Thursday, June 04, 2009

Obama's Cairo University Speech

Andrew Sullivan carries the entire text of Obama's speech at Cairo University. Many goose-bump inducing parts, including this one:
So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.

I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. No single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have all the complex questions that brought us to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly the things we hold in our hearts, and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground.
The speech is most definitely worth a read and worth sharing with our children.

Video below from YouTube:

14 comments:

Sands said...

such an inspirational & motivational speaker. I am more impressed with him each time I hear him speak!!

Kavi said...

It was indeed an awesome speech ! I was so impressed !

And inspired too.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I'm sorry, Sujatha...I don't have time to read this now...I'm sure it is excellent like all of your posts...I'll have to stop by later! My love to you and your family~ Janine XO

lakeviewer said...

Thanks, it's nice to have the text and the link. I watched the speech live, and was pleased as punch by the points he made.

Asheesh said...

Mr. Obama does emply some great speech writers and he has a penchant for delivery that very few are gifted with, but does that alone make him a great leader I don't know. His speeches no more inspire me, I am yet to see something good come out of his presidency.

On this topic, it is all well and good, what he has said how much of it will translate into actions remains to be seen, especially wrt Israel, will he take on the irch (if not powerful) Jewish lobby?
Disillusioned...

sujata said...

Such an inspirational speech!! great to have you back Sujatha. What a great post.

Sylvia K said...

I feel the same way as others who have commented here. He is an inspiration! It was an awesome speech and I have more hope, feel more excitement about my country than I have in many, many years. Great post, Sujatha!

And thank you so much for your very kind comment this morning on my blog. It is much appreciated.
Have a lovely weekend!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'm hearing bits and pieces throughout the day. I so hope it can begin a process that moves up forward in a good and productive manner.

Julie

P.S. In regard to my post, I don't know what makes people stay in the same place/profession generation after generation. Perhaps "tradition" or complacency, or the parochial nature of knowing nothing else. Interesting idea to consider. Thanks for commenting. Sorry to use up your space here.

Praba said...

Heard the whole thing while making dinner... finally a President that makes his points clear - reaches out to the world and a foreign policy that makes sense. The underlying reason behind why so many of us supported him right from the start...So happy and relieved he delivered the right message in the very first year...even if everything else doesnt work out...this speech is good enough reason to support him again!! It was awesome! :-)

Goosebumpy it was indeed, like you mentioned...I told the exact thing to R! :-)

Sriram said...

wow. a great speech. wonderfully delivered. i hope this marks a new beginning in west-east relationship.

Thank you.

Debbie said...

That is a wonderful speech. Very inspiring.

karmickids said...

Reading the transcript gave me goosebumps...havent dared to watch the video yet.

srinidhi said...

I have to agree with Ashish. I supported Obama all through the way and still admire the guy.
But, it appears that the next 4 years will be all rhetoric & no actions. He seems to be trying to do too much, with no focus on any particular issue.

Sujatha said...

Asheesh and Srinidi, he's had four months and he came in at a bad time for this country. I would give him more time than that before dismissing him as nothing but a speechmaker. The reason I put up this speech is because I appreciate the approach he takes to issues - one that says, yes we are different, but we need to work together to find common ground. The same with the abortion issue. A lot of commentators have called his approach pragmatic and I would agree. First we assess where we are and accept it and then work to move forward. It's new, it's different. We've got to do our part, whatever we can and need to, give it time to see if it works. If not, there's always the next election.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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