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Wonderful Obama - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Democrat Barack Hussein Obama won a second term in office following a frantic and competitive presidential election. Barack Obama won amidst a turbulent economic climate with a high unemployment rate, but there are signs that America has begun a slow exit from its severe economic crisis. On the other hand the Republican Party, ever since the era of George W. Bush and the neo-conservatives, has faltered and has become increasingly distant from the people, whose identities and dynamics are changing radically.

The structure of American society is changing dramatically because of various minorities, races, religions and their respective rights. The Republican Party has failed to take note of all this, and therefore it has become outdated and isolated from America’s political mobility, as shown by the election results. Yet these results pose a new test for President Barack Obama, for he has been re-elected and is now out from under the pressure of his party or other forces. Theoretically he should be able to apply the policies that he promised but has so far failed to achieve: peace between Israel and the Palestinians, putting an end to Bashar al-Assad’s massacres against the Syrian people, applying the missile defense program in Eastern Europe, providing cheap energy for the Americans through excavating oil and gas from areas where drilling was previously prohibited, addressing unemployment concerns, and finally altering the commercial balance with China. All these issues are hot topics that need unequivocal and decisive action. The world will be watching Obama to see what the man will do, especially as his first presidential election four years ago was met with great hope across the whole world, and everyone enthusiastically responded to his message that anything is possible.

There is a lesson to be learned from the re-election of Barack Obama for a second presidential term in the world’s strongest superpower. He is an ordinary man; the son of a Kenyan Muslim immigrant who went on to study at two of America’s most prestigious universities, Colombia and then Harvard. Finally, of course, Obama became the first African-American President. It is a story of a dream come true; a dream that challenged what was once thought impossible. Some societies are still immersed in racist and discriminatory divisions, whereas others are striving to become more cohesive and treat all members as equal.

Some societies are stuck in the mud of ignorance and racist discrimination, whilst others consider rights and equality to be the foundations upon which citizenship and strong communities are built. The US fought a full-scale civil war that tore the country apart, and it has since had to radically confront the nightmare of discrimination and racism. In this endeavor, the US has created systems, laws and regulations to face such a destructive cancer, effectively punishing those who seek to advance it. As a result, American society (despite being the most diverse in the world) has gradually become more homogeneous, yet the US is still trying to develop itself and improve the climate of social equality by consolidating rights and protecting all its members.

The story of Barack Hussein Obama is a true one, and therefore is stronger than any novel or movie scene, simply because it is real.

“The Audacity of Hope” is the title of a wonderful book written by Barack Obama himself. The title effectively summarizes its theme, namely that having the audacity to work in a climate of hope will certainly produce positive news and outcomes in the future. The US has one again amazed the world with a story of achieving the impossible, and we can only watch Obama’s victory scenes with astonishment, wonder and admiration. In fact, I was eating manakish [savory pastries] in a restaurant on the morning of the US election results, and I watched all the waiters and workers attentively gazing at the television screen when Obama’s victory was announced. One worker could not hold back his tears and simply said “wonderful”, a word that sums up the whole situation.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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