Friday, June 5, 2009

Do you know who was President Obama talking to in Egypt?


      assalaamu alaykum ( peace be Upon you) is how president Obama speech started. a greetings of peace in a region that for long has been and is a region of many conflicts from the Palestine-Israeli conflict to the Darfur crisis. President Obama speech was broadcasted in many channels, it was debated in many online social network sites, it was broadcasted live through the Internet, and it was even send to cell phone users by SMS in four different languages to all of the world. I guess after all we truly live in a ubiquitous world. President Obama speech was magnificent, it was inspiring, uplifting and above all it was for a new start.

     To whom was President Obama directing his speech to? Was this speech to the middle east only, and last but not least, What were the reactions of Arabs in the Middle East toward his speech? I will try to answer these questions but first let's understand the environment of which this speech was giving at. President Obama message to the Middle East wasn't just about peace and democracy in the Middle East . It was more like starting a new chapter between the between the US and the Middle East,i was more like starting a new page and in that speech president Obama stated common grounds that all people from any religion who are in the middle east can understand and related to . his speech was for a fresh start and a new beginning. he pointed out many issues that have been for long tackled and debated in the hearts and minds of people in the middle east and today he opens a dialogue to help and promote new ideas to fix these issue and debate them.I did notice that most of the issues that President Obama was lecturing  on was targeting the youth of the Middle East, the young generation that is growing with new ideas of democracy, development and the mutual understanding between the East and  the West. In a sense president Obama speech was not only directed to the Middle East it was also directed to the Muslim world. Pointing out issues such as extremism, Palestinian Israeli conflict, democracy, and women right to education are all common shared issues founded in the Muslim world. I really was amazed at his knowledge of the Holy Koran when he pointed out this in his speech

“They have killed in many countries. They have killed people of different faiths - more than any other, they have killed Muslims. Their actions are irreconcilable with the rights of human beings, the progress of nations, and with Islam. The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism - it is an important part of promoting peace.” President Obama 

"The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few," President Obama said. "Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism, it is an important part of promoting peace." President Obama said.

I as a Middle Eastern and as Muslim person know that the issue of extremism does not only encompasses the Middle East but it also expands outward to many parts of the Muslim world I also believe that Islam does not preach extremism but there are some people who believe in violence and they don't represent Islam nor does Islam need to be represented by them. i don't agree with the concepts that the end justify the means nor do i agree that violence solves conflicts.I believe President Obama's message for the youth of the Middle East and the Muslim world to know that we are with you, that together we can combat ignorance, prejudice, poverty and most of all hatreds toward one another.

i underlined what i am going to talk about in the next paragraph.

“Finally, the Arab States must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities. The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems. Instead, it must be a cause for action to help the Palestinian people develop the institutions that will sustain their state; to recognize Israel's legitimacy; and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past.”President Obama

Way to go on this one president Obama, i always say that we need to not blame other for our shortcoming, to not look outward for our mistakes.we need not to blame the world for our short coming, we need to blame ourselves and only in that we can stop blaming the world and start getting in control of our world, our own development and most of all ending the seemingly everlasting conflict that raging all around us. looking inward for solutions to our problems and outward for way to mitigate them.we need to not look at problems that are crucial for our development such as improvement of standards of education,human right violation and violent extremism. most of all the straight to accepts constructive criticism even if it is towards a nation’s core system.

As to the final question that I have stated in the beginning of this post, there have been lots of comments and news interviews about president Obama speech, some of them were optimistic and some of the pessimistic and some of them leaned to the aspect of let’s-wait-and-see what will happen in the upcoming days, months or even years of his presidency. And of course they are those who just want action and by doing so they withhold any comment for the time being. And then I need to not forget the extremist who did not believe anything of what he said,O well that the Middle East.

I would like to end this post with a wise and a wonderful joke that I have read in one of THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN New York Times Op-Ed Columnist titled Obama On Obama. I have quoted the joke of his article and here it is.

“There is this very pious Jew named Goldberg who always dreamed of winning the lottery. Every Sabbath, he’d go to synagogue and pray: “God, I have been such a pious Jew all my life. What would be so bad if I won the lottery?” But the lottery would come and Goldberg wouldn’t win. Week after week, Goldberg would pray to win the lottery, but the lottery would come and Goldberg wouldn’t win. Finally, one Sabbath, Goldberg wails to the heavens and says: “God, I have been so pious for so long, what do I have to do to win the lottery?”

And the heavens parted and the voice of God came down: “Goldberg, give me a chance! Buy a ticket!””

From Obama On Obama article by the Famous THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

I highly recommend reading this article Obama on Obama by THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. After reading it I hope to ask you a question, are you willing to buy the ticket, are you will to give him President Obama a chance.

Finally, I would like to thank you very much for reading this blog post and hope to see some of your comments and thoughts about this post, the speech, or anything you wish to point out. Please feel free to do so and please don't forget to till me if you are going to buy the ticket.


Side Note: Issues Addressed  by President Obama in Egypt.

  1. violent extremism in all of its forms.
  2. the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.
  3. The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons.
  4. democracy.
  5. religious freedom.
  6. women's rights.
  7. economic development and opportunity

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At June 7, 2009 at 8:13 AM , Anonymous sabrina said...

I thought he did a great job, too. I'm still reading through a lot of the analysis. Hopefully this will be the start of something new.

At June 7, 2009 at 8:47 AM , Blogger SudanGuardian said...

Hi, Sabrina, first of all thank you for your comment. about the speech i thought too, but i hope that for all the middle eastern people out there who thing that this speech was just word without action, i hope they soon realize that this is for real and it is not just words. for a new beginning in the middle east we all have to sacrifices to some extent for a peaceful process and understand each other deferences. but after all it is not going to be an easy ride.

by the way nice blog you have over there, i did enjoy reading some posts

At June 9, 2009 at 3:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a ticket and I am still waiting. Anyway, I found the speech to be like many of his other speeches, full of the right words and encouraging. But for someone who was not a target of the talk (I am a non Muslim from the Caribbean)I am also full of hope that the new direction in American policy would be matched by tangible acts like closing Guantanamo Bay and a freeze on settlements in the West Bank. Only then I think, would attitudes to the US begin to change.


At June 9, 2009 at 12:23 PM , Blogger SudanGuardian said...

Hi Jason, i do agree with you but i think that the Arab and the Muslim world has to push more effort from there side to make this peace agreement, it is not he or they or us,it is we,everyone working together. i am sure and fully confident that there are many people from both side who want peace in the region and are welling to talk for peace it just a matter of time and effort from both sides.

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