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Barack Obama's re-election reverberates far beyond US borders — so much so that citizens of some distant nations, like Pakistan and Turkey, say they too should have been able to vote. To give them a voice, GlobalPost interviewed people around the world for their views on the United States and who they hoped would win the election.

US Election Global Survey 2012_10_05
(Kyle Kim/GlobalPost)
Egypt

US Election: What if Egypt could vote?

'Until now, Obama hasn’t done anything for the Middle East. All of it is talk.'

 

CAIRO, Egypt — As part of GlobalPost's project to interview 100 people in 20 locations around the world about the 2012 US election, we asked Egpytians:

Who do you want to win the 2012 US election?

Will the election affect your country?

How has your view of the US changed since President Obama took office?

What should the next US president do?

 

  • Country: Egypt
  • Name: Ahmed Hassan
  • Occupation:  Owner of a dry-cleaning business
  • Age: 56
  • I would vote for: Undecided
My vote: "Until now, Obama hasn’t done anything for the Middle East. All of it is talk. I would vote for someone who would benefit the Middle East. I don’t know the other candidate, but I know Obama has done nothing."

The election's impact: "There will be no effect, and the relations between the two countries will stay the same. We want to establish democracy here now, that is what is different. But I don’t see a big change happening either way."

My view: "It stayed the same, it is average. Obama is a man of peace, we know this. And the words he has are honest, unlike Bush."

Top priority: "He should serve the world for peace. No more wars, from America or anyone. And he should help the Palestinians. He should relieve the Palestinians of the occupation and their bad situation."
  • Country: Egypt
  • Name: Korollos Ashraf
  • Occupation: Business student
  • Age: 20
  • I would vote for: Obama

My vote: "I would vote for Obama. Because he killed Osama bin Laden and because he withdrew the American army from Iraq."

The election's impact: "The United States is the world’s superpower. And no matter what, it has an affect on all countries, including Egypt. I don’t know how it [the election] will affect Egypt because we have a new government, and so there are new relationships. But we will wait and see."

My view: "It has Improved. Obama is a much better president than Bush.

Top Priority: "He should make peace."
  • Country: Egypt
  • Name: Subhi Saber Hassan
  • Occupation: Retired
  • Age: 54
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "I would vote for Obama. He is close to us in the Arab world. He is the only one that tried to discover and understand what is happening in the Arab nations."

The election's impact: "It will be the same system for anyone who is in power in Egypt. [Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi is taking over from the old regime, but there are still many similarities. Morsi is trying to get support from other big countries, but he will never lose the United States. He is a decent guy, and I don’t think the American president should worry about him."

My view: "Of course it is better. For a year or two, the relations were better. Obama was a young president and we had faith with him. He is good in foreign relations and did not cause trouble. I believe during the revolution, he put pressure on the regime to give the power back to the nation. If it wasn’t for Obama, the old regime would have stayed. And I don’t think of him as an elite. He is a normal person, an average person. He is not dictatorial." 

Top priority: "He should have good relations with everybody, and focus on what is happening in the world, not just in America. In the United States, he should focus on jobs for the youth. He did not do this in his first term, but I think he will do better. If the other candidate wins, he will cause more problems than we’ve ever seen." 
  • Country: Egypt
  • Name: Burhaniddin Mohamed
  • Occupation: Waiter
  • Age: 29
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "If Obama is running again, I would vote for him. Why not? He is the only one that spoke of the Egyptian people, that treat people with respect. When he came to Cairo [in 2009], he had the mentality of a person who interacts with the normal people, and he respected us. He respects Muslims."

The election's impact: "It’s possible the election will affect us, but I don’t know how. We all know that American politics affects the entire world in one way or another. But I can’t say how it might affect Egypt."

My view: "From the beginning, when Obama came to Egypt, my image of the United States improved from when Bush was president. But now, because of the revolutions in Egypt and in other Arab countries, I don’t think America has as much influence as it used to."

Top priority: "To promote peace in the world."
  • Country: Egypt
  • Name: Anne Raouf
  • Occupation: Business owner
  • Age: 33
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "Not pleased at all with Obama's performance over the last 4 years. Particularly unfulfilled campaign promises. And I actually think Romney, if not for his intense religious background, would be a suitable candidate. But he's a little too candy-cane, and as a staunch Democratic supporter, I'd vote Obama."

The election's impact: "I don't believe the US should be focusing on foreign policy at this time; its an election year. I do believe that the wheels of motion are, however, set to operate in the direction which is most pro-US whichever candidate wins the presidency. But it will be interesting to watch Mitt Romney interact with the Middle East. Mormons are not allowed to proselytize in Egypt so, not hospitable for him perhaps. On the other hand Mormons are conservative, like Muslims, so there is a bridge to the gap. I do fear though that Romney's Christian Conservative agenda can harm the perception of the US as Bush's presidency did."

My view: "I love Obama. As do most people around the world, I believe. He is a testament to why the US is a great country. He is half black, half white, half Muslim, half Christian. A true testament to the multi-culturalism that is so unique to the US and makes it an admirable place for many people – whether or not we like their foreign policies."

Top priority: "Win over the American people!! Also, the new president must maintain neutrality in the face of changes here in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world. America sells arms. That's what they do. Perhaps the US should focus their attentions elsewhere than the region to avoid possible frictions and to allow for the democratic processes to take shape. The idea that the middle east will become a playground for sectarian strife has not been far from my mind for sometime, ever since the Arab Spring and the pro-Brotherhood governments in Tunis and Egypt and Libya, and especially with the ongoing tumult in the Gulf region and Syria.  "

GlobalPost series: See what the world thinks about election 2012

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/120925/us-election-what-if-egypt-could-vote