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Kenyans, Indonesians Celebrate Obama’s Nomination

Posted June. 06, 2008 04:27,   


Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s clinching of the U.S. Democratic Party’s presidential nomination has also taken Kenya and Indonesia by storm.

Kenya, where Obama’s biological father was born, is seeing a festive mood over his victory. The Associated Press said Wednesday that in the southern Kenyan city of Kisumu, where Obama’s relatives live, people watched on TV Obama’s victory speech and celebrated his nomination.

Hoisting plastic cups of "Obama" beer, Kisumu residents said they hope Obama will help build schools and hospitals in their country, asking him to lift them out of poverty.”

Kenyan newspapers also gave Obama top billing. The English-language Daily Nation reported that a seed planted by a Kenyan who studied in America has grown to be an influential politician and will run for the White House, mentioning Obama’s father Barack Hussein Obama. The elder Obama studied in the United States on a government scholarship in 1959.

Obama`s step-grandmother Sarah Hussein Obama and his uncle Said Obama prayed for his victory in the November election.

Though Sarah Hussein Obama has no biological ties to Senator Obama since she is the second wife of Obama’s grandfather, the senator has showed deep affection for her and his Kenyan relatives by visiting her three times and inviting them to the United States twice.

When Kenya suffered from violence in the wake of the 2006 presidential election, Obama urged peace in a radio message in the African country.

Indonesia is where Obama spent his childhood, and people there have praised him as a hero in celebrating his candidacy, the Associated Press said. At age six, Obama went to Jakarta with his mother and lived there for four years with his stepfather.

"I never imagined he would become a great man," said Obama’s third-grade classmate Widianto Hendro Cahyono. "He was an average student but very active. He would play ball during recess until he was dripping with sweat."

The principal of the Menteng school Obama attended, Kuwadiyanto, said, "I hope Sen. Obama will visit our school and further improve the relationship between Indonesia and the U.S."