January 22nd, 2009
06:10 PM ET

Messages to Obama

CNN's Octavia Nasr looks at how President Obama is putting the Middle East high on his agenda.
CNN's Octavia Nasr looks at how President Obama is putting the Middle East high on his agenda.

Octavia Nasr
Arab Affairs Editor

Luqman Yaghan is a young Jordanian student with a simple message to President Barack Obama.. and a question. In a taped message posted on YouTube, he says, “60 years ago in America, the mere thought of having an African American president was a forbidden dream.

Then, year 2008 came along and this dream became true… 60 years ago in Palestine, the mere thought of a Palestinian child in Gaza to have a normal life, just a normal life, no bullets, no blood and no bombs, just a normal life, became a forbidden dream. So, when will our dream come true?”

Luqman is one of many young Jordanians on a mission. He’s taking part in a campaign where young Jordanians tape messages for President Obama and post them on line. They ask the US President to focus his attention on Gaza and help the children there.

Their campaign doesn't get into the politics of the 21-day Israeli incursion into Gaza or the Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.. They do however acknowledge the US's support for Israel..

Jordanian girls also had messages for President Obama. In one of them, Layan Halawani goes straight to the point: "Mr. President, Obama, because you are the president of the biggest and strongest country of the world and because you live in peace in your country, so, give people and children in Palestine a chance to live in peace."

A confident young Talal Nabulsi challenged President Obama.. "You say your country is Great?" he asked.. “Then prove it with actions,” he continued.

Now these young Jordanians wait. Confident they will get a reply whether in the form of words or action.

Filed under: Global 360° • Islam • Octavia Nasr • President Barack Obama
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Well Octavia all I can say is that we are a great nation and a compassionate and kind people (most of us that is) but we have had some pretty bad leadership over the last eight years. That has now changed and we have our new President has begun to reach out to the world once again. Remember, however, that we have some very serious problems we have to take care of right here as a result of teh bad leadership we have had over teh last eight years.

    Please be patient and you will see the America of your dreams return. You WILL be able to live in peace and prosperity but this will take a bit of time. A lot of damge has been done by G W Bush and it will take time to fix it all but rest assured that the damage IS being fixed.

    January 23, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  2. xtina, chicago IL

    My proposal is to send those 'Gitmo' prisoners back to their countries of birth. We, as American taxpayers won't have to pay for their room and board, their courtroom trials. Another proposal would be to put them to work re-building American roads and bridges. If liberal Democrats think the Gitmo detainees are such great guys, let's give them jobs and support them and give them all the benefits and privileges of any American taxpayer.

    January 22, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  3. GretaCunningham

    There are so many people who are in trouble. First of all close the gambling casino's Second the lottery tickets at 1 of 2 dollars each
    if the winnings get up to the multi millions worth distribute that amount amoung more winners. like recently 30 million went to one winner if 30 winners were picked and shared the 30 million more taxes would go to the government and more people would be out there spending money. Please think about the possibilties.

    January 22, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  4. sylvia

    To practice bottom up economics – give the people what they want more tax cuts and tax write offs – what ever happened to writing off the high interest rates that we now enjoy – what?

    January 22, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  5. john tesar

    Dear Mr. President,
    Please don't close Guantánamo entirely. I would be great to have a place to send Rush Limbaugh.
    Wishing you the best,

    January 22, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  6. carey

    Send the Gitmo prisoners to the last island on the Aleutian Chain in Alaska. Give them enough food and bedding to last a week and then say "Good Luck".

    January 22, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  7. Mike, Greenville NC

    As rude as it sounds, why is it the U.S. (in this case, tax payers supporting government decisions) responsibility to make peace for these people? We can't even bail our own asses out, and we are in over our heads with debt from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Baghdad. It is not our priority, the economy should be so get off our backs.

    January 22, 2009 at 8:51 pm |
  8. Annie Kate

    Hopefully the US can help the Israel and the Palestinians come to a livable compromise for both sides so those children can live in peace in Gaza and in Israel without fear of bombs, bullets, etc. I don't think we need to send troops anywhere else; we have enough of our own messes to clean up without getting involved in every war on the globe.

    January 22, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  9. Kathleen

    Maybe they should tape a message to their own government to stop hiding weapons in schools and mosques. Then maybe they can live in peace.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  10. John

    He sure doesn’t waste any time, does he? Only two days after his inauguration, President Obama made good on at least one of his campaign promises – namely, his promise to ban torture. But that wasn’t enough for our 44th president. He also closed the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison that has been at the centre of the torture controversy.

    Obviously, this move was a long time coming. Holding prisoners in some off-shore hole, away from the preying eyes of the public, reeks of autocratic secrecy. Clearly, Gitmo has always functioned as a sort of defacto POW camp. Stories abound about the sort of “interrogation” techniques routinely employed by personnel, including waterboarding, starvation, and sleep deprivation. Obviously, this is conduct unbecoming the supposed bastion for freedom in the world.

    For more check out: http://TalkObama.blogspot.com

    January 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm |