News / Middle East

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Wins Support by Helping Poor

El Farouk Hospital in suburban Cairo is where the Muslim Brotherhood is winning hearts in Egypt
El Farouk Hospital in suburban Cairo is where the Muslim Brotherhood is winning hearts in Egypt

Multimedia

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is the country's best organized opposition group.  Its members took part in the protests that swept Hosni Mubarak from power, but they did not dominate them.  Instead, the brotherhood, still banned, works behind the scenes to win support and pave the way for what its leaders hope is the eventual imposition of Sharia law in the Arab world's most populous nation.

This is where the Muslim Brotherhood is winning hearts in Egypt.

El Farouk Hospital in suburban Cairo:

Like other facilities, it does not admit to receiving aid from the brotherhood, but the banned group directed VOA to this hospital.

Hospital Director Dr. Magdi Ahmed Abdel Aziz says the hospital serves everyone,  especially the poor.  “We get upper class people, especially in the emergency room.  We get cases of poor people because our costs are subsidized with aid from donors,”  Aziz said.

The hospital heals bodies, but it also provides for the spiritual needs of patients.  This is why lawyer Ismail Mohamed Ismail had his surgery here.


“If you look behind you, the televisions are playing verses from the holy Quran.  The staff are doing their jobs, considering God in their conscience and I feel comfortable and anything related to Islam makes me feel psychologically relieved,”  Ismail said.

El Farouk and other Islamic donor-funded hospitals provide medical care for many poor Egyptians when government aid falls short.

“The health ministry provides care, but its budget cannot cover the services,” Aziz said.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not a jihadist organization. It wants gradual transformation.  However, the group's former head, Mohamed Mahdi Akef, says its aim is clear. “Islam should rule Egypt,” he said.

Hosni Mubarak's departure and the prospect of free and fair elections may open a new opportunity for the group.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders hope the good will it has cultivated among some of Egypt's poor will bear fruit at election time, if the group is allowed to participate.

Patient Ismail Mohamed Ismail declines to say if he would vote for Brotherhood candidates. He is not sure if imposing Sharia in Egypt will ever be necessary.  

“In the 70s, during the time of the late Presidents Nasser and Sadat, people were wearing short skirts, but their faith was stronger. Now, more people are wearing hijab but they are empty of faith. I hope people will have more faith, like before. I hope religion will come back to people, more than before,” Ismail said.

Banned from politics for decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has won ground in places like El Farouk Hospital. Its next challenge may be winning wider support across Egypt.

 

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid