My Op-Ed in the New York Times today

Last week, the New York Times asked me if I would be interested in writing for the newspaper about the Obama visit. Of course I was. Today, NYT publishes my article as part of seven views from the Middle East about what Obama should say in his much anticipated speech in Cairo tomorrow. Check it out. Here’s a picture of the voting paper that I mention in the last paragraph:


Our ‘State of the Union’ Address?

King Abdullah will open the new cycle of Shoura Council with a major speech that he will give on Tuesday. The speech is expected to highlight the goals, programs, and aspirations of the government for the current year. The King will also speak to the Shoura members about his vision for the country’s domestic and foreign policies.

But let’s pause for a moment and go back to April of last year, when the King addressed the Shoura, and many were anticipating significant announcements. Unfortunately, that speech carried nothing major. Is this a good reason not to expect much this time around? Maybe, but the recent changes in the government could be a sign that we are in for something different this year.

This is all speculation, of course. Many rumors are flying around town but no one is certain about anything. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Not holding my breath, though.

UPDATE: No big announcements in the King’s speech. Focus was on Arab unity and the international economical crisis. Read more…