7th Nov, 2012 –

Bahrainis have generally seen it as positive that Romney failed to make it to the White House, often associating him with the unpopular Middle East policies of President Bush. Views towards Obama range from those who see him as a “peace-keeper”, to those who regard him as little better than Romney. Citizens for Bahrain spoke to a range of Bahrainis on 7 November, immediately after Obama’s victory. Here is a sample of what they had to say:

The US’s “vital role”

“The elections are important for Bahrainis since the policies of the new US President can shape the future of the region. Following the February 2011 unrest, the US played a vital role in pushing for dialogue in Bahrain and in acting as a link between the government and opposition. We hope that President Obama will continue in the same direction” said Khalid 34, Manama

“It’s a great relief to have Obama re-elected since he is known to have not caused a lot of trouble in the world. During the past four years Obama was viewed as a peace-keeper to many Arabs; especially since he took over after Bush whose presidency was a disaster” said Abdullah, age 32, from Riffa

“Obama will certainly serve the world better than Romney. His remarkable victory proves that the people of America have made the right choice and have become more politically aware,” said Nadia, 40 from Saar

“The least worst option”

“Barack Obama is the least worst option, I believe that both Republicans and Democrats have similar agendas but they implement them differently. The way the Democrats implement their agendas is more acceptable to the world than the Republicans” said Sara 28, Manama.

“It is great that Obama won the elections, Romney was expected to be another Bush and people in this part of the world are not great fans of Bush. I hope that Obama avoids intervening in the internal affairs of countries and sticks to being a good president for his own people. We should not wait for the new American president to solve the unrest in Bahrain or in any other country,” said Hassan 41, Budaiya.

“In his speech, Obama specifically mentioned that he would go back to the White House “more determined and more inspired”. It is a great challenge to satisfy his own people yet the world will expect him to continue the prominent role of the US in key international affairs” said Ali 27 Budaiya

“Americans don’t want to go to war”

“With most analysts expecting that if Romney had won the chances for a war in the Middle East would be higher. Hence a consecutive victory for the Democrats is a sign that it is about time for the Republicans to understand that Americans don’t want to go war” said Mariam 38, Manama.

“The victory of the US President for a second term makes him even more powerful and the expectations of the world towards him are higher. In Bahrain all we want from the Obama administration is to support us in overcoming our crisis and to avoid any biased stances towards the government or opposition” said Manal 43, Saar

“The situation in the Middle East is very tense and if Romney had won, it would have created a situation that would be difficult to adapt to, since his foreign policy would certainly be different than that of Obama’s. President Obama’s charisma and diplomatic capabilities have gained him a huge popularity and his victory is well deserved” said Fatima 35, Sanad.

 “We shouldn’t expect much”

“It’s a matter that concerns the people of America more than Bahrain or any other nation. The Americans are facing economic instabilities and many other issues that need to be solved by their president, and it is his duty to serve his people first. We shouldn’t expect much from Obama during this term but we wish that he doesn’t start a war and cause turmoil in the region” said Noora 30, Riffa

“I hope Obama will bring an end to the massacres in Syria without causing more damage to the Syrian people. According to many Bahrainis, this is the most important international issue the US President is expected to tackle,” said Ahmed 28 Isa Town.

Bahrainis have been closely following the US Presidential elections because of the impact of the US foreign policy on the region. Bahrainis expect Obama to take the lead in solving the crisis in Syria, push for dialogue in Bahrain and avoid a war with Iran. A war will not serve Bahrain or any other country in the region.

Citizens for Bahrain wishes President Barack Obama great success in leading his nation and the world to a better place.

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