Monday, June 23, 2008

Syrians Amazed at Obama's Nomination

I like hearing about the view of the US from around the world.

Stories like this inspire and move me - from a Huffington Post blogger, Derek Shearer, a post entitled Waiting for Obama - The First Global Election:
In Syria, for example, students at the elite public policy school at Damascus University were fascinated to learn that Obama's middle name is Hussein, and that his mother's second husband was a Muslim who took young Barack to live for years in Indonesia. These young Syrians seemed amazed that the United States which many in the region see as the Great Satan would actually nominate such a person to be president -- and the thought that he might be the next president of the US was almost beyond belief. Of course, I got the not unexpected questions about whether Obama too would would be under the thumb of the Jewish lobby -- but overall, a sense of hope and optimism seemed to prevail.

He goes on to describe encounters in South American, Bolivia and Peru. And Shearer finishes with this:
I have no idea if my public diplomacy -- I also spoke last year in Kazakhstan, Chile and New Zealand, and I go to Australia his fall -- is having much impact, but my message is always clear and simple: I come in peace and bring fraternal greetings from progressive Americans. Barack Obama seems to embody this message, and to carry with him in the upcoming presidential contest the hopes not only of Americans, but of citizens in almost every country of the world. It is a heavy responsibility, and not to be taken lightly. If Obama can prevail, and can govern with strength, compassion and political wisdom, then he might turn out to be the first truly global president.

The whole world will be watching.

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