Barack Obama: President Elect of the United States “The Power of their Example [Archives:2008/1208/Opinion]”
It is indeed with great honor that this observer must concede to the greatness of the American people, not so much because they are the great power that they possess, but because they have shown that they can correct the course that their misguided leaders have taken them. In the most difficult of times, Mr. Barack Obama comes to the forefront, to indeed take his country to the prominence it deserves and to fully confirm that the United States is indeed a shining hope of opportunity for all people who strive diligently to reach the limits that their intellects can take them. That does not happen so easily, nor does it come by luck. On the contrary, it takes a number of elements to come together at one particular slate of time to move the synergies that are needed for the time to be seized.
The election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States could not have come at a better time, not just for the United States, but for the world at large as well. One should not expect miracles to arise because of this remarkable rise to the most powerful office in the world by a not so long ago unknown young man, who had faith in his own ability, faith in the ability of his fellow men to bring about the change that his country needed after some of its leaders have failed to steer it properly, or rather actually misguided its course and with that brought on so much unneeded havoc in a world that has so much challenge to confront. What Barack Obama will bring to the United States is the inspiration that will energize the American people to harness their energy to get their economy back on a sound footing and to get their leadership position in its proper context.
This observer recalls the time that he spent in the United States, when the country also underwent a remarkable transition and it was a transition that was triggered by the youth of the country. It was a transition also powered by an unwanted war, where American young men were sent out to a war that really was out of their league and one of its casualties was one of the aspirants to the office that that destiny has allocated for Mr. Obama. It was indeed a tumultuous period when the civil rights movement was going full throttle and many of its advocates were either shot dead by loonies or by a mysterious conspiracy that sought to stop progress. It was the time when two great black Americans gave their lives for the cause of liberating their people from 400 years of slavery, oppression and injustice, not to mention the ungodly bigotry and unforgivable hatred that is symbolized by the separate bathrooms for different colored people, segregated schools, and other ugly signs of the apartheid that discolored the image that the founders of the United States intended for their newly established regime born after independence from the British Crown. Yes, it is not easy to forget the cold blooded murder of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malik El-Shabbat (Malcolm X), both of whom sought in their own way the liberation of their brethren. We, as Moslems can relate to the latter in that he has elected to embrace our faith, because he found in Islam the brotherhood that can heal the animosity that can be embedded in men's hearts. He was denied the chance to prove to the world the remarkable brotherhood he found in the Islam he embraced after rejecting the misconceptions of his former teacher Elijah Mohammed, who had corrupted the teachings of Islam and proclaimed himself a prophet.
It is amazing also to note that Barack Obama is a religious hybrid and that could be of paramount significance in heeling some of the rift that has arisen between Christians and Moslems, which is partially the result of our own doing and the doings of those, who still hold a strong Crusader mentality that Islam is not a Divinely inspired religion and thus should be looked upon with disdain.
For now we will congratulate the United States on a great achievement and congratulate Barack Obama for reaching for the maximum of his intellect and proving that indeed, yes he can.
Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.