Friday, October 09, 2009
Initial reaction in the Arab world - among leaders and the public at large - has been overwhelmingly positive to the news that President Obama is the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
In Cairo, many were startled by the development, with some commenting that Mr. Obama had only been in office for under a year, and that it was "unusual for such a young president" to win the peace prize.
Former Egyptian Foreign Minister and Arab League Secretary-General Esmet Abdel Meguid, who was involved in Middle East peace talks for many years, said that Mr. Obama's award appears to be a positive development for peace in the region.
"I want to say that we feel that Obama has achieved a lot for his country and for the world and he deserves what has been granted to him. It is a positive move that would lead to more understanding and relations between the United States and other countries, including Egypt. So, I feel that this is a good occasion to build on that for the future," he said.
In Lebanon, which has known long periods of instability in recent years, Paul Haidostian, who is the president of Haigazian University, believes that Mr. Obama's Nobel is a step in the right direction and is a positive omen for the future....(Remainder.)