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Islamists clinch lion's share of Egyptian president's advisory team
Members of President Morsi's new team include six from Muslim Brotherhood, three from Salafist Nour Party, and two Islamist-leaning independents
Ahram Online, Monday 27 Aug 2012
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Morsi
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi smiles during a meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, August 22, (Photo: Reuters).

The names of the presidential assistants and advisers who will aid Egypt's first freely-elected head of state in the post-Mubarak era were finally revealed on Monday. With four assistants and 17 consultants – and more to come – Yasser Ali, spokesman for President Mohamed Morsi, said that the presidential team represented "different colours of the political spectrum," although team members' precise mandates remain unclear.

Six members of the consulting team hail from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood – as does Morsi himself – and the group's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP). Those six individuals are:

Essam El-Erian, acting chairman of the FJP. A veteran politician, El-Erian was a member of the Brotherhood's guidance bureau before the FJP's established. He was elected to parliament in Egypt's first post-Mubarak parliamentary polls late last year. El-Erian has said he would retain his post at the head of the FJP while serving as one of Morsi's consultants.

Mohei Hamed Mohamed, 52-year-old senior member of the Brotherhood's guidance bureau. Originally an otolaryngologist, Mohamed has been a member of the group since the late 1970s. He served as secretary-general of the Brotherhood's administrative office from 2001 until 2008, when he joined the group's guidance bureau.

Mohamed was detained almost eight times during the Mubarak era, including once during contentious 2005 parliamentary elections that saw fierce competition between the Brotherhood and Mubarak's now-defunct National Democratic Party (NDP).

Hussein Mohamed El-Qazaz, economic adviser to the FJP and stand-in member of Egypt's 100-member constituent assembly, tasked with drafting a new constitution. El-Qazaz is also a businessman and university professor in the field of Organisation Development (OD).

Rafiq Samuel Habib, an Egyptian Christian thinker and vice president of the FJP. Habib obtained his post-doctoral degree in sociology from Ain Shams University in 1988 and his master's degree in psychology in 1985, also from Ain Shams University.

Omaima Kamel, member of both the FJP and the current constituent assembly. The former MP also served as official spokesperson for women's affairs in Morsi's presidential campaign. Kamel's husband, Khaled Hanafi, is a leading Brotherhood member.

Ayman Ahmed Ali, a physician and member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Salafist Nour Party, meanwhile, boasts three members on Morsi's advisory team, in addition to party head Emad Abdel-Ghafour, who was chosen as the president's consultant for 'social communication.'

Nour Party-affiliated members of the advisory team are:

Khalid Alam El-Din, leading member of Salafist Nour Party who was also offered the post of environment minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. El-Din turned down the offer, however, to protest the small number of cabinet posts offered to the Nour Party.

Bassam Hassanein El-Zarqa, member of the Nour Party's higher committee. El-Zarqa is a former MP and a current member of the 100-member constituent assembly.

Former presidential candidate Selim El-Awa was also chosen as presidential consultant. A 69-year-old Islamic scholar and writer, El-Awa was one of 13 candidates to contest Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential election, in which he won some 250,000 votes.

El-Awa has been in the limelight for several years, especially due to his controversial stances on Coptic-Christians and Shia Muslims. He has also adopted a critical position vis-a-vis the Muslim Brotherhood's political performance.  

A woman, Islamist-leaning Cairo University political science professor Pakinam El-Sharkawi, meanwhile, was selected as presidential assistant for political issues.

Two women have also joined the consulting team so far: veteran writer and journalist Sekina Fouad, also a leading member of the liberal Democratic Front Party, and the Brotherhood's Omaima Kamel (see above).  

The presidential team also includes two Coptic-Christians: the FJP's Rafiq Habib (see above) and Samir Morcus, presidential assistant for democratic transition. Morcus, who previously headed up the Masry Foundation for Citizenship and Dialogue, a local NGO, is not formally affiliated with any political party.

 

A number of independent liberal and nationalist figures were also chosen as members of the president's advisory team. These include:

Amr El-Leithy, prominent Egyptian television presenter for the Mehwar satellite channel, owned by former NDP business tycoon Hassan Rateb. El-Leithy was an active member of Mubarak's NDP, serving on the party's media committee. El-Leithy is widely known for his high-profile interviews with prominent Egyptian figures, including President Morsi himself. 

Farouq Goweida, prominent poet and journalist at flagship state daily Al-Ahram. Goweida was touted as a possible nominee for the post of culture minister following last year's revolution.  

Ayman El-Sayyad, editor-in-chief of Waghat Nazar magazine and veteran journalist for several regional publications including pan-Arab magazine Al-Magala. El-Sayyad currently works as a consultant for several regional media centres and forums. A Political writer, El-Sayad was among several pro-revolution Egyptian journalists at the time of last year's Tahrir Square uprising.

Mohamed Esmat Seif El-Dawla, a Nasserist-leaning political analyst. Seif El-Dawla is also a founder of the 'Egyptians against Zionism' popular campaign, which opposes normalisation with Israel and calls for the abrogation of Egypt's Camp David peace agreement with the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

Seif El-Din Abdul Fatah, a Cairo University political science professor since 1988. He is also a consultant for the International Academy for Islamic Thought.

Emad Eddin Hussein Abdullah, former head of Egypt's Police Academy. Sixty-year-old Abdullah, who served as assistant to former interior minister Mahmoud Ibrahim, holds an MA in both law and security studies.

Ahmed Omran, computer science professor at Fayoum University. Omran obtained his BA in computer science from Cairo University in 2002, before going on to earn his MA and PhD in the same field.

Despite the announcement of the above appointments, however, it appears to remains unclear – event to the appointees themselves – exactly what functions they will perform.

"The consulting team is not part of the presidential team," Ayman El-Sayad declared on Twitter, while Farouq Goweida told Ahram Online that his responsibilities as presidential consultant "remain unclear." Goweida added, however, that he planned to put "general freedoms and cultural development" at the top of his list of priorities.  

Notably, the presidential team does not include any members of the revolutionary youth groups that played prominent roles in last year's uprising or were formed shortly afterward. Nor does it include any labourers or farmers, or members of any political parties other than the FJP and the Salafist Nour Party.

President Morsi, currently on a state visit to China, is expected to hold his first meeting with his new team once he returns from an international tour in which he is also slated to visit Iran and Germany.   





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Pharoah
06-09-2012 06:48pm
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To Hector
it is school not scholl and also do not speak about education when 40% of Egyptians cannot read and in your case cannot write. Educated people do not based ideas on assumption like you have just guessed that aladain is a coptic. FYI - All Egyptians are coptic before the invasion of Islam. Egypt was as rapped in 643 AD and now rapped by the muslim brotherhood.
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Hector M
09-09-2012 08:17am
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To Pharoah
Pharoah, where did you get the idea that All Egyptians are coptic. Your name as you know clearly says Pharoah, he was not Christian. Islam did not make any Christian to Muslim, if it would be true then the Chritians would have reverted to Christianity. You live in a fantasy world. Unlike you missionaries working in the poor Muslim countries in one hand bread and in other hand bible, bribing the destitue people to become Christians. In Islam there is no compulsion to convert to islam. You should get your facts straight. You guys when you were in power persecuted Jews to extinction and Muslims save the jews form Romans clutches. You tiny minority in Egypt, you Copts have a very big mouth and demands.
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Nazeer Ataullah
28-08-2012 11:45am
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Team is Must
Without team nothing could be achieved. It is President's prerogative to select the team. Let us think positive instead of just cryticism. The success of developed nations is due to the strong team of advisors to the rules. All the best to the new team.
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3



Dr. Malek Towghi /Tauqee (Baluch) --USA
27-08-2012 10:57pm
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The Cost?
Could somebody, Please, give us the details of the salaries, perks and fringe benefits these advisers, consultants, ministers ... will enjoy comparing them to the per capita income of Egyptians??
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Hector M
28-08-2012 07:40am
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The cost
Dr, Malek, why did you ask this question. Are going to pay their salaries and perks. Being in the US you should not ask this stupid rather foolish question. Let the Egyptians solve their problems. Dont be nosey on patti issues.
m.a.hussain
28-08-2012 05:26am
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patience pls
atleast give a months time, to them to reach for their first salary.
Sherif
28-08-2012 04:39am
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The cost is high!
Veyr good point, Dr. Towghi. Of course your question was rhetorical. Needless to say, the cost is going to be extremely high. This is blatant cronyism paid for by the Egyptian people who are struggling with the simple things in life. The Brotherhood is for the "Islamic brothers" and not for Egyptians. They have lied over and over again, and their sole aim is to feather their own nests.
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Dr. Malek Towghi /Tauqee (Baluch) --USA
27-08-2012 10:41pm
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A Revolution Hijacked as it was in Iran
MY PICK: "Notably, the presidential team does not include any members of the revolutionary youth groups that played prominent roles in last years uprising ...."
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Ansari
05-09-2012 11:35pm
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To Malek Towghi
Mr. Malik, your assertion that Notably, the presidential team does not include any members of the revolutionary youth groups that played prominent roles in last years uprising does not jive. Revolutionary youths initiated the uprising against Mubark, however their strenght was crumbling in the first 10 days of uprising. It was MB's in depth experience and organizational skills which saved the revolution from failing. Like example security check points, food, sanitation were facilitated by MB. You are sitting in the USA watching in your comfortable chair doing nothing. Did you send some money for the expenses?
Sherif
28-08-2012 04:42am
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A simple answer
The simple explanation for your astute observation is that these revolutionaries are not Brotherhood cronies. We are witnessing the rape of Egypt.
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Aladdin
27-08-2012 08:49pm
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Non_Islamists
Like PR. Morsi. they falsly claim to be Islamists. They do not have formal education or community service in Islam. They have extravagent ;life style contrary to true muslims. May ALlah (SWT) Yonsora Ala Kazabeen who do not understand in Doya or fi deen. Allah Akber
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dina
03-09-2012 05:58pm
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People like you
Hector, people like you are the problem in Egypt, throwing around accusations and causing rifts between religions. The man is quoting thing from the Koran and you are accusing him of being a Copt, like it is a bad thing. I am Muslim and I am against things that these MB and Salafists say and do, and I think many of them are hypocrites and do not truly understand Islam. And I can promise you I am not Christian. Grow up.
arkan
28-08-2012 11:01am
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slamists clinch lion's share of Egyptian president's advisory team
listen all groups should exist together ,you'd like to make egypt Saudi Arabia or Iran
Hector M
28-08-2012 07:45am
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To Aladdin
Aladdin, you must be Copt who hates MB. FYI, Morsi and company have very well educated in the US in Elite colleges. You guys just wish those kind of education. To me you are most ignorant and dont even have formal middle scholl education. So shut up and dont spread your ignorant rumors.

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