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You are here:Home>>All Expert Articles>>Displaying items by tag: Obama
Displaying items by tag: Obama
Sunday, 30 June 2013 14:41

Mandela and Obama

GATHERING valedictory material on Nelson Mandela as he faded in a Pretoria hospital the other day, I came across a little book called “Mandela’s Way.” In this 2010 volume, Rick Stengel, the ghostwriter of Mandela’s autobiography, set out to extract “lessons on life, love and courage” he had learned from three years of immersion in Mandela’s life.


Stengel, who is the managing editor of Time magazine, could not resist comparing his hero to another tall, serene, hope-bearing son of Africa: Barack Obama.


“Obama’s self-discipline, his willingness to listen and to share credit, his inclusion of his rivals in his administration, and his belief that people want things explained, all seem like a 21-century version of Mandela’s values and persona,” he wrote. “Whatever Mandela may or may not think of the new American president, Obama is in many ways his true successor on the world stage.”


A bit much, yes? Well, Stengel was hardly alone back then in awarding the American president a stature he had scarcely begun to earn. The Nobel Committee, which had awarded its peace prize to Mandela for ending the obscenity of apartheid, bestowed that honor on Obama merely for not being George W. Bush.


Different men, different countries, different times. Perhaps even Mandela — who was more successful liberating South Africa than governing it — could not have lived up to the inflated expectations heaped on Obama. But it is interesting to imagine how Obama’s presidency might be different if he had in fact done it Mandela’s way.


Mandela, in his time on the political stage, was a man of almost ascetic self-discipline. But he also understood how to deploy his moral authority in grand theatrical gestures. Facing capital charges of trying to overthrow the state in the Rivonia Trial, he entered the formal Pretoria courtroom dressed in a traditional Xhosa leopard-skin cape to dramatize that he was an African entering a white man’s jurisdiction. And then he essentially confessed to the crime.


In 1995, Mandela, newly elected president of a still deeply divided country, single-handedly turned the Rugby World Cup — the whitest sporting event in South Africa, long the target of anti-apartheid boycotts — into a festival of interracial harmony. He was, in short, the opposite of “no drama.”


Obama’s sense of political theater peaked at his first inaugural. He rarely deploys the stirring reality that he is the first black man to hold the office. As my Times colleague Peter Baker notes, “Obama’s burden as he sees it, different from Mandela’s, is to make the fact that he’s black be a nonissue. Only then will his breakthrough be truly meaningful.” Still, I think Mandela would have sought a way to make a more exciting civic bond out of the pride so many Americans felt in this milestone.


Mandela understood that politics is not mainly a cerebral sport. It is a business of charm and flattery and symbolic gestures and eager listening and little favors. It is above all a business of empathy. To help win over the Afrikaners, he learned their Dutch dialect and let them keep their national anthem. For John Boehner, he’d have learned golf and become a merlot drinker. “You don’t address their brains,” Mandela advised his colleagues, and would surely advise Obama. “You address their hearts.”


Mandela was a consummate negotiator. Once he got you to the bargaining table, he was not going to leave empty-handed. He was an expert at deducing how far each side could go. He was patient. He was opportunistic, using every crisis to good effect. He understood that half the battle was convincing your own side that a concession could be a victory. And he was willing to take a risk. I don’t envy Obama’s having to deal with intransigent Republicans or his own demanding base, but Mandela bargained with Afrikaner militants, Zulu nationalists and the white government that had imprisoned him for 27 years. By comparison, the Tea Party is, well, a tea party.


Mandela usually seemed to be having the time of his life. Perhaps this is because (sadly for his family) the movement was his life. He shook every hand as if he was discovering a new friend and maintained a twinkle in his eye that said: this is fun. We’ve had joyful presidents — Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan. Obama more often seems to regard the job as an ordeal.


Mandela, above all, had a clear sense of his core principles: freedom, equality, the rule of law. He changed tactics, shifted alliances (one day the Communist Party, another day the business oligarchs) but never lost sight of the ultimate goal. In fairness to Obama, Mandela had a cause of surpassing moral clarity. The American president is rarely blessed with problems so, literally, black and white. And if Obama leaves behind universal health care and immigration reform — two initiatives that have consistently defeated previous presidents — that will be no small legacy. But tell me, do you have a clear sense of what moral purpose drives our president?





Bill Keller is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times and writes for The New York Times Magazine. His column appears on Mondays. From July 2003 until September 2011, he was the executive editor of The Times, presiding over the newsroom during a time of journalistic distinction, economic challenge, and transformation. During his eight years in that role, The Times sustained and built its formidable newsgathering staff, winning 18 Pulitzer Prizes, and expanded its audience by mastering the journalistic potential of the Internet. The newsroom also participated in the creation of a digital subscription plan to help secure the company’s economic future.

Mr. Keller was succeeded by Jill Abramson, a former investigative reporter and Washington bureau chief who had been one of his two top deputies since 2003. Before becoming executive editor, Mr. Keller had spent two years as a senior writer for The New York Times Magazine and an Op-Ed columnist. He served as managing editor from 1997 to September 2001 after having been the newspaper’s foreign editor from June 1995 to 1997. As chief of The Times bureau in Johannesburg from April 1992 until May 1995, he covered the end of white rule in South Africa.

"President Barack Obama is calling his visit to a Senegalese island, from which Africans were said to have been shipped across the Atlantic Ocean into slavery, a "very powerful moment."  Obama says visiting Goree Island on Thursday with his wife, Michelle, and daughters helps them fully appreciate the magnitude of the slave trade. Obama also said that, as an African American and an African-American president, the trip gives him even greater motivation to stand up for human rights around the world. He said the island is a reminder of what happens when those rights aren't protected."- AP

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Barack Obama's 26 June-3 July visit to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania is an important statement of his intent towards Africa during his final term.


His election as president of the United States in November 2008 raised expectations around the world about the emergence of a more consistently and strategically engaged US policy approach to diplomacy and international relations. Given his own mixed African and American ancestry, these expectations were especially strong among pro-African communities within the United States, just as they were in cities and villages across sub-Saharan Africa.


Early in his first administration, Obama visited Ghana in July 2009. The speech he gave in Accra had few specific pledges other than a promise to cut down on funding American consultants and administrators. Instead, President Obama’s Ghana trip was mostly about symbolism, offering an effective backdrop for a sharp critique of corruption and repression on the continent, and advocating home-grown governance and stronger institutions and remedies. Ghana was chosen to illustrate an African country that enjoys political pluralism and a growing economy.


A further trip by President Obama had been planned for Sub-Saharan Africa (Michelle Obama visited South Africa and Botswana) but domestic demands such as the US economy in meltdown, pressing foreign policy priorities such as Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea resulted in low-key engagement in comparison to his predecessor George W. Bush, and a policy marked by greater continuity with previous administrations rather than change.




There were highlights during Obama’s first term: Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State made Africa a diplomatic priority, visiting 23 African states (out of 54); the 2011 referendum, and then the independence of South Sudan; the changing fortunes of Somalia and discreet mediation efforts by key officials in Malawi, Guinea, Senegal, are all examples of what US good offices can achieve. The $3.5 billion African food security initiative of the Obama administration had impact and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), enacted under the Clinton administration, has increased US trade with Africa. It is due for renewal by 2015 but early action on this would be a positive statement of America’s desire to deepen trade partnerships with Africa.


There were also disappointments: slowness of appointments to key Africa jobs, such as no permanent assistant administrator of the US Agency for International Development for Africa until 2012 and a US Strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa was not released till June 2012 - hardly the signal that Africa was an Obama administration priority.


Three-nation trip


Hopefully for Obama's second Africa trip, African expectations are more realistic. Symbolism plays a role again: Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania are important democratic US partners. There is also a need to ensure geographical spread, so West, Southern and Eastern Africa is covered. Two key countries are missing from the list because of their current political condition, Kenya and Nigeria. Avoiding Nairobi while the uncertainty of the International Criminal Court cases hang over President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto is prudent.


The decision to avoid Nigeria is questionable. Nigeria will soon host the third largest population in the world and Africa’s largest economy but President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration are facing multiple security and governance challenges that require international partnership. A good initiative during the first Obama administration was to re-open a US Consulate in northern Nigeria given the crisis there.


Sadly, spiralling security costs, and a lack of appetite for opening new US diplomatic footprints in dangerous places following the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi has shelved those plans. Yet the US administration can ill afford to be as blind as it is today to northern Nigerian politics.


Relations with South Africa 'awkward'


Senegal and Tanzania are straightforward visits for Obama but not South Africa which theoretically is a strategic partner of the US. South Africa proudly flaunts its membership of the BRICS and sees itself as a vanguard of a new global governance order. Its African National Congress regularly issues communiques condemning US imperial aggression, offering solidarity to Havana, Tehran and Ramallah. The 2011 Libyan intervention in particular is still a raw issue as despite backing UNSC resolution 1973, South Africa's official position was against the NATO bombing and in support of the African Union's 'road map to peace'.


The US-South Africa relationship has been awkward for many years, following a fairly constructive period during the transition from apartheid until the late 1990s. This is despite a US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue and the fact that the US is still one of South Africa’s key trading partners in the world.


President Obama's visit will not immediately change this prickly relationship but given South Africa’s leadership role in Africa including as a member of the G20, it is important the US and South Africa can understand their respective strategic concerns, improve bilateral relations and trade, and seek common solutions to shared common goals, such as poverty reduction, global health and education.


With elections in Zimbabwe and Swaziland in coming months, a deepening political crisis in Madagascar, continued instability in eastern Congo, and armed violence erupting in Mozambique threatening 20 years of peace, South Africa’s neighbourhood does not look stable and Pretoria and Washington will need a better strategic partnership than the one they have currently.

Alex Vines is Research Director, Area Studies and International Law; and Head, Africa Programme of Chatham House.


When President Obama and the first lady travel to Africa at the end of this month, they will receive a rapturous greeting. The president's deep roots in Kenya, the land of his father, resonate throughout the continent. His success in the United States evokes pride and joy in Africa.


I write this from Nigeria, a country that has just celebrated its 14th year of democracy. President Obama's election enabled Africans to see America in a new light. I hope his visit will enable Americans to see Africa with new eyes.


We know the problems of Africa: its poverty, corruption and conflict. After 246 years of the slave trade, 100 years of colonialism, African suffering and struggle are known. But perhaps the president's visit will enable us to see the possibilities.


Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, larger than China, the United States and Europe combined in land area. Its peoples number about one-eighth of the world's population. It is a richly endowed continent, providing some 22 percent of the world's gold, 55 percent of its diamonds, and 12.5 percent of its oil. Seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa. It is still marked by poverty, but extreme poverty has been declining at about 1 percent a year.


Nigeria has twice the population of any other African country. It is growing at 7 percent a year, and will be Africa's largest economy within the decade. It is a major supplier of oil to the U.S., and potentially a major trading partner. Nigeria's GDP is three times that of any other West African country. It is the largest destination for foreign direct investment on the continent. It sends 7,100 students to the U.S. for university programs. Its democracy is taking root. The sun is rising in this land of potential.


Nigeria still has deep challenges to overcome. Its infrastructure is outmoded; its health care and education systems inadequate; corruption remains a curse, and 60 percent of the population remains below the poverty line. Like many African countries, it struggles with an exodus of professionals.


The president will visit Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa with a large delegation of business leaders and investors. Tanzania and Senegal are among the fastest-growing economies on the continent. The U.S. is not the only country interested in these new possibilities. The president will arrive in Tanzania three months after Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit. Americans will get a new understanding of how aggressively China has reached out to Africa, providing aid, investments and securing supplies of oil and other raw materials. For economic, national security and humanitarian concerns, America has every reason to open up closer ties with the nations on that continent.


Independent Africa is still young. It was only 57 years ago when Kwame Nkrumah founded Ghana, its first independent nation. Now there are young, growing democracies, moving from the struggle for independence to the struggle for legitimate governance and economic development. Think of the United States 50 years after its historic revolution. Our institutions were still being formed; we were still trading in slaves, denying women equal rights, headed toward a violent civil war.


Democracy and development are roads with twists and turns. In Africa, as the president's visit will expose, the turns are now positive. We would be well advised to contribute to the progress, to invest in the promise, and to bolster the push for human rights, development and democracy.


Rev. Jackson, the founder of Rainbow PUSH Coalition and he twice ran for presidency in United States.Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at










Chinua Achebe, The father of modern African literature, was described by United States President, Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle as: “A revolutionary author” who “shattered the conventions of literature.”

The above description of Achebe was made in a letter released by The White House and  addressed to the family of Achebe. The letter was read by a representative from Obama’s White House at the Celebration of Life event for Late Chinua Achebe, which took place on last Sunday night, June 2, at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium, Washington, DC.


The letter from President Obama and The First Lady Mitchell Obama read:

“Achebe shattered the conventions of literature and shaped the collective identity of Nigerians throughout the world. With a dream of taking on misperceptions of his homeland, he gave voice to perspectives that cultivated understanding and drew our world closer together. His legacy will endure in the hearts of all whose lives he touched with the everlasting power of his art.”


There were cultural highlights at the occasion including a theatrical rendition of a scene from Achebe‘s Things Fall Apart, which was produced by Mike Chuck theater, a former Nigeria based US citizen.


Notable personalities and entertainments at celebration include, “The Afrobeat band Eme and Heteru serenaded the crowd with electrifying music. Speakers included the host, Johnnetta Cole, president emeriti of Spelman and Bennet Colleges and now director of the Smithonian Museum of African Art; Ruth Simmons,  former president of Brown University; Poets Sonia Sanchez, Micere Mugo and Simon Gikandi. Others are Scott Moyers – president of Penguin, and Jules Chametzky professor emeriti of Umass Amherst, where Achebe spent time in the 1970s and ‘80s.”


Friday, 31 May 2013 14:10

Obama’s snubbing of Nigeria




Barring an unlikely politically negotiated detour, the United States President, Barack Obama, and his wife, Michelle, will not visit Nigeria on their forthcoming African tour, billed to take them to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania between June 26 and July 3.The White House announced last week the exclusion of Nigeria from Obama’s African itinerary, apparently, as a way of delivering a strong message to the country’s rulers on their slack anti-corruption policy and poor human rights record. Subsequent reports on the matter, however, indicate that Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States, Prof. Ade Adefuye, is exploring the possibility of getting the US to change its mind by reinserting Nigeria on the list of countries to be visited by Obama.


Flash back to the twilight months of 1975 when Gen. Murtala Muhammed at the time Nigeria’s Head of State pointedly rebuffed the US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, who had proposed to visit Nigeria, and see what a sea change had occurred in Nigeria’s foreign policy as well as national self-worth. In that glorious season, we called the bluff of the US; today, we cringe before that same country, beseeching it to consider Nigeria worthy of being visited by its president. By way of explanation, let us recall that Muhammed’s government and to a lesser extent the successor government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo were reformist, nationalist and enjoyed popular legitimacy on account of proven, not rhetorical achievements. Nigeria relished the spotlight as a haven for anti-colonial rebels across the continent including those from apartheid South Africa.


It must be recorded as a touching irony that South Africa, whose liberation was in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, a defining and much-acclaimed credo of our vigorous foreign policy is listed today on Obama’s itinerary while Nigeria, the liberator, is shoved aside. What has changed about Nigeria that it should now become the butt of the derisive snubbing and dismissive scorn around the globe? In the 1970’s, there was a nation around which nationalism could be projected. Today, the nation is imploding, and retreating to its least common denominators. That is why an Asari Dokubo could threaten war, if his kinsman loses the election in 2015; and insurgent Islamists could institute a reign of terror, verging on attempted secession in another part of the country. Nigeria is viewed with the contempt that one reserves for a neighbouring family where husband and wife square up to each other in fisticuffs on the verandah, disturbing the peace of the entire neighbourhood.


That is not all. A diminution of leadership is today superimposed on a crisis of governance, with predictable diminishing returns for governmental output. South Africa, a federation like Nigeria, obviously has its problems but it had as president and now statesman, Nelson Mandela, who put his country on the world map both by bridge-building skills and by quitting office when the ovation was loudest. As the ongoing, tawdry squabble in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum shows, much of it engineered from outside, dishonourable shenanigans and dishonesty rule the political roost, mainly because of what Chief Obafemi Awolowo was fond of calling “tenacity of office”. Let us face it. There is hardly anything in the US’ dressing down of Nigeria that has not been pointed out by the civil society and, permit the self-indulgence, by this columnist. What domestic and international reactions did the Jonathan administration expect when it granted state pardon to a former Bayelsa State governor, who is on the list of wanted persons in several countries around the globe? Should not that decision have been weighed in the light of the government’s loudly advertised anti-corruption policy and of global public opinion?


Now, the rub. As condemnation at home and abroad trailed the state pardon, with a US journalist calling for the impeachment of Jonathan, our President was quoted to have said that he had no regret taking that universally denounced and reprehensible step. In other words, as the Americans would say “in your face”. Could not the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Jonathan’s many advisers have pointed out the implications of exploring the borders of a pariah outlook in the international community and for no other reason than helping out a fallen mentor? I do not defend the US which is not without its own human rights blemishes, symbolised by the excesses of the war on terror and the horrifying narratives that poured out of its naval base in Guantanamo. Yet, it is hard to deny that through our blunders and inaction we have often earned the rebuke of other countries, including those of our better governed, smaller neighbours.


There are occasions as in the example of the 1970’s cited earlier when a reformist government could rally the nation against the big brother insults of a foreign power. But this is not one of them; as we did not need the US to tell us that the anti-corruption agenda of the Jonathan administration has lost its steam, that is if indeed there was any ab initio, and that business-as-usual is the name of the game in our political setting. Our leaders do not expect other democracies to congratulate them for flouting emerging governance norms in the global neighbourhood; or, for treating Nigerians with the contempt reserved for subjects of autocratic rule, rather than citizens of a democracy.


It is not too late, however especially in the light of the current rebuff, for Nigeria’s leaders to begin to do things right as well as enthrone decency in the polity and in state-society relations. Even rogue states within the international system must live with certain restrictions on their conduct as long as they remain in the comity of nations. The administration should consider breathing a new life into the comatose anti-corruption agenda; as well as by the force of example, institute new norms that would stem and slow down the current fiendish and fiery political skirmishes, in the run-up to 2015.


Furthermore, is it not time to recompact this tottering nation by convoking a national conference that will seek to revalidate our eroding sense of nationhood and community or in the alternative, prescribe modalities for nationalities to go their separate ways without needless bloodletting? As argued earlier, there can be no nationalism without a nation; and there can be no nation without the consent of the nationalities. The current federal jamboree favours the emergence of second elevens as state officials and the elevation of mediocrity and visionless government into fundamental directives of state policy. It is time to renegotiate Nigeria. The earlier we toed this line, the better for us all.



AYO OLUKOTUN ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )



Monday, 27 May 2013 18:05

Obama's Luo People

Since Barack Obama became President of the United States, interest has increased about the Luo people of Kenya and the other Luo speaking nationalities in general. So, who are the Luo people?


Of the over 42 ethnic groups that make up Kenya, the Luo are one of the most important. The Luo ethnic group is the third largest community in Kenya and makes up to 14% of the entire population. Also found in Uganda, Tanzania and Sudan, they are part of a larger group of ethnolinguistically related Luo peoples from South Sudan to Tanzania. They speak the Dholuo language. Luo speaking peoples include the Acholi of Uganda and South Sudan, and the Langi, Padhola and Alur of Uganda. There are about 12 sub groups within the Luo ethnic group. Although originally cattle herders, they have adopted fishing and subsistence agriculture.,


Culturally, the Luo are one of the few ethnic groups that do not circumcise their males as an initiation to manhood. Instead in Luo traditions, initiation involves the removal of six teeth from the lower jaw. Marriage is important to the Luo who traditionally practiced have polygamy. Men are allowed to marry up to five wives, though this is not common anymore. Bride price is negotiated and money and cattle are paid by the groom to the bridal parents. Also among the Luo, wife inheritance used to be common. If a man dies, one of his brothers or close relatives inherits his widow and must meet all of her marital inheritance. In the modern era, wife inheritance is slowly fading away. The incidence of HIV/AIDS has led to the promotion of circumcision among the Luo.


Like most ethnic groups in Kenya and Africa, the coming of the Europeans changed their religious beliefs. Most Luo consider themselves as Christians. Nevertheless, the spirits of of their ancestors play an important role in their spiritual beliefs. The Luo traditionally believe in after life and a supreme creator, whom they called Nyasaye. The first ritual in a Luo persons life is called Juogi, the naming ceremony. The child is supposed to assume some of the mannerisms of the ancestor he or she is named after. If the ancestor is quiet or talkative, he or she is supposed to acquire the same mannerisms.


The Luo ethnic group have been a major player in Kenyan political life since pre-colonial times. Unlike many other Kenyan ethnic groups, they did not have their land taken by the European settlers. Though they were not particularly prominent in the Mau Mau rebellion, they played an active part in Kenyan independence.  At independence, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, a Luo, became the first Vice President of Kenya, before falling out with President Jomo Kenyatta. Despite their prominence, the Luos have always felt marginalized and disenfranchised by the more numerous Kikuyu. In 1969, a prominent Luo politician, Tom Mboya was assassinated. Most Luos believe he was assassinated on the orders of President Kenyatta, who saw him as a potential presidential challenger. In the 1980’s another prominent Luo personality Robert Ouko, was also assassinated. Ouko was Foreign Minister of Kenya before he fell out with then President Daniel Arap Moi. Again, fingers were pointed at President Moi. The riots that broke out 2007 after the election of Nwai Kibaki(Kikuyu) over Raila Odinga (Luo), was part of the Luo frustration at feeling marginalized politically.


Some prominent Luo politicians include former Vice President,Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, former Minister of Economic Planning and Development,Tom Mboya, former Minister of Defence, Achieng Oneko, former Foreign Minister, Robert Ouko, current Prime Minister, Raila Odinga and Barack Obama, Sr.



*Dr. Leonard Madu is President of the African Caribbean Institute of Nashville and African Chamber of Commerce. He is also a Fox TV foreign affairs analyst and writes from Nashville, TN.

He is cool like that!!

Fist bump is an American thing! An acknowledgement and a confirmation that it is all good. Fist bumps in the life of President Obama took a life of its own when the  then "Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama  and his wife Michelle Obama bump fists at an election night rally at the Xcel Energy Center June 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota and the next day he won Democratic presidential nomination after the primaries in South Dakota and Montana.

Now  Fist Bumping is becoming Obama's trademark of salutation and acknowledgement.

President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he exchanges fist bumps with the audience after speaking at Hyde Park Academy, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
President Barack Obama fist-bumps custodian Lawrence Lipscomb in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following the opening session of the White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth, Dec. 3, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Photo credit  Aude GUERRUCCI/AFP/Getty Images
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (L) gives a 'fist bump' to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) during the national convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) at the Washington Hilton July 8, 2008 in Washington, DC.( Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo by Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images)
In the Oval Office (Photo by Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images)
(Photo SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)


(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

US President Barack Obama (L) asks for a fist bump from a young girl as he speaks with patrons outside the Kozy Corner restaurant in Oak Harbor, Ohio, July 5, 2012, where he made an unannounced visit to speak with supporters while on a bus tour of Ohio and Pennslyvania. AFP PHOTO/Jim Watson (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)


Pictures compilation: huffington post

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 17:18

PhotoNews: President Obama arrives in Israel

President Obama arrives in Israel on a official visit

"It took four years and a second term, but President Obama traveled to Israel on Wednesday for a richly symbolic state visit, bearing a message of solidarity to a wary Israeli public, and a promise to defend Israel from threats near and far." - New York Times

President Obama with President Shimon Peres of Israel Photo Credit:  Doug Mills/The New York Times

At Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv President Obama was greeted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu


Photos Credit:  Doug Mills/The New York Times

Is it a coincidence or viewers running away with their imagination about the so-called  resemblance between the satan played by Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani   and President Obama on the History Channel series 'The Bible.'


Spooky: Viewers noted the Devil from the History Channel series 'The Bible' Satan looks similar to President Barack Obama Does The Devil from the History Channel series 'The Bible' - satan looks similar to President Barack Obama?


"The resemblance between Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani  and President Obama left some viewers of 'The Bible' taking to Twitter to express their amazement."  - Daily Mail UK


In United States of America,  the "Sunday evening's episode of the History Channel's hit series 'The Bible' threw up an awkward coincidence when viewers noticed that Satan bore a remarkable resemblance to President Obama. Twitter exploded into life during the airing of the latest edition of the Mark Burnett-produced series with most noting the striking similarities between the 44th President and the devil played by actor Mehdi Ouzaani.

The show has been a surprise hit in the ratings, with the religious mini-series attracting 13.1 million viewers on Wednesday - topping television leviathan American Idol's 12.8 million viewers on Wednesday."


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