Obama Disappoints Key Egyptian Activist

Excerpt from USG Open Source Center translation of remarks reported in the pan-Arab daily, al-Sharq al-Awsat [The Middle East] of Egyptian democracy activist Asma Mahfouz on her disappointment in President Obama’s speech. Mahfouz’s video calling for the Jan. 25 demonstration in Tahrir Square went viral and contributed to its success.

‘ Report by Abd-al-Sattar Hutaytah, Muhammad Sha`ban, Muhammad Abd-al-Ra’uf, and Walid Abd-al-Rahman in Cairo: “Obama’s Speech”
Al-Sharq al-Awsat Online
Friday, May 20, 2011 …
Document Type: OSC Translated Text …

‘On her part, political activist Asma Mahfuz, one of the leaders of the 25 January revolution, expressed anger at Obama’s speech. She told Al-Sharq al-Awsat: “I do not understand the reason for Obama’s talk in which he glorified the Arab revolutions since his administration and the previous US Administrations have supported the dictatorship regimes in the Middle East throughout the past years, and we heard this talk in Obama’s speech in Cairo.”

Mahfuz added: “We say to Obama: Play another trick. We believe that this speech has come to break Israel’s isolation and to support it after its feeling of a full siege. Obama has repeated more than once and emphasized the US friendship with Israel at a time when he expressed concern over the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and HAMAS, in which Egypt played a great role to achieve.” She added that Obama is trying, through voicing support for civil society’s organizations that are not recognized, to give the impression of a US role in paving the way for the Arab revolutions, which is something inaccurate.

Mahfuz added: “Before speaking to us about the US democracy and values, Obama should have abided by these values. He should have put Bin Ladin on a just trial, but he behaved as a bandit.” ‘