contact with her, and has since done so, seeing her three times a year.[56] Schieble went through several more divorces throughout her life. After 1986, when Jobs' adoptive mother had died, he managed to finally make contact his real sister, and then his real mother.[54] Jobs grew to love them, often comparing Mona to Patti, with whom he was never close.[57] The two thereafter actively searched for their father, locating a restaurant owned by him that Jobs used to frequent. He decided only Mona should visit him, where she kept any knowledge of Jobs away from him. It was only through the internet did Jandali find out that Jobs was his son; but Steve never contacted his father again.[n. 9] Why so, is not precisely known. Perhaps it was the political developments in the Middle-east and the US; rampant Islamophobia/anti-Arabism took hold of the US by the 1990s; his father had been an Arab nationalist at universities in the Middle-east.[45]

Sources

Footnotes

  1. ^ Although Omidyar hasn't ever disclosed his religion publicly, he has dropped many hints as to his background (but given that his mother is a Sufi Muslim, or at the very least grew up as a Sufi Muslim herself, it is not that surprising Omidyar is a person of Muslim heritage himself). The most obvious hint, besides looking to his parents, is that he has a name that is etymologically Iranian, but most commonly used by Muslim men in Iran and Pakistan. On his Twitter account he has also been seen defending Muslims, Syrian refugees and Islam (stressing it's distinguishing nature from Daesh with an article that was published on his website, "The Intercept"). He was also seen donating $3 million dollars to the Louvre Museum art exhibition on Persian-Islamic culture and arts, which was given as a direct result of Iran pulling out of French investments. Furthermore, Omidyar has never spoken ill of Islam, and has even defended Iran after the 1979 Iranian Revolution (but also supported the Green Revolution Protests in 2009, insinuating the Ayatollah was a "dictator"). He has also expressed liberal political views, having worked with Glenn Greenwald, who opposed New Atheism's constant demonisation of Islam, Muslims and support for active war and violence against those who believe in the faith. He is also fervently anti-Trump, came out in support of eliminating the Muslim Ban the US president had signed, tweeted in support of Muslims when a mosque was burnt down (something which was ignored in the mainstream media) and openly criticised Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. He has mistakenly been called a Buddhist by one source, but this probably stems for the fact that Omidyar had actually been joking about converting over in a tweet he wrote in 2007. Omidyar is also listed as a person of Muslim heritage on "Muslim Heritage", a website founded by the "Foundation for Science and Learning" (a partner of "National Geographic"), who were responsible for the award winning 1001 Inventions exhibition. Listed as a Person of Muslim Heritage
    1. Pierre Omidyar. Muslim Heritage. Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    $3 Million Dollars Louvre Donation to Persian/Islamic Arts Exhibition
    1. SIXPILLARSTOPERSIA (January 31st, 2014). EBay Founder Pierre Omidyar Gifts $3 Million to Louvre for ‘Persian Art’. Six Pillars. Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    2. David Ng (June 1st, 2011). Louvre Museum gets $3 million gift from eBay founder for Persian art. LA Times. Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    Twitter Account Where Defended Muslims and Islam
    1. "We have too much stuff. Thinking of chucking it all and becoming a Buddhist monk.". Twitter (@pierre). Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    2. "Why The Islamic State Is Not Really Islamic - The Intercept". Twitter (@pierre). Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    3. "Iran from:pierre". Twitter (@pierre). Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    4. "Muslim from:pierre". Twitter (@pierre). Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    5. ""..., a devout Christian, said he studied five pillars of Islam, and sees much of his religion in its teachings."". Twitter (@pierre). Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    Iranian Origin Relevance vis-a-vis Trump's Muslim Ban of 2017
    1. Jackie Wattles (January 30th, 2017). These companies wouldn't exist if it weren't for immigrants. CNN. Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    Omidyar's Liberal and Secular Views
    1. Pierre Omidyar (February 27th, 2014). Social Media: Enemy of the State or Power to the People?. The Huffington. Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    2. Pierre Omidyar (October 26th, 2010). Separation of Mosque and State. The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
    Article Where He Was Called Buddhist by Mistake
    1. Holly Lebowitz Rossi (November 11th, 2014). 7 CEOs with notably devout religious beliefs. Fortune. Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
  2. ^ Quote: "In the afternoon, at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, His Holiness participated in a Meeting of Two Oceans: Dialogue on Sufism and Buddhism. After President Loh’s welcoming words, the Dean, Bonnie Thornton Dill set the scene for the meeting and thanked all who had made it possible, singling out Ven. Tenzin Dhonden for appreciation. Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali, founder of the Roshan Institute, spoke of her friendship with His Holiness and how in recognition of the oneness of humanity he has promoted a sense of universal responsibility. She said: “He reminds me of the high ideals of Sufism that I absorbed in my childhood and the saying ‘You are what your heart is’. Sufism is the awakening of the voice of inner knowledge encompassing the ethical precepts common to all world religions.”."
    1. The Anwar Sadat Lecture for Peace and a Dialogue about Sufism and Buddhism in Maryland, USA. May 8th, 2013. Dalai Lama. Way-Back Machine Link. Retrieved February 7th, 2017.
  3. ^ See the following books for more information:
    1. Peter Gottschalk; Gabriel Greenberg (2008). Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-5286-9.
    2. George Morgan (22 April 2016). Global Islamophobia: Muslims and Moral Panic in the West. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-12772-7.
    3. John L. Esposito; Ibrahim Kalin (2 March 2011). Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-979291-7.
  4. ^ It wasn't until 2006, that it began to be known that Karim was the third YouTube founder.
    1. Jim Hopkins (October 11th, 2006). [1]. USA Today. Retrieved March 5th, 2017.
  5. ^ However, it could be argued that Karim actually received more than he deserved. In November 2005, he left the website to pursue his PhD, less than a year after working on the site.
    1. Jean Burgess; Joshua Green (4 September 2013). YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. John Wiley & Sons. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7456-5889-6.
  6. ^ The surging popularity of the website remains a mystery to this day, and there are several explanations ranging from copyright infringement to its being featured on various popular websites.
    1. Jean Burgess; Joshua Green (4 September 2013). YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 10. ISBN 978-0-7456-5889-6.
  7. ^ Pictured is DawahFilms, who was demonised for challenging a threat of genocide made by a popular Atheist YouTuber, called Thunderf00t.
  8. ^ At one point in his childhood one of the children in his neighbourhood was playing with him when his adoption was brought up. He said he remembered this particular point in his childhood where he felt so hurt by the feeling of being so insecure at the thought of his real parents not caring for him that he ran back to his adoptive parents home and wept vociferously; however his adoptive parents reassured him that they loved him and that they specifically chose to adopt him and him alone.
  9. ^ In 2011, Jandali expressed regret over not having at least one cup of coffee with his biological son, and appealed to Jobs to see him. Jobs never responded to this public appeal, and died soon afterwards.
    1. Michael Essany (7 October 2011). The Life and Death of Steve Jobs. Hyperink. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-61464-561-0.

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External Links