LOVE/HATE

Arab Blogosphere Reacts to Obama

All hail—or hate—the American president! The post-speech wraps on Obama's historic visit to Cairo have hit every note in the geopolitical and opinion-making spectrum, from speechwriters' raves to political thinkers' pans. NYT blog The Lede joins the fray with a novel approach: commentary from the Arab blogosphere, including Middle Easterners' chat room responses during the State Department's global livestream of the president's speech. Naturally, the comments shows impressive range—"WE WANT OBAMA TO RULE EGYPT" to "I need to study Hypocrisology in DC. They r good at it."—but most telling were the unexpected moments of outrage. A visiting professor at UC Berkeley who blogs under the name "Angry Arab" criticized Obama for praising King Abdullah's "wisdom": "What is next? Will he praise the public beheadings in the kingdom as example of ideal justice?" Several bloggers accused Obama of patronizing them: "I was offended by his lecturing to Muslims about Jewish suffering: as if the audience is entirely anti-Semitic. There are anti-Semites in the US and he does not lecture them."