Saudi Op-Ed Welcomes Obama to the Middle East

The USG Open Source Center translates an op-ed by Abd-al-Malik Ahmad Al Al-Shaykh welcoming president Obama to Saudi Arabia:


Saudi Writer Hopes Obamas Visit Will Serve as Takeoff Point Toward Global Peace
Article by Abd-al-Malik Ahmad Al Al-Shaykh: “Welcome to President Barack Obama”
Al-Sharq al-Awsat Online
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Document Type: OSC Translated Text

Your Excellency President Barack Obama . . .

Your choice of the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries as a starting point into the Islamic world, and of Ard al-Kinanah (Land of al-Kinanh, or reservoir, as Egypt is often referred to in Arabic) to be the stage for delivering that address, as the strategic depth of the Land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries [Mecca and Medina] and as the citadel of Arabism [Cairo], has a symbolic dimension that goes much farther than the traditional political perception of this visit. This isdue to the religious, political, economic, and geo-strategic weight representedby these two states on the regional and international domains. The step you aretaking also comes to honor what you promised the day you were sworn in as President of the United States of America, a day on which you extended your hand to the Islamic world, something which was not done by any American President before you.

You Excellency the President: The world has tasted and still tastes forms of injustice and domination coated in a glamorous, flowinge nvelope of freedom and human rights. This involves forcing some world peoples into an ideologized democracy that sees no freedom for peoples except the freedom that accords with its vision, within an attempt to rob the world of its positive diversity, so that it would fall in line behind it, and to deprive itspeople of the Divine rights that Allah gave them, as confirmed by your founding fathers like Alexander Hamilton who said in the year 1775 Gregorian that the sacred rights of the human race are not to be searched for in old manuscripts and documents because they are like the rays of the sun, written by the Divine Will and beyond being wiped out or hidden by human hands. Thus it is logical tosay, Your Excellency the President, that justice, equality, human rights, andother sacred rights and values of civilization are not a monopoly for a sect ora people to the exclusion of others, for the Holy Books of all religions enshrinedthem to dignify human beings. God the Almighty says in his Cherished Book (the Koran) “We have honored the sons of Adam”. . .

The peoples of our region dream that their area will be free of weapons of mass destruction, and free of the reasons for violence and counter-violence. We hope, Your Excellency the President, thatthis will come true in the era of Your Excellency. At the same time, we fearthat the forces of hatred that exist in all nations and creeds would move to assassinate hope in our heart and their hearts, charging the future with a violence that awaits our children and their children. We have in our region a foreboding jungle of suspicion and fears that needs somebody to uproot its giant trees and level its terrain, so that we can tread toward security, peace, justice, and stability. I am sure this hope and dream is not an easy matter; that it might not be accomplished during one term or two terms of your presidency. But we have to launch it, and we have to start working together to reach it. Let us draw with you, with our neighbors, and with those who have a passion for peaceand stability in the world, the future of our region–nay the future of the whole world–according to a new vision the slogan of which would be yourslogan, “yes we can”–a vision in which peace is accomplished and the strong arejust and the weak safe. We say welcome to the President, Barack Obama, in the land of Islam and Salam (peace).

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