Obama has a host of relatives in exotic locations from Hawaii to Kenya, and during his run for the American presidency he discovered that he had an aunt living in Boston.
Now he is being claimed by not one but as many as 8,000 Beduin tribesmen in northern Israel.
Although the spokesman for the lost tribe of Obama has yet to reveal the documentary evidence that he says he possesses to support his claim, people are flocking from across the region to pay their respects to the “Beduin Obama," whose social standing has gone through the roof.
“We knew about it years ago but we were afraid to talk about it because we didn’t want to influence the election,” Abdul Rahman Sheikh Abdullah, a 53-year-old local council member, told The Times in the small Beduin village of Bir al-Maksour in the Israeli region of Galilee. “We wrote a letter to him explaining the family connection.”
Obama’s team has not responded to the letter so far but that has not dampened Sheikh Abdullah’s festivities.
He has been handing out sweets and huge dishes of baklava traditional honey-sweetened pastries to all, and plans to hold a large party next week at which he will slaughter a dozen goats to feed the village.
It was his 95-year-old mother who first spotted the connection, he says. Seeing the charismatic senator on television, she noted a striking resemblance to one of the African migrant workers who used to be employed by rich sheikhs in the fertile north of British Mandate Palestine in the 1930s.
The Africans would sometimes marry local Beduin girls and start families, though, like many migrant workers, would just as frequently return home after several years.
One of those men was a relative of Barack Obama’s Kenyan grandmother, Sheikh Abdullah maintains.
He estimates that his tribe extends to as many as 8,000 members, all of them loosely connected to the president-elect.