His appeal was fueled by an almost unanimous dislike for his predecessor, George W. Bush, widely perceived in the region as a Christian fundamentalist leading an anti-Muslim crusade.
But that was then.
Euphoria has a short shelf life in the Middle East, and Barack Obama is not exempt.
To gauge reaction among Egyptian intellectuals to the news, I called Hisham Qassim, a democracy and human rights activist I've known for many years. He was perplexed at the news from Norway.
President Obama, he said, "is stumbling in the Middle East. He hasn't achieved any of his promises, and the Arab-Israeli conflict appears to be getting even nastier."
In short, he said, "nothing is working."
One winner of the Nobel peace prize Egyptians continue to admire is former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who won the prize in 2002.
After personally overseeing prolonged and painstaking negotiations between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Carter brokered the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords. It was the first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab country, and one a majority of Egyptians still believe was a major landmark in their long history.
The Obama administration is seen, not only in Egypt but also across the Arab world, as following in the footsteps of so many previous American administrations, caving in to Israeli intransigence.
It hardly augurs well for peace in the Middle East, especially at a time when tensions are simmering in Jerusalem, with some wondering if a third Palestinian intifada is in the making.