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Jakarta Post

The week in review: Cheer amid the gloom

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Sun, November 14 2010   /  10:34 am

The cheering and laughing crowds more or less reflected the country’s reception to US President Barack “Barry” Obama — even though he only spent four years of his childhood in Jakarta. The applause at the University of Indonesia’s main hall virtually drowned out student protests outside the heavily-guarded campus grounds on Wednesday, the last day of Obama’s first state visit to Indonesia. Many here harbor resentment over US policy towards the Muslim world, even though President Obama has repeatedly said that the US is not, and never will be, at war with Islam. Nevertheless, the prevailing mood this week during the US First Couple’s short visit was obviously a welcome back for “the boy from Menteng Dalam”, who attended ordinary schools here. It would be difficult to find another US president who used to chase dragonflies and play in paddy fields. Only Barack Obama, of c...