Obama and Sister to Share a Town
Obama and Sister to Share a Town
By RACHEL L. SWARNS
WASHINGTON — The far-flung Obama clan is coming closer together. President Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, is moving her family here from Hawaii and will spend the next several months living in the nation’s capital, White House officials say.
The extended stay means that the siblings will live in the same city, at least for a while, for the first time in years.
Ms. Soetoro-Ng, who has given up her job as a high school teacher in Hawaii, has a book contract and a new baby. Her husband, Konrad Ng, a professor at the University of Hawaii, will become the scholar-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Program here next month.
Museum officials say Mr. Ng will stay in Washington through December, when he will return with his family to Hawaii. There, he will complete his yearlong term as resident scholar. The family is not expected to move into the White House, though they are very close to the Obamas.
“Maya made many trips to Chicago and elsewhere throughout the campaign, and she and her brother have a great relationship,” said Alan S. King, a lawyer in Chicago who is a friend of Mr. Obama.
Mr. King said he believed that the president would be “very happy to have Maya and her family close by.”
Katie McCormick Lelyveld, a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama, said Ms. Soetoro-Ng was unavailable for comment on Thursday.
In a recent interview, Ms. Soetoro-Ng, 38, described the first lady as a “big sister” figure in her life. And Ms. Soetoro-Ng, who campaigned on Mr. Obama’s behalf before the presidential election, has often spoken warmly about her relationship with her older brother, which she says has remained strong even though they have often lived far apart.
The siblings, who share the same mother, Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro, spent several years together in Indonesia and in Hawaii before Ms. Dunham decided to return to Indonesia with Ms. Soetoro-Ng while Mr. Obama remained in Hawaii with his grandparents. (Ms. Soetoro-Ng’s father was Indonesian; Mr. Obama’s father was Kenyan.)
Still, Ms. Soetoro-Ng has said, they always stayed connected.
Growing up, she said, Mr. Obama introduced her to music, literature and new neighborhoods. He helped her decide which dates she should keep and which she should ditch. He spoke at her wedding and helped her grieve when her father died.
As adults, they often celebrated Christmas in Hawaii, playing Scrabble — Mr. Obama trounced her in an intense match the month before the Iowa caucuses — and savoring time with their families.
And after their mother died of ovarian cancer in 1995, they stood together near the water’s edge in Hawaii and scattered her ashes in the Pacific.
“He’s someone who really enlarged my perspective,” Ms. Soetoro-Ng told the Canadian television network CTV in November.
“He took me to colleges around the country to help me make a good decision about where to go to school,” she said. “He took me with him to go work in the South Side of Chicago and to help communities and to do voter registration and showed me that it was important to be active and to be an activist.”
Since the presidential election, Ms. Soetoro-Ng has spoken at several universities in California, emphasizing the role that educators can play in promoting diversity and conflict resolution.
In April, she landed a contract from Candlewick Press of Cambridge, Mass., to write a children’s book, “Ladder to the Moon,” that is inspired by her mother and her 4-year-old daughter, Suhaila. She is also working on a book about peace education and conflict resolution in high schools.
School officials at La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls, where Ms. Soetoro-Ng taught history, said she left her job when her contract ended at the end of the school year. And she has already spent some time here this summer.
In June, she served on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, which selects talented young people to spend a year working for senior White House staff members and other officials.
That's true 很多人不屑我的態度
I don't give a fuck about 人家說什麼
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