Obama’s Grandmother


Sarah Hussein Obama, grandmother of U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, in western Kenya
KOGELO, Kenya  – The 2008 U.S. presidential election is being followed closely by millions around the world but in the Kenyan village of Kogelo, relatives of Democratic hopeful Barack Obama are watching every step of the race.

In Kogelo, Obama’s ancestral village in western Kenya, relatives and friends crowded around television sets on Wednesday to watch the results of nominating contests across 24 U.S. states thousands of miles away.

“No one can feel bad when something good happens,” said Obama’s grandmother Sarah Anyango Obama. “Obama is American but also Kenyan. If he wins I would want him to help Kenya as well, not just me and not just the village but the whole country and the entire world.”

Born in Hawaii to a white American mother and Kenyan father, Obama is revered by many Kenyans the way the Irish idolized U.S. President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s — as one of their own who succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Barack Obama, 46, has worked as a civil rights lawyer and law professor. He has said he is “deeply troubled” by violence that has killed 1,000 people since Kenya’s disputed December 27 polls.

Obama’s Kenyan family hail from the Luo tribe of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who accuses Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki of stealing re-election in a poll that has triggered ethnic bloodshed, especially between the Luo and Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe.

Obama and Hillary Clinton battled to a draw on “Super Tuesday” (February 5) across 24 U.S. states.

Obama won more states, with 13, but Clinton’s eight included the key prizes of California and New York on the biggest day of U.S. presidential voting before the November 4 election.

On the Republican side, John McCain won nine states but failed to knock out rivals Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. A new round of contests in a half-a-dozen states are scheduled in the next week.


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