News Columns & Blogs

Obama speech could be empowering, disturbing

There is plenty of skepticism about President Obama’s speech today at Cairo University. But columnist and best-selling author Thomas Friedman said not to underestimate the potential long-term positive impact of Obama's visit. "When young Arabs and Muslims see an American president who looks like them, has a name like theirs, has Muslims in his family and comes into their world and speaks the truth, it will be empowering and disturbing at the same time," Friedman wrote. "People will be asking: 'Why is this guy who looks like everyone on the street here the head of the free world and we can't even touch freedom?'"