I don’t know about you, but to me, June equates to being outside. Weddings,..
|Men watch U.S. President Barack Obama give his speech at a cafe in Cairo, Egypt|
In this Cairo café, the men are glued to the TV.
But they’re not watching a nail-biting soccer match. They’re mesmerized by President Obama’s address to the Muslim world, taking place in their home town.
SALAH MANSOUR, CAFE MANAGER: “If he talks to us from his heart, he will reach our heart.”
Reaching the hearts and minds of more than one billion Muslims was Mr. Obama’s mission.
Obama gave his much anticipated speech to the Middle East today, or as he puts it, to the “Muslim World.” While people will debate the particulars for days to come, I think his main goal seems to have been to set a new tone in America’s relations with the Islamic world — to the extent that such a thing exists (so many different countries, cultures, and issues.)
His overarching goal was to speak over the heads of leaders to people in the Middle East and change their attitudes toward America, to defuse tensions with his personal goodwill, and showcasing his personal ties and understanding of Islam. A good bit of the speech was dedicated to showing respect and appreciation for the religion and civilization.
President Barack Obama speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office building on Friday. He travels to Egypt next month. **FILE PHOTO*
Even days after Barack Obama’s speech, Egyptians are still captivated by the American president. While some Islamists and opposition figures are dissecting and criticizing the address, many Muslims are waiting to see what the future holds, and if Obama will implement his vision into action. The general feeling is that people’s hearts were won over by Obama’s rhetoric and flair.
The emotional connection between Arabs, in general, and Egyptians, in particular, with the United States has been a pull-and-push relationship over the last 60 years. The administration of George W. Bush culminated in years of ill will, forcing many Arabs to at least pretend to despise the world’s most powerful country. So how did Obama’s 55-minute speech succeed in nearly wiping away