Publication details [#56070]

El-Hussari, Ibrahim A. 2012. Remaking U.S. foreign policy for a new beginning with the Arab and Muslim worlds. Linguistic and discursive features of President Obama’s Cairo speech. In Fetzer, Anita and Lawrence N. Berlin, eds. Dialogue in Politics. (Dialogue Studies 18). John Benjamins. pp. 193–220.
Publication type
Article in book
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins


Since his inaugural speech on January 20, 2009 as the 44th president of the United States of America, Barack Obama has consistently kept the eloquence of his political language that addresses the issue of change and the need to remake America by reintroducing it to itself and the world at large. In his “Cairo Speech” which addresses a new beginning with the Arab and Muslim worlds, President Obama continues to use the same linguistic choices to effect a change in the foreign policy of his administration through dialogue. This article looks at the transformative language as well as the discursive features of Obama’s “Cairo Speech” as a context-dependent political discourse laced with the potential to make a ‘historic’ change in the foreign policy of the United States as a global power. Linguistic and discursive constructs related to “change” and a “new beginning” with the Muslim and Arab Worlds are embedded in a new type of political language calling for a constructive dialogue with ‘partners’ in an attempt to dust off the stains which the equivocal language of the eight-year Bush administration has brought upon the American foreign policy.