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"Yes We Did," Arab American Launches Obama Website

posted on: Nov 3, 2008

A lot of people are betting Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be victorious tomorrow. Last week, The Observer looked at New Yorkers who might become part of an Obama-Biden administration and others who can count themselves as F.O.B.s (Friends of Barack). New York Magazine put the Senator on the cover with the headline January 20th, 2009. Even The New York Times’ William Kristol, who went from acting as Dan Quayle’s brain to becoming Sarah Palin’s biggest fan managed to declare today, “Barack Obama will probably win the 2008 presidential election.”

Then there’s Fred Shwaery, who is so hopeful that Senator Obama will be elected President of the United States tomorrow that he registered the Web sites,, and in May.

“I wasn’t sure what I was thinking,” Mr. Shwaery, a 54-year-old training manager from Springfield, Virginia, told Media Mob, of his multiple domain grabs. “I hadn’t done it before.”

Buying the domains for a year cost Mr. Shwaery $40. He enlisted his 27-year-old son, Nick, a graphic designer, to build a site for him, but he says, “We’re really behind.” Until recently, the site had been a simple catch-page featuring one of Shepard Fairey’s images of Barack Obama. As of today, the site is a bit more built up, featuring an image of Senators Obama and Biden with a feedback form for users. “I should’ve been ready to go but I wasn’t,” Mr. Shwaery said.

“I would love to do something with collectible clothing, T-shirts… I haven’t seen any ‘Yes We Did’ products. There’s nothing.” (Actually, there are some shirts from these Cafe Press shops, and these from Zazzle, Print Perfection, and Scarebaby Design.)

Mr. Shwaery told Media Mob he’s not affiliated with the Obama-Biden campaign and that no one from the campaign has contacted him about (“I was surprised,” he said.) Active in his state’s Democratic party. Mr. Shwaery also blogs for Yalla Dems, a Web site that provides “Information for Arab American Democrats in Virginia.”

With more than 36 hours to go before the end of this election—unless America is forced to endure a drawn-out post-election count like in 2000—does Mr. Shwaery think it’s bad luck to have a site that so confidently states, ‘Yes We Did’? “I don’t think it’s a jinx,” Mr. Shwaery said. He describes himself as “Optimistically cautious,” pausing for a moment to correct himself. “Or cautiously optimistic. You never know.”

Mr. Shwaery plans to spend Election night at “a bunch of parties in northern Virginia, one after another.” On Nov. 5th, whether his candidate wins or loses, Mr. Shwaery is asking his son to watch the site’s traffic. And he’ll be thinking about the future of “Maybe somebody would wanna buy the site,” he wondered. “I should find someone who wants to do this with me.”

Matt Haber
New York Observer