Opinion

Election 2012: Postcard from Nairobi

Updated 10:44 AM ET, Thu October 25, 2012
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Barack Obama's father is from Kenya -- and in 2006, then-Senator Obama visited his relatives there. In this photo, Obama greets his grandmother Sarah Obama at their rural home west of Nairobi. AFP/Getty Images
Obama also met with 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Mathai, the first African woman to win the prize, during a ceremony in Nairobi in 2006. AFP/Getty Images
Writer Mutuma Mathiu says from the clubs to the teeming barrios for which Nairobi is notorious, President Obama is spoken of with enthusiasm and pride. AFP/Getty Images
Residents of Kibera, Kenya's biggest slum, gather to watch Obama's inauguration ceremony in 2009. Mathiu says that in Kibera, Obama's story resonates strongly because when you are poor, "the only thing keeping you going is a dream." AFP/Getty Images
One newspaper editor told Mathiu the Obama fervor has died down over time, and that Obama spends less time on Kenyan newspapers' front pages than four years ago. Here, papers announce Obama's victory in the Democratic primary race of 2008. AFP/Getty Images
Many in Kenya see Obama's successful pursuit of Osama bin Laden as his greatest achievement. Mathiu says al Qaeda -- and its Somali affiliate Al-Shabaab -- are extremely unpopular in Kenya. AFP/Getty Images
Kenyan security forces have vowed to pursue Al-Shabaab fighters across its border with Somalia. AFP/Getty Images
Mathiu says there was an outpouring of sympathy for America when al Qaeda bombed the U.S. embassy in Nairobi in 1998 -- but that the support has not been reciprocated in Kenya's current struggle with Al-Shabaab. AFP/Getty Images