World Welcomes Obama's Win

Barack Obama's claim to victory was welcomed today in Indonesia, where he spent four years of his childhood.

"I think Indonesian people feel very happy and proud of Barack Obama," said Emi, an English teacher at one of the schools Obama attended, between the ages of 6 and 10, in the capital city of Jakarta.

"I hope Barack Obama can help American people to understand Muslim culture," she said, pointing to her headdress. "American people think that Muslim dress is strange."

"I hope Barack Obama … can change the world peacefully," said Bahasa Indonesian language teacher Buwanto.

"I believe he understands more about the people in developing countries. If he becomes president, he will know … our dreams," said Indonesian political analyst Sukardi Rinakit.

Emi hopes Obama can bridge the cultural divide with the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Many Indonesians hold out hope that it may be possible for someone to go from living in Jakarta to living in the White House. "Obama, good luck," said Rinakit. "I need the younger generation to lead America, and this will inspire us in the other countries and inspire us in Indonesia."


In Iran, many were relieved to see Obama take the Democratic nomination.

Clinton had enjoyed some local support among Iranians who were nostalgic for her husband's presidency. President Bill Clinton's secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, is remembered for moves toward reconciliation and understanding between the U.S. and Iran.

But much of that support for Clinton dissipated after she threatened to "obliterate" the Islamic Republic if it attacked Israel. What remained was a desire for a swift and sharp change from the policies of the Bush administration.

"I'm so happy to see that finally Hillary is out. … I was so angry with Hillary for staying in the race and forcing Obama to spend energy on the primary," said Sina Tabesh, 23, who follows U.S. politics from his home in Tehran.

"Most of my relatives say they're sick of Clinton and the old Washington system. They're very optimistic about Obama," Tabesh told ABC News.


In much of the Arab world, Obama has been the longtime regional favorite, largely for his message of change and international outlook, and his interracial background.

"He looks like pretty much half of the region -- people can identify with him. The speech he gave about race shows a man who is not just using cliches but who has a fresh look at things," said Hafed Al Ghwell, who works with the Dubai School of Government.

Al Ghwell, who holds dual Libyan and U.S. nationality, sees Obama's win as a boost to America's image in the Middle East.

"It's the first sign that the U.S. is turning the corner. … It's a signal to the world that the United States is back," he told ABC News.

Some people in the Gulf regretted seeing America's strongest hope for its first female president fall flat.

"The suggestion … that Hillary Clinton should accept a cabinet-level position under Barack Obama as president is utter balderdash. She would make a great president herself," Rajendra Aneja of Dubai wrote to the editor of The National, an Abu Dhabi newspaper.


Nearly every day in India, the English-language newspapers have led with stories on American politics.

Indians have closely followed the race. Clinton is well-known here because of her husband and her recent visits to the country. But Obama's popularity here has risen as he gained momentum in the nomination process.

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