In December 2008, the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington solicited commentaries about the election of President Obama from a small number of Arab intellectuals and analysts. The commentaries revealed a complex picture. On the one hand, they showed great enthusiasm about Obama personally and about the fact that Americans had elected as president a member of a minority group that has only enjoyed full rights for a few decades. On the other hand, the commentaries revealed continued, deep skepticism that even the new, admired president would have the capacity to address successfully the burning issues of the region, above all the Palestinian–Israeli conflict. The commentaries also underlined profound differences in the ways issues are perceived in the United States and in the Arab world.
All commentaries are written by well known, respected intellectuals and researchers. And while the responsibility for each commentary ultimately is the author’s alone, we believe that they all denote views and approaches that are widespread in the region and thus deserve attention.
We have decided to publish all the commentaries that were submitted to us, regardless of the authors’ political and ideological inclinations. All commentaries are written by well known, respected intellectuals and researchers. And while the responsibility for each commentary ultimately is the author’s alone, we believe that they all denote views and approaches that are widespread in the region and thus deserve attention.
The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.
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