MENA: Reactions to Obama's Inauguration

Today marked an historic moment in United States history as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President.  While Arab support of Obama has been waning over the past few months following the selection of his cabinet and his silence over Israel's attacks on Gaza, across the Middle East and North Africa bloggers still have plenty to say.

A Syrian in London shares a timeline of the past few weeks of Israel's attacks, then remarks:

Not since Kennedy, and some say not never, has an American President has had such attention with such high hopes, from around the world resting on his shoulders. In his inauguration speech, President Obama said:

“we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord”

“we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.”

“we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals”

Dare we grieve the dead?

Dare we hope for the living?

Jar of Juice, a blogger based in Dubai, felt that Obama's speech was a bit lacking:

While I think Obama’s speech was brilliant – he did not flinch when he said “Muslims” but was trying hard to sound genuine when he “thanked” the imbecile of whom we do not speak of after today – I think there was a crucial element missing in this event…

…but I guess Obama won’t lower himself to acknowledge that fool more than the diplomatic gesture in his speech.

Moroccan blogger Laila Lalami, who is a US resident and admits to voting for Obama, is slightly more hopeful, and glad Obama's day has come:

I’m glad that day has come.

Eight years ago, I voted for Ralph Nader because I thought there really wasn’t much of a difference between Democrats and Republicans on the major issues. But after the debacle in Florida, the Supreme Court decision, and the abysmal presidency that followed, I learned a simple lesson: Not all politicians are equal. There are some who are so talentless, so impervious to common sense, so lacking in simple compassion that they make a mockery of the office. I suppose I’m too cynical now to expect vast differences in government policy but I am still fired up about this particular change, about Barack Obama, and about the departure of George W. Bush.

Moroccan Obama fans are still actively campaigning for President Obama to give his first foreign speech in Rabat.


  • It was a historic day indeed with the inauguration of Barack Obama and now Obama will have to sit down and to tackle the problems facing the United States of America. The economy, oil, jobs and two wars will all be Obama’s focal points during his historic first 90 days in office. The changing of the guard will hopefully equal a end to the crisis.

  • […] See more here:  Global Voices Online » MENA: Reactions to Obama’s Inauguration […]

  • […] the rest of the world, the eyes of the Caribbean were on Washington, DC yesterday, as Barack Hussein Obama […]

  • Manus

    Well it is official now after his interview with Al-Arabia, his new name is: Barack Shlomo Obama, as now I really understand why he had an easy ride during the elections and a relatively campaign free scrutiny by the American MEDIA. This comment for me was the clincher “Ultimately, we cannot tell either the Israelis or the Palestinians what’s best for them. They’re going to have to make some decisions,” Right, asking the Israeli good will to relinquish Biblical Israel. His comments were in other words articulating the US future stance in the Middle East in general and Palestine in particular. Obama wants to Keep the “status-Quo” and it is business as usual. Israel has the Obama benediction to continue with exactly what they have being doing so far.

  • George

    I would encourage those in Syria to be for the Jewish nation since they have Gods grants given to them over the land given to them. It was promised to them through Abrahams promised seed Isaac in the Holy Scriptures.Ishmael was also promised land of ten nations.Should not then the Arabs claim the ten nations promised them and not the land of Israel including Jerusulum. And the promised Messiah that was promised to Moses,that Prophet that all men are to hear,The Lord Jesus Christ. And now God commandeth all men everywhere to repent of our sins against him and trust the Messiah as our Saviour and only true God.He lived a sinless life,and died a cruel death on a cross outside of Jerusulem for the sins of the whole world including Arabs,Jews,and Gentiles since they all are sinners and come short of the glory of God.He was buried,and rose from the dead and was seen of men and went back up to Heaven.Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,and thy house.(Acts16:31). From the Authorized King James Holy Bible of 1611,the preserved word of God in English.

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