Obama popularity falls in Arab world

Posted by Ben Smith on July 13, 2011

President Obama, whose standing abroad helped earn him a Nobel Peace Prize in his first year in office, has declined in popularity in the Arab world since his Cairo speech in the summer of 2009. From an American Arab Institute poll conducted by Zogby International:

"With the 2008 election of Barack Obama, favorable attitudes toward the U.S. more than doubled in many Arab countries. But in the two years since his famous “Cairo speech,” ratings for both the U.S. and the President have spiraled downwards. The president is seen overwhelmingly as failing to meet the expectations set during...

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US more unpopular in the Arab world than under Bush

Posted by Glenn Greenwald on July 13, 2011

I've written numerous times over the last year about rapidly worsening perceptions of the U.S. in the Muslim world, including a Pew poll from April finding that Egyptians view the U.S. more unfavorably now than they did during the Bush presidency.  A new poll released today of six Arab nations -- Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco -- contains even worse news on this front:

The hope that the Arab world had not long ago put in the United States and President Obama has all but evaporated.

Two and a half years...

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James Zogby: US Popularity in Arab Nations Plummets Under Obama

Posted by David A. Patten on July 12, 2011

Arab approval of the United States in the Middle East has plummeted so drastically that it now is lower than it was during the presidency of George W. Bush, according to a startling new survey. The poll of over 4,000 citizens in six Arab nations -- Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- shows the favorability rating of the United States dropping precipitously in four of them. U.S. favorability has increased by 2 points in Lebanon and 17 points in Saudi Arabia since the Bush era. But those were the only nations...

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Could Obama lose Arab-American voters over Israel?

Posted by on June 07, 2011

There's been a lot of media coverage in recent weeks looking at whether President Obama will lose American Jewish support because of his policies on Israel-Palestine, particularly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's contentious visit to the U.S.But a question that is rarely if ever asked is whether Obama could lose Arab-American support over his Mideast policy. One poll last year suggests that this community -- which has a significant presence in a few key presidential states like Michigan and overwhelmingly supported Obama in 2008 -- is unhappy with the president's handling of the Mideast conflict.As of 2009, there were 1.5...

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Zogby and Salem: Broun’s words ‘troublesome’

Posted by Jim Zogby and George Salem on June 01, 2011

On May 25, Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal." Citing a personal experience at a Transportation Security Administration airport screening checkpoint, Broun said he couldn't understand why a "guy in Arabian dress" was not patted down during a security screening, while "a grandma" and "a little kid" were patted down.Broun's comments come despite his attendance at a 2010 hearing, convened by then-House Homeland Security Committee Chairwoman Jane Harman, D-Calif., where former FBI agent Michael German testified that profiling is "counterproductive." German identified several security inadequacies actually caused by racial...

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Barack Obama’s speech: no Cairo 2.0

Posted by James Zogby on May 19, 2011

President Obama has often used great speeches to define critical issues. Given the historical setting – dramatic changes taking place across the Arab world, the killing of Bin Laden, and the floundering Arab-Israeli peace process coming up against the September deadline the president once suggested for the establishment of a Palestinian state – the White House saw this as the appropriate time for another "great speech".

For an American audience, it was an important speech. The president's analysis of the Arab spring was thoughtful and challenging, as was his resolve to "reset" relations with the...

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What if an Arab-American ran for president?

Posted by on May 12, 2011

There's been a lot of talk in the past few years about Barack Obama's unusual-sounding -- to Western ears -- name. It turns out one of the possible GOP presidential contenders, Mitch Daniels, might well have been named Mitch Esau -- if the "Daniels" had not been tacked on to his Syrian grandfather's name at Ellis Island.

It was at an Arab American Institute award ceremony earlier this month that Daniels told the story of Elias Esau Daniels' arrival in America as a "penniless and illiterate" 21-year-old from Syria in 1905. Daniels' Syrian background was not previously well known, so...

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Ruppersberger views bin Laden photos

Posted by John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun on May 12, 2011

WASHINGTON—— Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger viewed a half-dozen photographs of Osama bin Laden's body Thursday and said the images prove definitively that the al-Qaida leader is dead.

The Baltimore County lawmaker, the top-ranking Democrat of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, was among the first lawmakers to view the pictures at the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Va. His reaction was more muted than those of some of his colleagues, who described the photographs as gruesome.

The White House...

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Daniels to receive Arab American award

Posted by Associated Press on May 10, 2011

An Arab heritage organization is honoring Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for his work in the public sector.The Arab American Institute will present Daniels with the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service during their 13th annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala in May.The group says in a news release that the award is also in recognition of Daniels' pride in his ethnic heritage. The governor's paternal grandparents are from northern Syria.Daniels says he's grateful the institute thought of him, and the award reminds him of the opportunity that his penniless, illiterate grandparents had found in America.Daniels' spokeswoman says the...

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Arab Americans After Death of bin Laden

Posted by C-SPAN on May 08, 2011

James Zogby talked about the reaction in the Arab-American community to the killing of Osama bin Laden and its aftermath. Topics included Arab-American views on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, U.S. policy toward Libya and Pakistan, and the year's upheaval throughout the Arab world. He talked about changes in Arab-American civic life and political attitudes. Mr. Zogby is the author of Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why it Matters (Palgrave Macmillan). He responded to telephone calls and electronic mail. The program concluded with a video clip of a spoof of Osama bin Laden on C-SPAN.

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