Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama Sworn In As The 44th US President

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President Barack Obama takes office amidst political,
economic, social and moral challenges

Graphic Design © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

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Barack Hussein Obama, after taking an oath of office today in Washington, D.C., became the 44th President of the United States. He is the first African-American to be the President in the 233-year existence of this country. This event marks a new chapter in the US history.

Martin Luther King's Dream Greatly Realized

With Obama's installation as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the world's most powerful country, the dream of the black civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King expressed before a large gathering of civil rights leaders and supporters in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, came to a great realization. In his speech, titled "I Have a Dream", he had mentioned, "...I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal'....I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Obama's Mantra of "Change" and "Yes, I Can" Reverberated in His Speech

Addressing several hundred thousand people gathered in the National Mall and nearby streets and lanes on this cold winter day, President Barack Obama called for change, hope and renewal of American spirit. He said: "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the reciminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics."

He expressed his determination to face the challenges: "The challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America, they will be met." He also said: "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again the work of remaking America."

His Call for Responsibility

He called upon the Americans to take up responsibility to bring about a change. He said: " What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility, a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world....This is the price and promise of citizenship."

He extended America's friendship to all nations of the world, but cautioned the persistent rogue nations and terrorists of his determination for defeating them.

Washington, D.C., is having several inauguration celebrations. The new President and his family from today will be living in the White House that was once constructed with hard labour of black slaves.

The New President's Name

Some people are averse to the non-western name of the new President. Some still think that he is a Muslim or occult Muslim. Barack Hussein Obama is common in other languages. 'Barack' comes from Arabic 'barak', meaning 'blessing'; 'Hussein' is also from Arabic 'hasan', meaning 'good' or 'handsome'; and 'Obama', meaning 'curved' or 'slightly bent', comes from Dholuo (also called Luo) language of the Luo tribesmen -- more than three million -- in Kenya and Tanzania. Arabic names are not necessarily Muslim names. Long before the advent of Islam in Saudi Arabia in the 7th century AD, most of these names were being used by Arabic-speaking Christians and other religionists, and, even now they do so, because names are mainly language-based, not religion-based.


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