A View from the Arab World: A Survey in Five Countries


Under the sponsorship of the Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, Shibley Telhami prepared a public opinion survey for Zogby International, which interviewed 2,620 men and women in Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan. The survey was conducted between February 19 and March 11. It focuses on perceptions of the United States in specific political scenarios and on views of United States policy abroad. Previous polls done by Shibley Telhami and by Zogby International in the Middle East showed that neither United States policy nor the United States was viewed favorably.

Summary of Findings

On attitudes toward the U.S.
Very few people in the survey countries have a favorable opinion of the United States: Only 4% in Saudi Arabia, 6% in Morocco and Jordan, 13% in Egypt, and 32% in Lebanon.

Most people say that their attitudes toward the U.S. are based on American policies, not on American values.

On possible war with Iraq
Despite the U.S. claim that it intends to spread democratic values and ideals throughout the world, war with Iraq will bring less democracy in the view of 95% of Saudis, 66% of Moroccans, 60% of Egyptians, 58% of Jordanians, and 74% of Lebanese.

More than three-fourths of Egyptians, Lebanese, and an overwhelming majority (90%) of Moroccans think that war with Iraq will bring less peace in the Middle East. More than half of Jordanians (60%) think that war with Iraq will bring less peace in the Middle East.