Candidate Barack Obama promised that if elected he would speak to the Muslim world from a major Islamic capitol, to try to mend the breach between the United States and many Muslims.
Today in Cairo, President Obama delivered on that promise. He spoke at length to the Muslim world. He greeted the crowd in Cairo with the goodwill of the American people, he said, and a greeting of peace in Arabic — assalaamu alaykum.
In the hall in Egypt, he got a standing ovation. What about outside?
This hour, On Point: President Obama’s Cairo speech, and reaction from the Muslim world.
Joining us from Cairo is Margaret Talev, White House correspondent for McClatchy newspapers.
Also with us from Cairo is Ibrahim El-Houdaiby, an Islamic activist and advisor for the English-language website of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Joining us from Baghdad is Anthony Shadid, Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for The Washington Post and author of “Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War” (2005). He wrote this week about how much President Obama has to overcome as he addresses Muslims in his Cairo speech.
From Dubai, we’re joined by Dawood Al-Shirian, editor-in-chief of alarabiya.net, the website for the Arabic-language global satellite channel Al Arabiya, and columnist for Al-Hayat, a major international Arabic paper.
And from Washington, we’re joined by Hisham Melhem, Washington Bureau Chief for the Dubai-based Al Arabiya News Channel. He conducted the first formal interview with President Obama, on January 26, 2009, a week after his inauguration.