``Do you want to hear my honest opinion?'' asked Samira Mohamed, a 26-year-old lawyer. ``I was very happy when I heard the news. My happiness is based on my utter rejection of the U.S. treatment of the Middle East case.''
``We're ecstatic. Let America have a taste of what we've tasted,'' said Ali Mareh, a Lebanese resident of Beirut.
"This is the reaction required to confront the American and Israeli arrogance," said Mohamad Hallak, a 40-year-old Palestinian refugee from the southern Rashidiyeh camp in Tyre.
Palestinians in Jerusalem celebrated outside the Damascus Gate to the historic Old City, shouting, clapping, and passing around candies. Teenagers stoned Israeli buses and cars in nearby streets before a tight lid was clamped on the streets of East Jerusalem.
Reports also described how upon hearing news of the attacks many Saudis immediately passed out sweets or slaughtered animals for celebratory feasts. Other Saudi admirers of bin Ladin sent one another congratulatory text messages on their mobile telephones.
One revealing indicator of public opinion in the Arab world was a survey of Palestinian public opinion conducted by Bir Zeit University about three weeks following the attacks. One of the most fascinating findings was the response to the question: "If it is proven that the party responsible for the attacks in New York and Washington is of Arab-Islamic descent, should these groups be seen as representing Arabs and Muslims as a whole?" Fifty percent of the respondents answered yes (54 percent in the Gaza Strip), and only 42 percent said no. Further, only 25 percent of the respondents agreed that "the United States [is] justified in attacking those parties responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington," while nearly 70 percent disagreed.