"I don't think we yet know what his Middle East policy is going to be," says Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Center for Lebanon. "I don't think he has shown us all his cards yet. He has been preoccupied with other issues since taking office, such as the economy, health care, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Iran. These have been much more pressing issues for him than Arab-Israeli peace."
'I would be embarrassed to accept it'
Whether a critic or a supporter of Obama, however, few seem to believe he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize at this early stage in his presidency.
"God willing, he will be able to help us in the next three years, but I don't understand why he has been awarded the Nobel. If I was him I would be too embarrassed to accept it," says Francois Karam, a barber in Ashrafiyah, a mainly Christian district of east Beirut.