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.
Islamists and the West: Time for a Common Vision?
Ahmed Yousef, Deputy Foreign Minister, Gaza
Drivers of U.S.–Syrian Relations Under the Obama Administration
Yassin Al-Haj Saleh
The Case for a Collective Security Organization in the Gulf
Mohammed Jabber Al-Ansari, Arab Gulf University
U.S.-Algerian Security Cooperation and the War on Terror
Mhand Berkouk, University of Algiers
The Tunisian Elite and U.S. “Democratic Reform Policy”
The United States, Morocco, and the Western Sahara Dispute
Abdel-Rahim Al-Manar Slimi, Mohammed V. University
Bilateral and Regional Issues in U.S.–Egyptian Relations
Hassan Abou Taleb, vice president, Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies
U.S. Aid to Egypt: The Current Situation and Future Prospects
Ahmad Al-Sayed El-Naggar, Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies
The present set of commentaries seeks to explore further Arab views about specific issues that affect their relations with the United States. This time we posed different questions to commentators coming from different countries. Once again, the commentaries reveal startling differences in perception between the United States and people in the region on many issues.
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.