Gaza: BBC takes Obama to the streets

Mariam Hamed writes:

“[After] one year of Obama… What has changed?”

The BBC has raised this question 430 times in banners featuring U.S. President Barack Obama in key locations across Gaza. The banners confront Gazans on morning and evening commutes, and as a result Obama has become the talk of the town.

Gaza’s BBC correspondent Shohdy Al-Kashef explains the banners are part of an ad campaign for a recent a BBC Arabic-language program, and the Obama banners have gone up in cities across the Palestinian territories. The BBC called on Palestinians to interact with the program, especially asking for comments about the Obama presidency one year later, via text and interactive internet forum. Said Al-Kashef, “The main goal is for… the people to ask questions [about Obama] without restrictions.”

I wandered up to a number of people looking at the Obama banners and asked them to answer the question the signs raise.

Abu Mohammed, a falafel vendor, sees the BBC sign everyday, as it is suspended on the side of the street opposite his. About the question, he answers, “There is nothing new under the sun. Obama’s sleeping in honey – [he has gotten comfortable where he is], and he does not mind ruin of the Palestinian people.”

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