Barack Obama doesn’t even seem to be able to keep the Arab world happy. According to a recent poll by the Washington-based Arab American Institute, Obama’s popularity has been diminishing greatly. His favorable ratings in the Arab world stand at only 10% or less, contrasting greatly with the ratings he received after his election in 2008. At that time, favorable attitudes towards him more than doubled in many Arab countries.
Obama’s Ratings Down
Obama has worked hard to garner support in the Arab world, most notably with his speech in Cairo in June of 2009. As part of the recent poll, however, people were asked if Obama has met the goals he set out in that speech. Only 11% of Moroccans feel that he has, while 4% of Egyptians, 1% of Lebanese, 6% of Jordanians, 10% of Saudi Arabians and 28% of citizens in the United Arab Emirates agree.
Had High Hopes
Prior to his speech in 2009, the Arab world had much higher hopes for Obama’s vision. The greatest obstacle for peaces and stability in the region, according to the answers in this poll were “U.S. interference in the Arab world.”In Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, the people felt that the U.S. role in creating a no-fly zone over Libya was positive, while the rest of the Arab world saw it as negative. The majority of respondents said that it was too early to know whether the Arab Spring would positively impact the area.