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Arab Bloggers Size Up Obama

Barack Obama’s election in the United States has fired imaginations around the globe, perhaps nowhere more than in the Middle East, where people wonder how the future president’s approach to the Arab world will differ from that of his predecessor.

For the moment, Arabs are mainly excited about Mr. Obama’s victory, and have much good will toward him and the country that chose him. But Middle Easterners are more skeptical than anyone else about American politicians and their intentions, and already it seems Mr. Obama is no exception. His speech during the primaries to Aipac, the powerful pro-Israel lobby group, did little to assuage fears that America will continue to support Israel unconditionally. And there remains a more general anxiety that, like previous American presidents, Mr. Obama will somehow let the people of the Middle East down.

To provide a sense of what Middle Easterners are thinking about the American election, here are excerpts, translated by me where necessary, of blog postings from the day after Mr. Obama’s victory.

— JOSIE DELAP, an editor for Economist.com

Tamem, Egypt (tamem.wordpress.com)

The victory of Barack Hussein Obama that we, along with the rest of the world, are witnessing today is another historic moment, not just for America but for the whole world by virtue of America’s huge influence, whether we like it or not. Personally I, like others, doubted Americans’ ability to overcome racism, but in electing “Abu Hussein,” they created a historic moment by accepting the first black president to govern not just America but the white West as a whole. With this, they removed all such doubts and the impossible dream of Martin Luther King became possible.

(translated from the Arabic)

Syrian Dream, Syria (syriandream.com)

The world arose today to welcome Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States, and Africa danced with joy.

The whole world is optimistic about what he offers but doubts remain about him, a great question mark.

What will Syria’s fate be under him? Will he give the green light to bombing us?

(translated from the Arabic)

The Damascene Blog, Syria (damasceneblog.com)

Dare we hope that the eight-year nightmare is over?

 

Egyptian Chronicles, Egypt (egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com)

The Egyptian people are glad that Obama won despite their previous knowledge of his bias to Israel, and his V.P. is a Zionist. But still they are happy because they can’t stand the Republicans anymore.

Good for the Americans.

Esra’a, Bahrain (mideastyouth.com)

I can honestly say that we can finally wave goodbye to the overwhelming anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry that we have suffered with for the past eight years under the Bush administration. We can expect less wars, less corruption, less political abuse. It won’t be perfect, but it will get better. I am so happy and proud of all the Americans who worked extremely hard for Obama, understanding fully well the importance of change in every sense of the word. This moment is not just historical but crucial to us here in the Middle East.

This is a win for all of us, not just America.

This is a win for civil rights and justice.

For all the pessimists out there, allow us to enjoy this moment. If you learned anything from this campaign, you would learn that it starts with hope — not cynicism. And hope is what I have right now, for America and the Middle East.

We can do it, and this time, we can be sure that we can do it together.

I haven’t said this in a really long time, but I am loving America right now.

The Black Iris, Jordan (black-iris.com)

 

Congratulations are in order to the American people and the Obama fan base.

So begins a new chapter in American history, to say nothing of world history.

Fingers crossed that it’ll be a positive one, especially for this region.

The Skeptic, Egypt (elijahzarwan.net/blog)

A new day dawned in Cairo today. As it does every day.

And it started as it always does: with birds, schoolchildren and car horns. No national holiday here.

I’m looking forward to going out in the streets to hear the reaction. The best reaction I’ve heard so far: “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.”

Bah humbug. I confess I’m moved.

Mashrabeya, Egypt (mashrabeya.blogspot.com)

Only time would tell if Obama is real, or just too good to be true!

Sometimes, it is not enough to have a Big Dream. What matters is to have enough strength to resist the pressures to give up a Big Dream!

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دسته‌بندی شده در: Islamic countries, Middle East

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