President Obama = King Tut?

By MichaelJames

May 31, 2009 10:18am

In anticipation of President Obama's June 4 speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Jim Zogby writes at the Huffington Post that expectations are high though in Egypt "he will face a nation hardened in its negative view of the US and its role in the region, and unconvinced that this or any American president can or will change policy." He adds that it is "precisely because of the persistence of these strong negative attitudes that Obama's decision to go to Egypt was the right choice. It is there that the US President must convince skeptical Arabs that the change he promised is real. Given Egypt's sheer size and the importance of its role in the region, if President Obama can't sell his message there it may not have its desired impact anywhere."Zogby says the speech "must be more than banal clichés ('we are not at war with Muslims') or a repetition of hollow visions. It must be bigger, more consequential and more substantial."ABC News correspondent Lara Setrakian finds this t-shirt being sold in Egypt that compares President Obama to King Tutankhamen, who ruled Egypt from 1333-1324 BC. One possible aspect at play here is the insistence by some African-American activists that Tutankhamen was black, though in 2007 Egyptian antiquities expert Zahi Hawass said that "Tutankhamen was not black, and the portrayal of ancient Egyptian civilization as black has no element of truth to it."Hawass was responding to protestors in Philadelphia who objected to images of King Tut with lighter skin than they thought accurate in the exhibit "Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," soon to open in Indianapolis.On the other hand, maybe the T-shirt vendor was just using the name of the most famous Pharaoh to sell some shirts.- jpt

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