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GlobalPost correspondents living in the Muslim world watched the speech with locals — when they could find locals watching, and in many places they couldn't. Here are links to their reports and some excerpts:
"He started with 'aslamalaykum,'" the traditional Islamic greeting, a young man with a thick mustache told me. "And he quoted from the Koran ... . These are good things," he said with a shy smile.
“Obama has the intention to build goodwill with Muslims worldwide. But so far he is just an actor. This is just a spectacle," said Dian Teja, 25, watching the speech at a cafe in Jakarta, Indonesia. "The dialogue is good. But if the policy doesn’t change, nothing will change.”
“I'm not interested in what he has to say,” said Muhammad Yafiruddin, a student at Jamia Millia Islamic University in Delhi. “He's just another oil- and war-hungry American. He's only doing this to keep America's interests safe. His Muslim identity is only a disguise.”
“There’s something different about Barack Obama,” said Ahmed Said Alagha, 26, a Gazan studying in Morocco. “In his first months as president, he’s talking about Israel and Palestine. Before, American presidents start their terms by talking about the situation inside of the U.S.”
"Everything America does is important — it holds Iraq in its hands," said Ali Ghazi, 48, in Baghdad.
“He’s the first black president and he’s of Muslim origin so he’s knowledgeable about Islam. His words were excellent about the two-state solution,” said restaurant manager Ahmed Saed. “If he said the right things, Israel will get angry.”
“I loved it when he said the Americans would withdraw from Iraq in 2012,” said Nasir Shamad, 25, in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan. “That means it’s possible they will leave Afghanistan as well.”
“America likes to talk to the world and Obama is good at that. He said these beautiful things. But what we care about are actions, not words,” said Imran Ullah, a 32-year-old Pakistani construction worker.
“Today we saw Obama enter the mosque with respect,” said Jamal Hussein, a retired cop watching the speech at a cafe. “This gives us a push to enter the church with respect also.”
“Certain Senegalese who saw the speech would have been seduced by the verses Obama delivered, the fact that he talked about Islam and its grandeur,” said Mouhamadou Barro, of the Muslim Student Association of Senegal. “But there are plenty of people who don’t even know Obama is in Egypt."
“The people of Israel has no need to be worried. This government has something to be worried about,” said Eli Fouda, professor of Islamic studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “Obama gave a lot of legitimacy to the Palestinians and was against the settlements, not just the outposts. Can this government draw that line?”
Vigorous head nodding was elicited by a reference to headscarves, an emotionally charged issue in Turkey.
Previously “Al-Qaeda set the terms,” said Middle East expert Dr. Rachel Bronson, vice president of programs and studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “Obama is setting up a different conversation. It does what we all said was necessary: It empowers moderates. It makes anti-Americanism less easy. That will reverberate."
Obama "really opened a path and an important step to dialogue between the religions," said Simane Nadour, the communications director of the main mosque in Paris.