In Session anchor
President Obama made a historic speech today in the Middle East. Speaking in Cairo to dignitaries, state officials and university students, Obama sought to reframe the relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim world. Barack Obama is the right messenger to bring a new image of America to the Middle East. He spoke of his Kenyan father’s Muslim faith; he spoke of his childhood in Indonesia; and — unlike here at home — there, in the Middle East he freely used his middle name: Hussein.
They seem to like his style. But what were the sum and substance of his remarks? For those in the Middle East, it is clear. He seeks to rebuild bridges. For us here at home, however, the message is slightly and subtly different. For us, it is to change our mindset; to stop thinking of the Arab world as our enemy and Muslim values as antithetical to our own.
The Los Angeles Times
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Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tour the Sultan Hassan Mosque in Cairo, June 4, 2009.
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It was magical inside the great hall of Cairo University, said Emad el-Din Adib, one of the Middle East's famous media personalities.
He was one of the 3,000 people invited to listen to President Obama's speech in person. Adib told an Egyptian TV show, "President Obama's charisma is unquestionable, but it's the substance and depth of his speech that made the hall roar."
Away from the hall, on social networking web sites the reaction was more diverse.
Mina al-Oraibi, a columnist with the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat, said: "Obama mentioned the word peace 29 times and never mentioned terrorism."
She called his choices "smart" and concludes that peace is clearly "his priority." This makes him "the radicals' worst nightmare" she said.
A very excited anchorwoman on Egypt TV told her guests and viewers that she counted 30 applause breaks during Obama's discourse.
She boasted as soon as the speech was over: "They were genuine cheers to a very good speech."
Her guests agreed that the speech was well crafted, clear and "honest" especially on the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
At one point, a man in audience shouted, "We love you" to Obama. The search is on to confirm the man's identity and to see which point got the hardest applause during the speech.
Major Arab networks carried Obama's address to the Muslim the world live with simultaneous translation.
Dubai-based Al-Arabiya channel showed people gathered to watch on location from major Arab capitals gauging reaction from Beirut, Baghdad and Riyadh.
But perhaps the best reaction came from ordinary Arabs and Muslims plugged to their social media and expressing in real time how they feel about the message and its messenger.
On Tuesday, President Obama embarked on his second international trip, which included a major speech today in Cairo, Egypt. He will also commemorate the anniversary of the D-Day landings in France. Go here to check out the interactive map and learn more about his five-day tour.
Zainab Salbi shared her views earlier today on CNN Newsroom about how Obama's speech spoke to Muslim women's issues. She is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, an organization that promotes opportunities for women around the world. See her tonight on AC360º at 10 p.m. ET.
on CNN Newroom
It was a good balance between respect of Muslim women, particularly observant women who do believe that their head scarf is part of their Islamic duty, and between addressing and pushing that that should not contradict and indeed it does not contradict with Islamic values of women’s access to education and economic and political rights.
The balance between the two, I would say, calmed the Muslim population at large where it’s often defensive in terms of woman’s issues and pushed them in the meantime of saying you can do more and you cannot build your countries without full inclusion of women and girls.
You do have a very high illiteracy rate in the Muslim world. You have only 55% of Muslim women who are literate and this is very, very actually dangerous statistic. So, him pushing on the literacy issue and on employment. 40 women out of 100 men only work in the Muslim world at large. That’s actually, these are very critical issues that he pushed in it and it was right on and not expected.
Editor's Note: President Barack Obama delivered a much-anticipated “speech to the Muslim world” on Thursday in Cairo during a whirlwind overseas visit to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Europe.
A new national poll suggests only one in five Americans has a favorable view of Muslim countries, and most believe people in Muslim countries have similar feelings toward America.
What do you think of Obama's message? Are you concerned about the way Muslims have been portrayed in recent years? Is the Muslim religion at odds with American values or democracy?
Are you concerned about the way Muslims have been portrayed in recent years? Is the Muslim religion at odds with American values or democracy?