Obama & the Arab World


So Mitt took off the gloves ...musing on the hopelessness of Middle East Peace. But while the U.S. Republican Presidential candidate is dismissive, the balloon of Hope his Democratic opponent floated just three years ago before an enthusiastic crowd in Cairo is losing air. Today, as the anger smoulders on the streets of so many Arab nations, we're assessing Obama's progress or lack thereof in the Arab world.

Obama & the Arab World - Panel

Three years ago U.S. President Barack Obama stepped onto the stage at the University of Cairo and promise to re-make his country's relationship with the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The speech was meant to repair a damaged relationship ... and for a time there seemed to be a lot of goodwill. But a U.S. made film that offended many Muslims seemed to unleash hidden furies. U.S. Embassies and Consulates throughout the Middle east were besieged.

With their thoughts on the state of the Arab-American relationship, and what President Obama has accomplished, or not accomplished since he came to office, we were joined by three people.

Mohamed Abdelfattah is an Egyptian journalist who played a key role in covering the protests that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. He was in Cairo.

Edward Gnehm is a former U.S. diplomat who served at least 15 years in the Middle East, including as ambassador to Kuwait and Jordan and a former Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Personnel for the Department of State.

And Amal Mudalalli is a senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

This segment was produced by The Current's Hassan Santur, Pacinthe Mattar and Gord Westmacott.

Last Word - Pauline Marois on Bilingualism

A big day in Quebec City today -- Pauline Marois will be sworn-in as the new provincial premier. It's one of the few portfolios she hasn't filled during her thirty years with the PQ. Ms. Marois promises to strengthen the language bill, Bill 101, and extend its reach to small businesses.

Four years ago she visited The Current's studio, where we had the chance to speak with her. Language was, no surprise, a part of our conversation. Pauline Marois gets the Last Word today, explaining two different types of bilingualism... personal versus institutional bilingualism.

Other segments from today's show:

Three Parent In-vitro Fertilization

Jane Goodall on Environmental Ethics

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