News

    Egyptian Presidential Hopeful Promises Islamic, Inclusive Future

    Egyptian presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, at his home in the Delta Village, Edwa, April 23, 2012
    Egyptian presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, at his home in the Delta Village, Edwa, April 23, 2012

    Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi, is among the leading contenders to become the nation's first post-revolution president.

    Morsi wasn't the first choice for president of the Islamist group, Muslim Brotherhood. But with its lead candidate disqualified, Morsi has grasped his role as an accidental front-runner with gusto.

    Whether working a crowd, or a roomful of politicians, the head of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party plays to his audience with seasoned awareness.

    To the students at Zagizig University, Morsi encourages questioning and activism. He says even after the election of a new president, even if he's elected, he wants the revolution to continue.  

    To supporters in his home village of Edwa, the U.S.-educated engineer stresses his humble, country roots.

    He connects with the crowd by pointing out “we weren't born with a gold spoon in our mouths.”  His father, he recalls, toiled and sweated, and would take him to school on the back of donkey. 

    The rise of Islmist influence

    And wherever he speaks, Morsi makes clear Egypt will be transformed - politically, economically and socially through the principles of Islam.  It is balm for many of the faithful, who relied on the once-banned Brotherhood during the hardships of the old government.

    Mohamed Morsi deserves the presidency, supporter Hannan Zakaria says, explaining that, before, she felt she lived in exile.  Now, under him, she says she is living in Egypt.  

    This vision of a new Egypt is deeply religious and, often, deeply suspicious of all things foreign - a point Morsi jokingly acknowledges at his home in Edwa.

    “This is the origin of the Egyptians, in Delta Nile," he said. "So it's better to talk Arabic. If they hear me they may get angry. You understand the situation, of course.”

    Living in 'harmony'

    The rise of a nativist, Islamist influence has alarmed some Egyptians - including the nation's minority Coptic Christians.  Morsi's wife, Nagla Ali, insists the two groups can live in harmony.

    She says “there are no problems between Muslims and Christians, especially with true Muslims, those enlightened by the true principles of Islam.”

    But religious problems may pale next to practical concerns. Morsi's message and credentials are strong - the former opposition legislator was arrested during last year's uprising.  But he carries the burden of the Brotherhood's promise to limit its role in politics. 

    Voter Sayed Hosni faults the group for initially promising not to field a presidential candidate.  He calls on the Brotherhood to keep its word.  

    Morsi's party already dominates parliament, and that too has put off some, who argue it has done little to improve the lives of average Egyptians.   

    Voter Magdi says the economy is at a standstill. He points to his cheap clothing and the bad transportation he endures.  “You want us to elect Morsi and those like him,” he asks.  

    The era of accountability has begun for Egypt's best-organized movement.  It's now up to Morsi to bridge the past and the future in what is likely to be Egypt's first, truly contested presidential election.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mike
    April 26, 2012 3:54 PM
    The Brotherhood probably does not have a copy of the 'Bill of Rights' hanging on their office wall. Their root principals are contrary to those rights, and that is was is so disappointing to many of us. All of the rights we have come to expect in modern cultures will be modified to be consistent with the Brotherhood's wisdom. In other words, one dictatorship gets replaced with another. It appears to me that Spring has become Winter.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.