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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More