US Election Draws Global Attention

    Al Pessin
    The re-election of President Barack Obama was broadly welcomed around the world, where his popularity has been running higher than in the United States.

    Obama had been scoring as much as 75 percent in international public opinion polls, and waking up to the news Wednesday morning, Londoners welcomed his re-election.

    “I think it’s a good result. I think it’s what the rest of the world would have wanted, outside of America. I think he has got a steady hand on things and he will be good for the U.S.,” said one man.

    “He’s a great voice of America, I think he really understands the people. I think he has really good intentions... and I really think he’s going to help the economy and the country boom even further,” commented a woman.

    U.S. expert James Boys at London’s King’s College is not surprised by the reactions.

    “From a European perspective, I think there will be a general sense of pleasure that he has been re-elected and that we will continue to see him and his Cabinet engaging on the world stage as [a] friend to Europe,” said Boys.

    World leaders sent their congratulations to Obama. On a visit to Jordan, British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke about doing more to end the Syrian conflict.

    "I am hearing appalling stories of what has happened inside Syria and one of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis,” said Cameron.

    ISRAEL-NETANYAHUISRAEL-NETANYAHU
    x
    ISRAEL-NETANYAHU
    ISRAEL-NETANYAHU
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also were among the leaders welcoming the election results. Netanyahu is a longtime friend of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, but he said the U.S.-Israeli alliance is stronger than ever. Still, on the streets of Jerusalem, reaction was mixed.

    "I think he is good for Israel because he supports us. He continues to give us billions of dollars every year and the most high-tech weapons," said one Israeli man.

    "Tragedy. It's an absolute tragedy. I have been following very carefully what Obama has been up to," said one Israeli woman who spoke about the election.

    Palestinians also had mixed feelings.

    "We now hope that after winning for the second time, he will be more effective because there will be less political pressure on him,” said one
    Palestinian man.

    "I can't see serious changes. I can't because if you talk about Obama, already he gave various promises, but on the ground we as Palestinians, we have seen nothing,” said another Palestinian man.

    And in Cairo, a pharmacist indicated he has been disappointed in the U.S. president.

    "He gave a very good speech at Cairo University about U.S. policy toward the Middle East. But none of those things were implemented," he said.

    In Afghanistan, people told VOA they are pleased that the plan to withdraw foreign forces will go ahead, and expressed the hope for U.S. help in reconciling with the Taliban.  

    In Moscow, a man said the president is a “known quantity,” while Romney would have been "unpredictable, tougher and more challenging."

    In Beijing, a man told us he is concerned about some Obama policies toward Taiwan and China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors. And in Nairobi, one man could only talk about how happy he is.

    “As his original, biological father was a Kenyan, we are so happy as Kenyans. So we are so happy. All night we were watching what was going on there, and we are so happy,” said the man in Nairobi.

    Analysts say Obama may be able to take a stronger stance on some foreign issues in his second term. Foreigners watching the U.S. election were hoping that whether the same or different, the president’s second-term policies would be good for them.  

    • Oh Se-hyek, a North Korean defector, said "It is difficult to choose which candidate to favor. But it seems like the U.S. is good at carrying out policy consistently under Obama, especially towards North Korea." (Y. Kim/VOA) 
    • Kim Su-yeon, a student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea, said "I cast a virtual vote for Obama because his policies match my personal interest and political stance. " (Y. Kim/VOA)
    • Tony Guzman, a 31-yr old American, voted early in California before arriving in Manila, Philippines. He voted for Obama and said "His economic plan makes a lot more sense" and he likes his stance on social issues. (S. Orendain/VOA)
    • Derek Obryan, a 21-year old Philippine-American attending university in Manila, Philippines said he likes Mr. Obama "for the fact that he's trying to change and set a different [example] for the world." (S. Orendain/VOA)
    • Jane Lien, a Taiwanese-American Peace Corps volunteer ending her term this week in the Philippines. She voted for Obama and said "It's hard for me to imagine our country being run by Romney." (S. Orendain/VOA)
    • Fadli Zon, the vice chairman of the Gerindra Party in Indonesia, said "With Obama there’s a sentiment. I can see the shift in opinion between the Bush and Obama administrations.” (S. Schonhardt/VOA)
    • Ima Abdulrahim, executive director of the Habibie Center, a liberal think-tank in Jakarta, Indonesia, said “An Obama win is better for Asia." (S. Schondart/VOA)
    • Mohammad Ashraf Kashawaz, a singer in Kabul, Afghanistan said "I like Obama, he knows he serves his country, and he not only thinks about his country, he also thinks about Afghanistan." (S. Behn/VOA)
    • Mohamed Abu Roob, an optician in Jerusalem's Old City said at the beginning of Obama's first term the Palestinians were encouraged and thought he would do something about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But nothing happened. (S. Bobb/VOA)
    • Ruth Harif, an Israeli homemaker, said about the U.S. election "Tragedy. It's an absolute tragedy. I have two daughters, two grandsons living in America and I have been following very carefully what Obama has been up to." (S. Bobb/VOA)
    • Charles Ngigi, a bishop in Nairobi, Kenya congratulated Americans for showing maturity in democracy. "The lose[r] conceded defeat immediately, which brought peace." (G. Joselow/VOA)
    • Daniel Orenge, an attorney in Nairobi, Kenya said "I would say Kenyans would love to see Obama visit Kenya one time, preferably very soon." (G. Joselow)
    • Farouk Abou el Gheit,a pharmacist in Cairo, Eygpt said "When [Obama] came to Cairo he gave a very good speech...but nothing was implemented." (Y. Weeks/VOA)
    • Wahid Ahmed Fouad, a shop assistant in Cairo, Egypt, said "To a great extent, he ended terrorism on the Arab world's level." (Y. Weeks/VOA)
    • Mervat Mohammed, a housewife in Cairo, Egypt, said "[Obama] deals with Arabs and Muslims with respect." (Y. Weeks/VOA)
    • Mahmoud, a doorman in Cairo, Egypt, said "[Obama] could help Egypt. He's a good man, and Egypt likes him...He is loved in Cairo." (Y. Weeks/VOA)

    VOA reporters in Beijing, Cairo, Jerusalem, Kabul, Kyiv, Moscow and Nairobi contributed to this report.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.