Arabisto.com is a site that aims to share news and commentary on the Middle East with mainstream news readers. The site also features the opinions of a diverse group of bloggers with ties to the Middle East and North Africa.
Last August, Amira al Hussaini interviewed Nadia Gergis, founder of Arabisto.com, for Global Voices; in the interview, which can be found here, Ms. Gergis refers to Arabisto.com as “the Arab-American street.” That is precisely why I have chosen to share the opinions of several of Arabisto.com‘s bloggers (regardless of whether or not they have a U.S. vote) – to discover what Arab-Americans think of the elections.
Dr. Ghassan Michel Rubeiz, a Lebanese-American Middle East analyst (who maintains a personal blog here), recently wrote an article entitled “Arab-Americans Tend to Favor Obama,” in which he said:
In the past most Arab Americans, especially the more affluent, voted Republican. But currently Arab Americans vote mostly Democratic. Sixty two percent are Democrats and 25 % Republicans (Zoghby poll, 2007). Republican candidates tend to support permanent presence of American troops in the Middle East and are more vocal in support of the Israeli occupation.
A few days before Super Tuesday, the Arabs took an electronic straw poll, sponsored by Aljazeera network which reports internationally on US elections and educates Arabs about American politics in the Middle East. Aljazeera viewers were asked to vote electronically for their choice for US president. The majority voted for Obama; Ron Paul was the nominee for the Republicans; Obama scored 61% and Paul 10%, a distant second.
In a separate article, entitled “Obama's New Mind-Set on the Middle East,” Rubeiz said:
The opportunities presented in Obamaâ€™s new mindset for US foreign policy are clear. Today it is the young generation that seems to be most convinced that Obama can make a change in Iraq, in America, and in the world. Will Arab Americans join the youth of America in advocating for a brighter future for all?
Courtney C. Radsch, a freelance journalist, blogged about the worldwide implications of the U.S. primaries:
Super Duper Tuesday also led the news on French, British and Arabic channels, with nearly every station devoting a portion of their newscasts to the primary results. What country ever got coverage of their primaries in the U.S. media?
As the end of the primaries looms and the time for party nominations nears, Arabisto.com‘s bloggers will surely have more to say.