For the first time in several years, there is a chance for peace in the Middle East, Egyptian journalist Mohamed I. Hakki told a small crowd of Utah State University students this week.
Hakki, addressing a USU convocation Thursday afternoon, discussed complications the United States and Arab countries face in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf war."Desert Storm was more than just a military campaign to right some wrongs. It very well could be the beginning of a completely new chapter for the Arab and Israeli nations," Hakki said.
President Bush in his speech to Congress and in another to Arab journalists was more forceful than any president has ever been, Hakki said. He said he feels Bush is talking not merely about current events in the Middle East but also about the future because he is the first president in American history to talk of the Arabs as people, friends and allies.
"We've never had anyone like Bush who is an educated president," Hakki said. "He knows the Arab leaders, he knows all the players . . . so this is the first time (we have had a chance for peace). He is a war hero, he is a man of principle."
Hakki has anchored Washington, D.C., bureaus for Kuwaiti, Saudi and Egyptian newspapers. From 1975 to 1981 he headed the Egyptian Embassy press office, and he was Egyptian President Mubarak's press secretary from 1981 to 1982.