NAIROBI – US President Barack Obama’s aunt has been buried in at the Sunni Muslim cemetery in Kisumu in her home country of Kenya after her death last month in Boston.
"We have buried the late Zeitun Onyango in accordance with the regulations of Islam," Sheikh Musa Ismail, a Muslim scholar who led the funeral prayers, told Anadolu Agency at the Sunni Muslim cemetery in the port city of Kisumu on Wednesday, May 7.
Onyango, half-sister of Obama's father, died aged 61 from cancer and respiratory problems, according to her family.
Obama called Onyango "Auntie Zeituni" in his memoir, "Dreams from My Father", where he wrote about having met her in Kenya in 1998.
She was granted asylum in the United States in 2010 after years fighting legal battles against deportation back to Kenya.
Passing away last month at a Boston rehabilitation center recently, her body was returned to Kenya on Tuesday to be buried in a few hours after washing and wrapping it according to Islamic traditions.
"We had to find the body a resting place as soon as possible, as it has been weeks since she died," Sheikh Ismail said.
Her mother, Obama's step-grandmother Sarah Obama, known as "Mama Sarah", paid her last respects, but did not accompany the body to the graveside.
Onyango has left behind three sons and a daughter; Faisal, Hussein, Shabbir Abdi and Rukia Mboya.
"All we want to do now is lay our mother in peace and Alhamdulillah [thank God] we're grateful that we have done that," he told AA.
Obama, who describes himself as a proud follower of the Trinity United Church of Christ, is the son of a Muslim-turned-atheist Kenyan father and a white American mother who did not practice religion.
Born in Hawaii, he lived from ages 6 to 10 in Indonesia with his mother and Muslim stepfather.
Obama made a reference to his Kenyan Muslim relatives in a keynote speech before the Turkish parliament.
"Many other Americans have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country – I know, because I am one of them."
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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