Israeli Beduins claim link to Obama

Spokesperson for village in North tells 'The Times' that they have "official proof" he is related to them.

obama smiles 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
obama smiles 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
President-elect Barack Obama made history last week when he became the first African-American to be elected into the White House. He is also the first president with a father who is Muslim. And if all of those precedents weren't enough, now a village in northern Israel claims that the president-elect is also part Beduin, The Times reported on Thursday. "We wrote a letter to him explaining the family connection." Abdul Rahman Sheikh Abdullah, a 53-year-old local council member and spokesperson for the Beduin village of Bir-al Maksour, told the paper. According to the report, Abduallah said that it was his 95-year-old mother who spotted the connection. In a video taped by The Times and posted on their website, Abdullah described exactly how their family realized the link to their powerful relative. "The way we discovered this was when he started appearing on television," he said. "We the Beduin have a special quality, we know who a person is and to which family he belongs, and according to his body movements, we knew that we were related." "We believe that two-thirds of a boy comes from his uncles on the mother's side," Abduallah continued. "There is a resemblance to his uncles. After we checked these thoughts and after we asked around, we realized that we were related to Obama." Although Abduallah said he had "official proof" to back up his claim, The Times reported no such proof was produced. However, in the video, he said proof was unnecessary. "As well as this proof…if we look at the Bush family, for example, if you look at the son and the father, you see that they look similar," he told the paper. Yet speculation alone has done wonders for the tribe, The Times said. According to the report, their social standing has significantly increased, and people have come from all over the region to visit them. "People are very happy. It is the first time that we have a black and Beduin president," Abduallah said. "When Obama won, we even named newborn babies after him." "We grant a person we love and a person who is victorious either a sword, a horse, or a bride," he continued. "But we do not want to give him a bride because we do not want to upset his wife."