Barack Obama sworn in as US president

Meliha Hayat

Tuesday January 20th 2009 has surely been the most anticipated day of the year not just for the American nation, but for the global community. Barack Hussein Obama officially became the 44th president of the United States and America's first African American leader.

Thousands of Americans flocked to see this historical event. They viewed the last moments of George W Bush as president and watched a slightly nervous President-elect Obama step forward and take the oath of office.    

During this day of joy President Obama spoke bluntly about the current economic state of the US and how the country should brace itself for some tumultuous times ahead. Yet in spite of this, Obama has promised to "forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan" and indicated a new approach from the US to environmental issues.   

He said: "Today I say to you that 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."

Obama has become a testament to the American Dream. In his speech he reminded the nation of the sacrifices people made in the past, with references to the civil rights movement that would have certainly touched the hearts of many African Americans who have lived through and conquered segregation.

Even those who do not live in America are breathing a sigh of relief and already feel that they can now look to the US with hope to lead the world to positive change. President Obama also went on to say: "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."

Obama has been placed on a somewhat messianic platform by a nation full of great expectation. He has proved that he can turn a crisis into an opportunity and many anticipate that Obama will have a successful term in office as president and succeed over his predecessors, especially the excruciatingly hapless ex-president George W Bush.

So on behalf of us all- Congratulations Obama and a heartfelt Good Luck!