2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll: Results of Arab Opinion Survey Conducted June 29-July 20, 2010

Content from the Brookings Doha Center is now archived. In September 2021, after 14 years of impactful partnership, Brookings and the Brookings Doha Center announced that they were ending their affiliation. The Brookings Doha Center is now the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, a separate public policy institution based in Qatar.

On Thursday, August 5, Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and nonresident senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, released the 2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll, which is produced each year in conjunction with Zogby International.

This year’s poll surveyed 3,976 people in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates, during the period of June 29–July 20, 2010.

Among the key poll findings are:

  • A substantial change in the assessment of President Obama, both as president of the United States and of Obama personally.
  • Remarkably stable views on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the prospects of its resolution.
  • A majority of the Arab public now see a nuclear-armed Iran as being better for the Middle East.

Among other things, the poll also examined how Arabs score specific American policies in the past year, how they rank other countries across a number of variables, and how they prioritize attitudes toward social and religious issues.


Among the most striking findings on the question of attitudes toward President Obama: Early in the Obama administration, in April and May 2009, 51% of the respondents in the six countries expressed optimism about American policy in the Middle East. In the 2010 poll, only 16% were hopeful, while a majority – 63% – was discouraged.

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On Iran’s potential nuclear weapons status, results show another dramatic shift in public opinion. While the results vary from country to country, the weighted average across the six countries is telling:  in 2009, only 29% of those polled said that Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons would be “positive” for the Middle East; in 2010, 57% of those polled indicate that such an outcome would be “positive” for the Middle East.

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For more information about the 2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll or to arrange interviews with Dr. Shibley Telhami, please contact Gail Chalef, Director of Communications for Foreign Policy at Brookings at 202-797-4396 or [email protected].