Caitlin Coyle’s Blog

Thank you Mister President.

Posted in Uncategorized by caitlincoyle on May 25, 2009

One look at me and it is clear that I’m an American. In the past I would try to escape my nationality, like many other Americans abroad, claiming to be Canadian. Unfortunately, my cop out did not always work.

While living in the Czech Republic, I had to answer questions about President Bush and his administration. All the while defending the principle that the people of the United States are a separate entity from the government. We are not to be judged in the same capacity.

To be fair, I was living aboard at a very difficult time for Americans — it was 2003 — only a few months following the US invasion of Iraq. Tensions were high, and foreigners welcomed spirited debate.

Now, several years and a new administration later, life as an American abroad is very different. While the stares are the same, the response has changed. My colleagues and I have been welcomed throughout Egypt. People in stores, markets, cars, buses and elsewhere commonly shout, “welcome to Egypt!”

Even while shopping in the market I was given a very special “Obama price.” After my purchase I was told, “the Bush price was far, far higher.”

From walking down the street to souvenir shopping I can feel a sense of security. It is more than comforting to be in the Middle East with Barack Obama as president. I’ve had conversations with a number of individuals in regards to America’s new position in the world and the dialogue is astounding.

We had an insightful meeting today with Ammar Saati, the President of the National Union of Syrian Students.

“You will not see a citizen in Syria who hates an American just for being an American,” he said.

There is hope in Egyptians and Syrians for a more diplomatic and peaceful future. From what I have learned, they do not harbor resentment, but optimism. I am also hopeful and optimistic about the next four years. I am confident in President Obama’s ability to undo some of the damage inflicted by the Bush administration over the past eight years, and progressively move forward.

So, I thank President Obama for restoring our reputation and taking steps to appropriately address the Muslim community. On June 4, President Obama will deliever a speech from Cairo to the Muslim world. I am told that the word “terrorism” will not be used once.

Most importantly, I also thank the American citizens for reclaiming our country’s values and electing Barack Obama.

Thanks to you all, I no longer disguise my nationality, but say it with pride.

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One Response

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  1. Aunt Kiki said, on May 26, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Caity! I read this entry after I read the one about your scary trip on the airplane. Words fail me trying to explain how I feel. So proud of how well you write, beautifully, and so very, VERY glad Obama is our president. I wonder, too, if it is not ironic that I am reading this on the U.S. holiday, Memorial Day!


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