Know Hope

Obama has had something of a media coup in the Middle Eastern/Muslim press, especially Iran:

A headline from state-run Iran Daily declares, "Obama to Get Mideast Talks Back on Track," while, according to Saudi English-language outlet Arab News, Obama's trip "evokes hope for the future" in Saudis. A sub-head in Pakistani newspaper Dawn declares that Obama looks to revive peace talks "while a US confrontation steadily builds with Israel." Both Iran Daily and the Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency ran stories on Obama's discussions of Iranian nuclear-energy ambitions--both of them posing Obama favorably.

Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV highlighted Israeli criticism of Obama and played up the souring of relations under Bush. Obama has the chance "be marked as an ally of Muslims, not an adversary as his predecessor was cast," according to an editorial in Qatari English-language daily The Peninsula. The English-language Yemen Post reported that Obama's trip has "kindled hope," though Muslims want to see tangible policy changes. In an op-ed in The Jordan Times, former Jordanian Minister of Culture Faisal Al Rfouh writes Obama's visit "could hold the key" to the basic issues of Israeli/Palestinian peace and Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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