What's the first thing you hope Barack Obama does as President-Elect?

Posted by Fareed Zakaria on November 4, 2008 2:24 PM


Vivian Salama is an award winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. She has also appeared as a commentator on the BBC, France24, South African Broadcasting Corp., TVNZ, NPR and as a reporter for Voice of America radio. Her byline has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, the National, Jerusalem Post, and the Daily Star. Salama has an MA in Islamic Politics from Columbia University and she previously worked as a lecturer of international journalism at Rutgers University.

Fix the Domestic Economy

We mustn't forget that there is a crisis at hand that catchy slogans and smooth-talking rhetoric can not and will not solve.

Posted by Vivian Salama USA/Middle East | 1 COMMENTS
Nov 6, 2008 at 2:24 PM
Kyoko Altman has worked as a correspondent and anchor for CNN and CNBC, and as a news-magazine reporter for Japan's top-ranked news program 'News Station' on TV Asahi. She has covered more than twenty countries.

Restore the World's Faith in America

The choice of a black man, the son of a Muslim, as the next U.S. president, restored hope that America can be an example to the rest of the world.

Posted by Kyoko Altman Hong Kong, China | 3 COMMENTS
Nov 6, 2008 at 2:06 PM
Endy M. Bayuni took up the job of chief editor of The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s independent and leading English language newspaper, in August 2004 shortly after he returned from a one-year Nieman Fellowship at the Harvard University. Endy has been with the newspaper since 1991, working his way up from Production Manager (Night Editor), to National Editor, Managing Editor, and Deputy Chief Editor through all those years. He previously worked as the Indonesian correspondent for Reuters and Agence France-Presse between 1984 and 1991, and began his journalistic career with The Jakarta Post in 1983. Endy completed his Bachelors of Arts degree in economics from Kingston University in Surrey, England, in 1981.

Help Americans Stop Seeing in Black and White

In spite of Obama's mixed race and upbringing, he is still widely regarded as black. He is still judged by the color of his skin and not by the content of his character.

Posted by Endy Bayuni Jakarta, Indonesia | 3 COMMENTS
Nov 6, 2008 at 1:15 PM
Bashir Goth is a veteran journalist, freelance writer, the first Somali blogger and editor of a leading news website. He is also a regular contributor to major Middle Eastern and African newspapers and online journals.

Obama Should Turn His Eyes Toward Cuba

There is no quicker way to improve Americaʼs image than bring a speedy end to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Posted by Bashir Goth Somalia/UAE | 5 COMMENTS
Nov 6, 2008 at 12:46 PM
Ignacio Gil Vázquez is the managing editor of Spain’s second largest circulation newspaper, El Mundo. He previously served as foreign correspondent in France and as Culture section editor. He has covered wide-ranging events throughout his career, including the Basque conflict, Catalan politics, Francois Mitterrand’s final years as president of France, his successor Jacques Chirac’s election, and the death of Princess Diana.

Three 'First Things' Obama Must Do

Be strong on the economy, close Guantanamo, and lift the Cuban embargo.

Posted by Ignacio Gil Vázquez Madrid, Spain | 10 COMMENTS
Nov 5, 2008 at 8:42 AM
Originally from Pakistan, Anwer Sher is based in Dubai and writes for Gulf News, Khaleej Times and Emirates Today. His varied career experience includes banking, consulting, and real estate development. He has a Masters degree in International Relations.

Approach the World With Respect

A leader who can begin to clean up the mess of the last eight years.

Posted by Anwer Sher Dubai, UAE | 7 COMMENTS
Nov 5, 2008 at 8:30 AM
Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen whose family resides in Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. He is editor at large, and former executive editor, of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper, published throughout the Middle East with the International Herald Tribune. An internationally syndicated political columnist and book author, he is also the first director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and also serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Harvard University and the Dubai School of Government. He was awarded the Pax Christi International Peace Prize for 2006. He teaches annually at American University of Beirut, University of Chicago and Northeastern University. He has been a fellow and visiting scholar at Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College, Syracuse University and Stanford University, and is a member of the Brookings Institution Task Force on US Relations with the Islamic World. He is a Fellow of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (Jerusalem), and a member of the Leadership Council of the Harvard University Divinity School. He also serves on the board of the East-West Institute, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University (USA), and the Jordan National Museum. He was editor-in-chief of the Jordan Times for seven years and for 18 years he was general manager of Al Kutba, Publishers, in Amman, Jordan, where he also served as a consultant to the Jordanian tourism ministry on biblical archaeological sites. He has hosted programs on archeology, history and current public affairs on Jordan Television and Radio Jordan, and often comments on Mideast issues in the international media. He has BA and MSc degrees respectively in political science and mass communications from Syracuse University, NY, USA.

Think About Where Our Conflicts Come From

The critical first step for the new president is to identify accurately the real sources of conflict.

Posted by Rami G. Khouri Beirut, Lebanon | 2 COMMENTS
Nov 5, 2008 at 8:04 AM
Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist. He was born in Jerusalem in 1955. He is a former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in the United States. Mr. Kuttab is the former director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University in Ramallah, Palestine and the founder of AmmanNet, the Arab world's first internet radio station. His personal web page is

Close Guantanamo Prison

Close Guantanamo as a first step toward restoring America's credibility with the world.

Posted by Daoud Kuttab Jerusalem/Amman, Jordan | 8 COMMENTS
Nov 5, 2008 at 7:49 AM
Dr. Ali Ettefagh serves as a director of Highmore Global Corporation, an investment company in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. He is the co-author of several books on trade conflict, resolution of international trade disputes, conflicts in letters of credit, trade-related banking transactions, sovereign debt, arbitration and dispute resolutions and publications specific to the oil and gas, communication, aviation and finance sectors. Dr. Ettefagh is a member of the executive committee and the board of directors of The Development Foundation, an advisor to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and an advisor to a number of European companies. Dr. Ettefagh speaks Persian (Farsi), English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Turkish.

Demand Bush and Cheney’s Resignation

A radical step, but urgently needed to start repairing eight years of damage to the country and the world.

Posted by Ali Ettefagh Tehran, Iran | 48 COMMENTS
Nov 5, 2008 at 7:44 AM
Miklós Vámos is a Hungarian novelist, screenwriter and talk show host. He is one of the most read and respected writers in his native Hungary. He has taught at Yale University on a Fulbright fellowship, served as The Nation’s East European correspondent, worked as consultant on the Oscar-winning film Mephisto, and presented Hungary’s most-watched cultural television show. Vámos has received numerous awards for his plays, screenplays, novels and short stories, including the Hungarian Merit Award for lifetime achievement. The Book of Fathers is considered his most accomplished novel and has sold 200,000 copies in Hungary.

Shake and Make Up

I hope that President-elect Barack Obama shakes the hand of John McCain - and that he does so sincerely.

Posted by Miklos Vamos Budapest, Hungary | 9 COMMENTS
Nov 4, 2008 at 7:55 AM


» saunded | The most interesting thing to watch in the post-election period is how Obama handles the grassroots movement he started. He has proven to be a creativ...
» Shiveh | The first thing for Obama to do is to choose a knowledgeable and capable cabinet to help him govern. His budget is where he can be most effective in ...
» Citizenofthepost-Americanworld | From the bottom of my heart, I hope the first thing Barack Obama does as President-Elect is stay alive! We, Americans, have been here before. This i...

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.