AUC Students Reflect on Steve Jobs’ Legacy

Jilan Tobar
Staff Reporter

About 80% of AUC students own an Apple product - INDEPENDENT STAFF

“I want to put a ding in the universe,” said Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc.

On Thursday Oct. 6, much of the world awoke to the news that Steve Jobs had passed away at 55 the day before. His life has left an impact on people all around the world, whether they recognize it or not.

At AUC, a quick glance around a classroom or the library and you’ll likely spot an iPod, iPhone, iPad or a MacBook, all inventions that brought what was thought of as “magic” to reality. These products have revolutionized technology as well as our way of life. So what has Steve Jobs and Apple Inc. done for AUCians?

About 40% of AUC students own a MacBook, while the rest own PCs. The iPod is the most popular Apple product among AUCians; Almost 80% of those who own an Apple product own an iPod.

Steve Jobs is marketing junior Kareem Abou-Gamrah’s “definition of entrepreneur.”

Adopted and brought up in what is now known as Silicon Valley, California, Jobs was first introduced to computers when he was 11 at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

Years later, after working a summer with Hewlett-Packard and dropping out of college, Jobs got together with a club of computer hobbyists in a garage, among them his friend and co-founder of Apple Inc., Steve Wozniak. In 1977, the Apple II computer was released. After getting fired and returning 10 years later, Jobs revived Apple in the 1980s by introducing the Macintosh. Then, one after another, the iPod (2001), the iPhone (2007) and the iPad (2010) were released, giving us what we didn’t know we wanted, as Jobs always intended.

Kareem Abou-Gamrah, an Apple loyalist, got into Apple in 2005 despite his family’s strong affiliation with Microsoft.

When asked why he prefers Apple to Microsoft, he said, “No one could underestimate Windows. Microsoft is Microsoft; it is the core of what we know as computers. (But) Apple devices have heart.”

Apple devices’ “heart” definitely seems to attract AUCians.

“I don’t think there’s an AUCian who does not own or has never owned an iPod,” Abou-Gamrah said.

Now the huge question everyone is asking is whether Apple Inc. will survive now that its glorifying leader is gone.

Ahmed Mehessen, a Petroleum and Energy Engineering senior, claimed that “Steve Jobs WAS Apple.”

Mehessen continues, “If the company doesn’t honor his vision and constantly ask themselves what would Jobs do, then the whole company is going to fall apart.”

Ahmed Naguib, a political science sophomore, believes Apple will be fine: “Steve placed Apple on the right track, and he left behind a team of people who’ve worked with him enough to keep the brand the same as if his touch is still there. He became the face of the brand because whenever someone mentions Apple computers, the two main things that pop in your mind are the company’s logo and Steve Jobs.”

Mohamed Al-Bousaily, a mechanical engineering junior whose first Apple product was an iPod in the early 2000s, met Jobs during training for an Apple job in San Diego, California. He also does not think that Jobs’ death will affect the company’s success.

“I was just watching CNN and I saw that they are interviewing in Africa while using an iPad. Everyone (will) soon will have an Apple (product) in their lives,” he explains.

He can’t live without his MacBook and iPod. Why? “Try an Apple product, and you’ll see,” Al-Bousaily says.

Naguib elaborates more on the Apple’s uniqueness: “The user experience and the looks (of the products make it difficult to) beat Apple. No other company managed to produce something, from my own point of view, that could stand in front of Apple.”

There are mixed feelings regarding the public reaction towards Jobs’ death.

Ahmed Abo El Enain, an undeclared sophomore, tweeted, “Y’all make me feel like the iPhone cured cancer; it’s just a phone. God bless the man but I don’t see why the world’s so touched over him.”

Omar Kassem, an electronics engineering senior, said, “Sure, he’s one of the more influential people in the world. I mean he did come up with new interface for computers. He’s been very creative, very innovational in the world, and I think the world will be different without him.”

Abou-Gamrah said, “Jobs’ death really is a tragic loss. This is a man who built himself from the ground-up. His story is remarkable!”

Naguib continued, “You are looking at a guy who was abandoned by his natural parents, dropped out of college, got fired from his own company, worked at Pixar when it was very small and he managed to get it where it is at now, and got back to Apple when it was about to fail and brought it to where it’s at today. You cannot help but look at what he accomplished in awe.”

As it were, Jobs offered advice to those interested in following in his footsteps. Al-Bousaily recalls what Jobs told him and his colleagues back in California: “Do not try to be Steve Jobs. Try to be yourself, and you’ll be better than me.”