-Staff Writer-

(FinalCall.com) – President Obama’s quest for “Change We Can Believe In” has left many in the Arab world disappointed and disgusted, according to a poll of 4,000 people conducted by the Arab American Institute (AAI) in six Arab nations.

“This poll reaffirms what we’ve been saying,” said AAI President James Zogby. “Americans looked to Obama for change in 2008. The expectations were high, and we haven’t delivered. It seems that one thing that Americans and Arabs agree on is that the U.S. needs to make changes here at home before looking to build on changes abroad.”

Many around the world were inspired with hope when President Obama was elected.


“The entire Muslim World, including the Arab World, was overwhelmed with joy upon the election of Barack Hussein Obama as president of the United States. People celebrated and danced to see a Black man becoming the leader of the most powerful country in the history of mankind,” Ali Baghdadi, an Arab journalist told The Final Call. The poll was released July 13.

“They felt that Obama is one of them. His father was a Muslim from Kenya. His stepfather is also a Muslim from Indonesia.He was raised in a Muslim home.He spent his early childhood in a Muslim country and among Muslim people.Certainly, he knew firsthand about the atrocities the U.S. government committed against people of color and the great damage she inflicted to their economies.”

“What the majority of Muslim people didn’t realize is the fact that Mr. Obama was actually selected and then elected by the real powers that control Washington, and when they speak the U.S. president listens,” he added. “These powers needed a new face that is capable of deceiving Muslim nations and improving the image of the United States, which waged criminal and illegal wars against Muslims on behalf of Israel as well as big business.”

In five out of the six countries surveyed, the U.S. was viewed less favorably than Turkey, China, France–or Iran. The countries surveyed viewed “U.S. interference in the Arab world” as the greatest obstacle to peace and stability in the Middle East, second only to the continued Palestinian occupation.

“When the Arab world saw how President Obama handled Israel and how Prime Minister Netanyahu lectured him at the White House, they were disgusted. Even though many don’t agree with (Libya leader Muammar) Gadhafi they watch President Obama sanction the bombing of Libya and allowed NATO to kill their citizens. They’ve turned sour on our president,” said Akbar Muhammad, international representative of the Nation of Islam.

“His popularity is declining among his supporters right here at home too,” he noted.

According to the poll: In most countries President Obama’s ratings are lower at 10 percent than at the end of the Bush administration and lower than Iran’s favorable ratings (except in Saudi Arabia). President Obama’s performance ratings are lowest on the two issues to which he has devoted the most energy: Palestine and engagement with the Muslim world.

“President Obama has proved to be very pro-Zionist. His actions are proving to be very inconsistent. Look at how he’s handling Syria. He’s using the conflict to the U.S.’s advantage. He’s disappointing and shocking to the progressive forces in the Arab world,” said Dr. Ghada Hashem Talhami, the D.K. Person professor of politics at Lakeforest College.

The poll found that the U.S. role in establishing a no-fly zone over Libya received a positive rating only in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, but, as an issue, it had the lowest priority. The killing of Al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden only worsened attitudes toward the U.S.