Friday, June 5, 2009

Obama Egypt Speech: Historic, Direct, Courageous and yet...

I read a transcript of President Obama's historic speech in Cairo, Egypt and was deeply impressed by how directly he tackled the complex issues in the Middle East such as terrorism, Israel/Palestine, and deeply rooted fear and mistrust between the Christan, Jewish and Muslim communities.

It was refreshing to hear such respect given to the religion of Islam by an American president.

It was inspiring to think that we have a president who can perhaps be the bridge to actually bring about some peace in the region.

It was surprising that President Obama was so direct and honest when discussing so openly and honestly what concessions both sides will have to make in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

It was humbling to think of the courage it took for President Obama to stand up there and deliver such a landmark speech.

And it was disappointing that President Obama gave such short shrift to women's rights. Relegated to the bottom of the list of issues President Obama discussed so eloquently, fully and honestly, the brief amount of time given to womens' rights was half-spent on reassuring the crowd that it was OK for women to hide their hair, a third spent making sure it was clear that Islam was not being singled out, and a few words were spoken on the importance of education for women...and that was basically it. What about the brutal abuses of women that take place in some areas? What about the oppression of women being brought back by the Taliban in Afghanistan where women are not allowed to learn or work outside the home? What about the brutal punishment built into law in some regions? Why, in a speech that otherwise so directly confronted other issues, did President Obama choose to gloss over this one?

Read the speech. The rest of it is amazing, but I can't help but be disappointed. Obama Egypt Speech: VIDEO, Full Text

Posted using ShareThis

1 comment:

ElisaC said...

Good for you, not so good for women :(