An Open Letter on the Middle East to President Elect Barack Obama

Elza Maalouf, Barack Obama

An Open Letter on the Middle East

to President Elect

Barack Obama

From Elza S. Maalouf
Center for Human Emergence-Middle East
25 November 2008

Dear President Elect Obama,

Your election was celebrated by young Arabs all over the Middle East. In Syria they call you “Abu Hussein” an endearing term given to politicians they feel close to. Young people affiliated with our center in Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine wished they had the right to vote for you. Lebanese youth proudly wore Obama T-shirts. “Yes we can” quickly became a slogan heard on Arab streets and our young people added “Yes we will.” This enthusiasm for an American political figure is unprecedented in the Arab world. For this and for the sake of global well-being we hope that your administration seizes the moment to help facilitate emergence in the Arab world; an emergence that will be lead by young- progressive Arab leaders and supported by a US administration that is ready to pioneer fresh approaches in foreign policy.

It is no secret that the key to restoring our credibility in the Arab world, is by –first and foremost- resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For several years the Center for Human Emergence Middle East (CHE-ME) has dedicated its resources to uncovering the blockages that have prevented sustainable peace from taking root. We believe that in order for any Middle East peace road map to succeed a Palestinian Systemic Development Map has to be implemented first. Together with our Palestinian partners we have been working on a grass roots movement called “Build Palestine Initiative” in which we identified specific developmental steps that are congruent with the Palestinian value-systems and will be most effective in building capacities in Palestinian society. This movement has gained critical mass among progressive Palestinians who advocate self-reliance and we simply must continue supporting them.

Your choice of Chief of Staff and Secretary of State was met with a lot of apprehension in the Arab media. Polls show that over 60% of Arabs think that both Rahm Emanuel and Senator Clinton will be pro-Israel. The way we see it at the CHE-ME is that under the mandate for change that you are leading, pro-Israel should mean the following:

  1. A US administration that’s actively participating in creating a peaceful neighboring Palestinian state.
  2. A US administration that supports Israel in becoming a full development partner to the Palestinians in business, education, healthcare and progressive social programs.
  3. A US administration that supports the Palestinians in creating a vision of 21st Century Palestine where both states can thrive and let thrive.

The Center for Human Emergence-Middle East will be presenting to your administration a position paper detailing our culturally-fit approach to solving the conflict, the breakthrough results we have achieved so far on a grass roots level, and recommended systemic strategies for ushering in sustainable peace.

Real change in the Middle East and in Palestine must come from new ways of thinking, fresh approaches to understanding cultural dynamics, and innovative ways to actually meet the developmental needs of people. We are certain you recognized many of these principles in your work in community development in south Chicago. Simply "doing more of the same" that has produced this situation, will not bring the outcome we all desire.

As a proud Arab-American I am encouraged to see the most powerful democracy in the world having the potential to become the most conscious democracy under your leadership. My hope is that the enthusiasm you brought to Arab youths is sustained by a bold action-plan that can support transformation and emergence in the Middle East.


Elza S. Maalouf
Chief Executive Officer
Center for Human Emergence- Middle East

Elza MaaloufElza S. Maalouf is the CEO of the Center for Human Emergence-Middle East, a non-profit research and strategic design center that integrates different modes of thought and value-system priorities with geo-economic elements within the Arab world. She is leading innovation within the Islamic Arab world to identify complex thinking that will facilitate the emergence of Arabs into their 21st century Renaissance.

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Thanks for Contacting Mr Obama on my behalf also... We are truly excited that we all can live in peace and harmony, we are all Human Beings..
As an African my best wishes goe to President Obama. Mr. President I pray that you can use your power to bring peace
in the World espacially the Middle East and Africa.

We hope to see changes in the world
As an African my best wishes goe to President Obama. Mr. President I pray that you can use your power to bring peace
in the World espacially the Middle East and Africa.

We hope to see changes in the world
Well done.
It remains to be seen what Obama is made of.
I suspect he does not hold any real power and fear we will get more of the same.........

My heart goes out to the suffering of the palestinian people and I sincerely hope they get the justice they deserve.
I shall continue to do what I can to give my support
I read good words in your letter.Thank you.

May Good Words Be Rains

If sounds don't vanish in space
And all the words accumulate somewhere else
Lets say good things to each other
Of friendship, humanity, peace and love.

Then the good words can come together
And turn back like love raining
And drop on wars
And put out hatred in hearts.

The more rains of love fall
The less all the guns will work.

We must throw away bad words
And always produce good ones
So love clouds gather together in the sky
And rain, drop by drop on the whole world.

Drops acumulate...
Wars come to an end!


i am ex military i have served in both the falklands and northern ireland conflicts,i hate all war and conflict but have done and will do what defends my country and my family. i wish your new president well.

however i anticipate he will be put to the test pretty soon after stepping through the white house and i also have an idear from where this may come from within the world.

god bless amerca

My take is that he represents hope, and just that, but hope's better than nothing. He will be more approachable and open-minded that what's there now. Hey, it could hardly get any worse. As to Clinton as state, she has to seem pro-Israel being a New York Senator, but she's had some Middle East peace successes in the past as first lady, and she's very smart.
I know that in Israel we raised on hope that some day we will have Peace.
but that day did not come, and we have millions of palestinians in unacceptable condition.

We need to change.
It is us and probably our children who need to create it, we waited too much for the day that never came that we will have peace. the time to act is now.
I have confidence that President-Elect Obama will do all in his power to create peace wherever he can in the world. He is an exceptional person, and I am honored to have voted for him.

Thank you for sharing the views of another nation in your letter. Peace to you...


I think that President-Elect Obama delivers a global call for change, as we know so much time that we need.
this global call is heard in the middle-east and Israel and let recognize that President-Elect Obama is a vehicle for us to change. and the US is now have greater responsibility to show and help us all manifest the change that can bring better world for all.
Moi vote pour Obama.Cest a toi "J'espère que tous les travaux à bien"
We live ina new world made up of new nations. Older races still abide within these new political systems,
the aboriginies o Faustralia and America and elsewhere still know the Whole Earth as sacred Land beneath their feet.
God gave us all Earth that we might live as children
not impetuous and emoitonal but simple and open-hearted. Good luck with your project.


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