President Barack Obama received a standing ovation when he arrived for his speech, and another one when he completed it.
Obama described a world where Muslims have been suspicious and resentful of the modern West and where the West has certainly had its grievances with Muslim extremists.
"The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and western countries, but also to human rights," Obama told the global audience.
Click play to watch Paul Strand's report, followed by analysis from CBN News' David Brody and Gary Lane.
However Obama said he came to Cairo University to change that.
"This cycle of suspicion and discord must end," the president said. "I have come here to cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world."
But he said he also came to tell hard truths.
"As the holy Koran tells us, 'Be conscious of God and speak always the truth,'" Obama said.
About the Israeli - Palestinian conflict, he told the Palestinians they must give up violence.
"It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus," Obama pointed out. "That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.
He told the Israelis they must accept a Palestinian state.
"Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's," Obama said.
He again suggested Iran should give up any plan to build nuclear weapons.
"It is about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path," the president explained.
He gently chided Muslim nations not committed to democracy, but was a little more pointed when it came to religious persecution in those countries.
"Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one's own faith by the rejection of another's," Obama said.
The audience often cheered and applauded the young American president, and reaction in Egypt has been fairly positive to Obama's visit.
One man said Arabs feel Obama's election started a new chapter with Arabs and that he will pay attention to the Palestinian issue and be fair to all sides.
But the Arab people do want action.
"We don't want to hear just promises, promises, promises," said Mos Ingy Awtallah, an Egyptian student. "We want to see an action plan.