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Who is Auma Obama? The sister of the former president is attacked with tear gas in protests in Kenya

Top line

Auma Obama, a Kenyan activist and half-sister of former President Barack Obama, spoke through tears and struggled to breathe during an interview with CNN on Tuesday after she was attacked with tear gas during a protest in the country that ultimately left her dead. of more than a dozen people.

Key facts

Auma Obama told CNN that he had attended the protest in his home country, Kenya, to support young protesters in Nairobi who spoke out against a plan to raise taxes for millions of people amid high inflation and a already high cost of living (the bill was later withdrawn). ).

Obama, the daughter of Barack Obama Sr. and his first wife, Grace Kezia, was born in Kenya a year before her famous half-brother was born in Hawaii (the former president’s mother was Barack Obama Sr.’s second wife, Ann Dunham).

She grew up in Kenya with an older brother and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees while on scholarships at universities in Germany.

It wasn’t until the 1980s, when she was in her twenties, that she met Barack Obama, the Financial Times reported; He later attended his inauguration for both the Senate and the presidency and the former president met his sister while on a visit to Kenya in 2015.

Before returning to Kenya with her then young daughter to serve as Care International’s East Africa Coordinator in 2007, she worked as a journalist, lecturer and political consultant in Germany and the United Kingdom.

Auma Obama founded the Sauti Kuu Foundation, also called the Auma Obama Foundation, in 2010, which helps disadvantaged children and their families connect with local resources that address education and vocational training with the goal of enabling them to “lead financially self-sufficient and self-sufficient.” sustain lives.”

The foundation’s Sauti Kuu Act Now Awards honor people between the ages of 12 and 25 who have dedicated a portion of their lives to social, humanitarian and environmental projects.

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Tangent

Auma Obama has been a member or board member of nearly a dozen humanitarian organizations in addition to her own. He has been a member of the World Future Council, a group that works to disseminate effective environmental policies and ideas, since 2014. He is a member of the governing council of the Kilimanjaro Initiative in Nairobi, a group that works to enable disadvantaged youth to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and is a sponsor of the Storymoja International Festivals in Kenya, a five-day literacy festival that promotes storytelling and works to promote reading and writing in Africa. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Stiftung Lesen, or German Reading Foundation, another literacy promotion program, and is a member of the advisory board of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies at the University of Bayreuth, its soul mater in Germany.

crucial quote

“He cares. He communicated,” Obama tweeted about his half-brother after he was tear-gassed Tuesday.

Surprising fact

Obama competed on “Let’s Dance,” the German equivalent of “Dancing with the Stars,” and came in fifth place.

Key background

Protests broke out in Kenya’s parliament on Tuesday as citizens demanded that lawmakers vote against a bill that would have imposed new taxes on the country, which is experiencing a cost-of-living crisis. Protesters forced parliamentarians to flee after burning part of the government building and 13 protesters died, the BBC reported. Kenyan President William Ruto called for military reinforcements to quell the protests, calling the events a “betrayal” before vowing to end the unrest “at any cost.” The bill was withdrawn from consideration on Wednesday, CNN reported. Before the protests, lawmakers had modified the unpopular measure and abandoned some of the most controversial proposals, such as a 16% sales tax on bread and a 25% tax on cooking oil, but other provisions remained, including a plan to tax used goods. build and equip specialized hospitals and increase import taxes from 2.5% to 3%.

Other readings

cnnBarack Obama’s sister speaks to CNN after being tear-gassed during a protest in Nairobi | cnnbbcProtests against Kenya’s finance bill: 13 dead in NairobibbcWhat are Kenya’s controversial tax proposals?

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