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Obamania in Cairo

Christine Sedky's picture

Some were excited, some were told not to stand on their balconies, and many were even given the day off of work. Cab drivers were saying it was a great day…Why? Because although many presidents have come to Egypt (mostly to Sharm El Sheikh, a resort on the Red Sea) this was the first time for a US President to come to Cairo. It was a big deal, with roads being paved and cleaned in the days leading up to US President Obama coming to Cairo. It was also one of the emptiest days on the streets.

H*, one of the tentmakers I work closely with, said, I wish he was coming this way and I could greet [US President] Obama; I would make him a flag as a gift with his name on it (sewn through traditional tentmaker traditions).  Everyone that I encountered seemed to be excited at the coming of President Obama, and also with his speech. Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab world, so it seemed fitting that the president would deliver his first critical speech to the region. It was inspirational, touching and he seemed to continue to bring people together as he quoted from the 3 Abrahamic religions that have a history in Egypt: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. He was definitely successful at touching the hearts of Egyptians. As always, it was an interesting day in Cairo…