June 4th, 2009
05:02 PM ET

Obama draws questions, praise from Muslims

Palestinians in East Jerusalam watch President Obama's speech at an electronics shop.

Palestinians in East Jerusalam watch President Obama's speech at an electronics shop.


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.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360°
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. debinaz

    i sure hope after this speech and since he wants to close gitmo, maybe they will take back their terrorists......we dont want that scum here in the united states.....one thing, he didnt appologize that much this time....but he is clearly a man without any sort of a backbone.....he makes the united states look weak as he bankrupts us....i dont know why anyone would want to run a country that he clearly hates, well maybe to run it into the ground!

    June 4, 2009 at 9:11 pm |
  2. Aren Foster Trinidad And Tobago

    Different messenger but smart rhetoric! But when you really analyze it you realize it was a lot of talk without substance. im a fan of obama and he is sincere but the us foreign policy isn't. The real problem which dis stabilizes the region is Israel and i was hoping for him to address like a pitbul and denounce Israel actions. He strayed off topic and the real problem and provoker in the region

    June 4, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  3. Wilmar N. Tognazzini

    Hillary: "Whoops, Mr. President, my lapel flag is hidden, what shall I do?"
    Mr. President: "Say nothing now. I'll have Public Law 94-344 Sec.2 (a) changed when we get home permitting our VP to make such goofs!" Quiet!

    June 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  4. Wilmar N. Tognazzini

    "Hillary: You're hiding your flag pin. Put in on the other lapel!"

    June 4, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
  5. Ibrahim

    At 50 years of age, I should be beyond tears, but they came today. President Obama's speech, plain in words, was pregnant with ideas of hope, reconciliation, and balance. It was also well balanced the perspective of Muslims against the usual distorted media views that most Americans embrace.

    Of all of his speeches, the one in Egypt ranks at the top. Americans, and indeed the various peoples of this planet, are blessed by his leadership, intelligence, and integrity.

    June 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    If Reza thought it was a good speech then Obama must have really scored big with his speech. I hope he has some planned actions to go with it so we can walk the walk as well as talk it. Extending the hand of friendship will do a lot more good than starting wars, especially wars we cannot finish.

    June 4, 2009 at 6:56 pm |

    Obama is only showing weakness when he goes to our enemies and apologizes for American people and calling them arrogant and racist like Eric Holder did. I believe if we had another hostage crisis like in 1979 when Jimmy Carter let terrorist hold Ameicans Hostage for 444 days. If that was to happen now, the outcome would be the same, Since I believe Obama is a Muslim, he shoul know better to try and win the hearts and minds of muslims. It is a historic fact that you can't have talks, concessions or negotiations with muslims. It would be like talking to a brick wall

    June 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  8. Sam

    So far so good. What we need now as Americans is to have some positive attitude towards what the president is trying to do. We can't undo the past, we have to focus on the future. I definately do not want to experience another sept 11 and I am sure we can avoid it. You critics, please look at life from a positive point of view for a change and stop the hate. We are all skeptical but the effort made should be celebrated as a win for our own good. Only prayer and a positive mindset will bring us more of what we want.

    June 4, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  9. Franklin

    President Obama made an analogy that seems to have gone under the main stream media's radar. The analogy raises this question, is Palestine to Israel what Blacks were to the South's Jim Crow laws?

    President Obama argued that Palestine should model their resistance after the African American Civil Rights and Non-violent movement. While his larger point was that justice sought with innocent bloodshed and violence only creates more injustice and deepens the conflict I wonder if there may be a subtle gesture toward the Palestinian government as having a similar moral high-ground that Blacks had during the civil rights movement.

    Is the President suggesting that but for Palestinians use of violence they are more akin to oppressed Blacks during and before the 1960's? If the Palestinians were to use the media to stage dramatic disparity between unarmed men, women and children against militarized Israelis would the world opinion move in support of Palestinians?

    June 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  10. Mari

    Good, perhaps we can begin to win over the hearts and minds of the Muslim people, and they will SEE that the hateful rhetoric from terrorists are a pack of lies!

    And for all those who will criticize our president, you should read Matthew 5:44. And review the Beatitudes, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."

    Peace........ Shalom....... Salam........ Paz!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm |