STREET SENSE

Business monthly (Egypt) - - IN BRIEF -

What is out­go­ing U.S. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s legacy in Egypt?

He started off well, with that 2009 speech at Cairo Univer­sity about the im­por­tance of the re­gion to the United States. We thought that U.S. poli­cies would be dif­fer­ent this time around, of­fer­ing more sup­port to Arab coun­tries. But there was no change. Af­ter 2011 and 2013, Obama's political stances were pre­dictable: first he backed Morsi’s regime, then when it was ap­par­ent it would fall, he en­dorsed the new one. Ahmed Kamel, 47, show­room manager

He re­ally had no impact. In fact, I be­lieve U.S. in­flu­ence in the re­gion was greatly di­min­ished un­der his lead­er­ship. Even Is­rael didn't ben­e­fit as much as it used to from its U.S. al­liance un­der the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. The United States is no longer "Mama Amer­ica," as we used to call her.

Amany Galal, 41, house­wife

In the United States, Pres­i­dent Obama was be­hind sev­eral good laws that ben­e­fited the av­er­age Amer­i­can—like Oba­macare. But on the in­ter­na­tional front, he did very lit­tle, and what he did do—like fight the Is­lamic State—was half-hearted. This was even more ev­i­dent in his sec­ond term, when it felt like he was just cruis­ing along to get to the end. In 50 years, he will be re­mem­bered as the only Amer­i­can pres­i­dent to come to Egypt and speak at Cairo Univer­sity; he was black, and he had a dis­tant Mus­lim lin­eage. Saleh Ab­del-Tawab, 65, retired in­ter­na­tional agency worker

I will re­mem­ber him as the most two-faced pres­i­dent in U.S. history. Early on, he came to Egypt and spoke with great con­vic­tion about how im­por­tant the Mus­lim world was to the United States, and how the heart of it was Egypt. Then when we, the peo­ple, ousted Mubarak—and later Morsi—he firmly stood against our upris­ings, and he only con­ceded when he saw that there was no hope for those regimes. Ever since pres­i­dent Sisi, the U.S. has been fight­ing to keep our econ­omy down, be­cause the ad­min­is­tra­tion doesn't like that the Egyp­tian peo­ple picked an Army man.

Tamer Saleh, 28, ac­coun­tant

He fol­lows in the foot­steps of his pre­de­ces­sors. The U.S. has al­ways wanted to keep the Egyp­tian peo­ple down—and with­out a voice—be­cause they know that if we rise up, we will be stronger than the United States and will crush Is­rael. We had hoped that he would be dif­fer­ent, but he wasn't. I re­ally hope Trump wins; at least his poli­cies are clear from the start. Ga­mal Ab­del Salam, 25, se­cu­rity guard

He is the most for­get­table U.S. pres­i­dent ever. His fo­cus was mainly on do­mes­tic pri­or­i­ties. I don't blame him, be­cause he came at such a dif­fi­cult time for the U.S. econ­omy. But it was just such a mas­sive dis­ap­point­ment, given how he painted such a rosy pic­ture at the be­gin­ning about the U.S. role in sup­port­ing the re­gion. Dalia Hamza, 29, grad­u­ate stu­dent

The poli­cies of the U.S. un­der Obama were very much about keep­ing the political sta­tus quo in the re­gion. In other words, he wanted to keep the Mid­dle East un­der dic­ta­tor­ships, be­cause this has long served U.S. in­ter­ests. The U.S. doesn't want a strong Mid­dle East. In Egypt, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion al­ways sup­ported the regime in place and was against the will of the peo­ple. Now that we have the pres­i­dent we want, the U.S. is try­ing to keep Egypt’s econ­omy down.

Heba Fara­hat, 25, restau­rant worker

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