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Muslim Brotherhood Female Students at Egyptian Universities
Muslim Brotherhood Female Students at Egyptian Universities
They attracted my attention when I saw them for the first time, they were strolling in the Press Syndicate in Cairo during the conference of "Together against Imperialism and in Support of Resistance" held last March; they had sashes on their white veils reading " Muslim Brotherhood Female Students in Egyptian Universities". They played a prominent role in the student elections at Egyptian universities; however, they faced the same fate as the Muslim Brotherhood male students because they were struck off the lists of the student union elections.
Tuesday, December 5,2006 00:00
by Saeed Abbady IkhwanWeb

They attracted my attention when I saw them for the first time, they were strolling in the Press Syndicate in Cairo during the conference of "Together against Imperialism and in Support of Resistance" held last March; they had sashes on their white veils reading " Muslim Brotherhood Female Students in Egyptian Universities". They played a prominent role in the student elections at Egyptian universities; however, they faced the same fate as the Muslim Brotherhood male students because they were struck off the lists of the student union elections.


They started to participate in the elections of the Free Student Unions (an entity which is parallel to the student unions and it was formed after striking of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood students from the student elections) and they gained some seats in the union.


The elections of the Free Student Unions were held in 12 Egyptian universities; they led to the win of candidates affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood in addition to other trends like socialists and independents.


It was necessary to shed light on these young women who are participating in the student activities, so I interviewed student Habiba Alaa Abdul Moneim- the Secretary-General of the Free Student Union in the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University and the assistant Secretary General of the Free Student Union in the university, and student, Khulaida Abu Zeid, a student in the faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University.


Regarding establishing activities for Muslim Brotherhood female students, Habiba says, "The activities of the Muslim Brotherhood female students started a long time ago, but unfortunately, we do not have a track record of these female students and their activities, something we are trying nowadays to establish. At the beginning, the MB female students had limited activities and they were dependant on a male supervision. Now we started to establish a private organization, although we are still affiliated with our male students counterparts in the organization and we constantly discuss decisions about activities in the university.


Concerning the axes of the student action for female students, Khulaida said," the main axis of action which the female students focus on is the human aspect, bringing up a proper character for girls in accordance with the right ordains of Islam, spreading good values and manners among students, overcoming defects in the educational system; like high prices of the academic books, professor-student ties and other student-related problems.


Khulaida pointed that there are two main points in which the Muslim Brotherhood group’s policies and student activities are intersected; 1) Interest in change and reform, 2) Focusing on the human aspect, reforming the individual, human values and the idea of comprehensiveness for which the Muslim Brotherhood is distinguished as it cares for all aspects in all walks of life.


As for Habiba, she said that the activities of the MB female students are diversified and tackle various activities, including culture, sports, excursions, cultural competitions, academic seminars, in addition to helping students with problems like high book prices and how to help poor students to afford them. So the Muslim Brotherhood female students decided to establish a solidarity fund to help these young women  financially. In addition, we educate female students on how to become good citizens and prepare them for being successful wives in the future.


Regarding their attitudes towards heated issues, like the issue of the veil, Khulaida said, "we definitely refuse the statements by the Culture Minister, Mr. Farouk Hosni, about the veil and his considering it a symbol of backwardness. We staged a student march to denounce his statements and we expressed our views that the dress is a matter of personal freedom, in addition to being an ordain from God. She added that they respect and value the freedom of expression, but without offending others.


Habiba also added that:" We- Muslim Brotherhood students- deal with all female students- veiled or unveiled; we reach out to them and help all people and we do not offend anyone; we cooperate with other trends in various campaigns like the campaign of "Free University .... Free Homeland"; we coordinated with others like socialists and Labor Party activists.


Habiba says that:" Unfortunately this co-ordination is only in political aspects, but we hope to extend it to many fields.


Concerning the structure of the system of the Muslim Brotherhood female students, Khulaida said:" the structure of the female members is like the same structure of the student union committees; there is an arts committee, a culture committee and others.


As for their attitude towards the idea of establishing a Free Student Union, Khulaida said, "This idea addresses the students full right to run for the elections, to express their own opinion, and choose their representative in the student unions; however all this did not take place in the formal university elections; so we thought of establishing the Free Student Union to be a podium for students to express their opinions away from security agents and government pressures. Khulaida said that there is another option to practice freedom through the system of "Osar" (organized groups of students) despite the security measures; which led to shutting down a famous group "Fairouz" at the Faculty of Economic and Political Sciences; it is worth noting that this group has a long history as it was established in 1988; then, it was excluded and its activities were banned without prior notice. Habiba said that there are other four Osars in Cairo University, but they practice their activities under heavy scrutiny by government and faculties’ administrations .


Regarding the experience of the Free Student Union and the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood female students, Habiba said," the Muslim Brotherhood female students participated with great veracity in the elections; we participated in the voting process in all faculties in which the idea was carried out, and we ran as nominees in three other faculties (the faculties of Arts, Commerce and Dar al-Olum).


She spoke about her own experience in running for the elections, she said that she ran for the elections of the general secretariat of the Free Student Union at the Faculty of Arts, 7 male students and 5 females, including herself, won the elections; there were two who aren’t affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, one was Socialist while the other was an independent; which proved the transparency of the elections.


They spoke also about the security pressures against the MB female students; Klida said, "many assaults took place; for example, we staged a march-after the crisis of the veil- to object to the minister’s statements; security shut down the university and riot police was deployed everywhere although it was a march that included female students only; in addition to this, security summoned student: Israa at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Helwan University, and sent her three warnings because she distributed sweets among first graded students, in addition to monitoring Muslim Brotherhood female students."


They attracted my attention when I saw them for the first time, they were strolling in the Press Syndicate in Cairo during the conference of (Together against Imperialism and in Support of Resistance) held last March; they had sashes on their white veils reading " Muslim Brotherhood Female Students in Egyptian Universities". They played a prominent role in the student elections at Egyptian universities; however, they fate the same fate of the Muslim Brotherhood male students because they were struck off the lists of the student union elections. Thereupon, they started to participate in the elections of the Free Student Unions (an entity which is parallel to the student unions and it was formed after striking of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood students from the student elections) and they gained some seats in the union.


The elections of the Free Student Unions were held in 12 Egyptian universities; they led to the win of candidates affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood in addition to others trends like Socialists and independents.


It is necessary to shed light on these fairer sex who are participating in the student activities- Muslim female students- through interviewing leading student figures. I interviewed student Habiba Alaa Abdul Moneim- the Secretary-General of the Free Student Union in the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University and the assistant Secretary General of the Free Student Union in the university, and student, Khulaida Abu Zeid, a student in the faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University.


Regarding establishing activities for Muslim Brotherhood female students, Habiba says, "The activities of the Muslim Brotherhood female students started a long time ago; however, unfortunately, we do not have logs of female students, something we are trying nowadays to do. At the beginning, the Muslim Brotherhood female students had limited activities and they used to depend on a male supervision. Thereupon, we started to establish a private organization although we are still affiliated to the male students’ organization as much as decisions over activities in the university are concerned.


Concerning the axes of the student action for female students, Khulaida said," the main axis of action which the female students focus on is the human aspect, bringing up a proper character for girls in accordance with the right ordains of Islam, spreading good values and manners among students, overcoming defects in the educational system (like high prices of the academic books, professor-student ties and other student-related problems).


Khulaida pointed that there are two main points in which the Muslim Brotherhood group’s policies and student activities are intersected; 1) Interest in change and reform, 2) Focusing on the human aspect, reforming the individual, human values and the idea of comprehensiveness for which the Muslim Brotherhood is distinguished as it cares for all aspects in all walks of life.


As for Habiba, she said that the activities of the MB female students are diversified and they tackle various activities, including culture, athletics, excursions, cultural competitions, academic seminars, in addition to helping students in problems like high price of books, helping poor students to buy academic books; the Muslim Brotherhood female students decided to establish a solidarity fund to help poor girls to get their staff, in addition to edifying girls to become good citizens and prepare them for being a successful wife in the future.


Regarding their attitudes towards nowadays hot issues, like the issue of the veil, Khulaida said, "we definitely refuse the talk of the Culture Minister, Farouk Hosni, about the veil and his considering it a symbol of backwardness; we staged a student march to show our attitude denouncing the statements of the Minister of Culture; we believe that the dress is a personal freedom as preachers for freedom said repeatedly; add to this that the veil is an ordain from Allah -Glory be to Him; the Culture Minister shouldn’t have tackled this issue and he shouldn’t have given his opinion that contradicts with that of the religious scholars. Definitely, we respect and estimate the freedom of expression, but without offending others.


Habiba added that:" We- Muslim Brotherhood students- deal with all female students- veiled or unveiled; we reach out to and help all people and we do not offend any one; we cooperate with other trends in some campaigns like the campaign of (Free University .... Free Homeland); we coordinated with others like the Socialists and Labor Party activists.


Habiba says that:" Unfortunately this co-ordination is only in political aspects, we hope to extend this co-operation to many fields.


Concerning the structure of the system of the Muslim Brotherhood female students, Khulaida said:" the structure of the female members is like the same structure of the student union committees; there is an arts committee, a culture committee and others.


As for their towards the idea of establishing a Free Student Union, Khulaida said, "This idea addresses the student’s full right to run for the elections, to express his/her own opinion, to choose his representative in the student unions; however all this did not take place in the university elections; so we thought of establishing the Free Student Union to be a podium for students to express their opinions on away from security and government pressures on Egyptian universities. Khulaida said that there is another option to practice freedom through the system of groups despite the security measures; the security pressures lead to shutting down the famous group "Fairouz" at the Faculty of Economic and Political Sciences; it is worth noting that this group has a long history as it was established in 1988; then, it was excluded and its activities were stopped without notifying the leaders of the group. Habiba said that there are other 4 groups in Cairo University, but they practice their activities under heavy pressures from security services and the administrations of the faculties.


Regarding the experience of the Free Student Union and the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood female students, Habiba said," the Muslim Brotherhood female students participated with great veracity in the elections; we participated in the voting process in all faculties in which the idea was carried out, and we ran as nominees in three other faculties (the faculties of Arts, Commerce and Dar al-Olum).


She spoke about her own experience in running for the elections, she said that she ran for the elections of the general secretariat of the Free Student Union at the Faculty of Arts, 7 male students and 5 females including me won the elections; there were two who aren’t affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, one was Socialist while the other was an independent; this proved that the elections were fair.


They spoke also about the security pressures against the MB female students; Klida said, "many assaults took place; for example, we staged a march-after the crisis of the veil- to object to the minister’s statements; security shut down the university and riot police was deployed everywhere although it was a march that included female students only; in addition to this, security summoned student: Israa at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Helwan University, and sent her three warnings because she distributed sweets among first graded students, in addition to monitoring Muslim Brotherhood female students."


They attracted my attention when I saw them for the first time, they were strolling in the Press Syndicate in Cairo during the conference of (Together against Imperialism and in Support of Resistance) held last March; they had sashes on their white veils reading " Muslim Brotherhood Female Students in Egyptian Universities". They played a prominent role in the student elections at Egyptian universities; however, they fate the same fate of the Muslim Brotherhood male students because they were struck off the lists of the student union elections. Thereupon, they started to participate in the elections of the Free Student Unions (an entity which is parallel to the student unions and it was formed after striking of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood students from the student elections) and they gained some seats in the union.


The elections of the Free Student Unions were held in 12 Egyptian universities; they led to the win of candidates affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood in addition to others trends like Socialists and independents.


It is necessary to shed light on these fairer sex who are participating in the student activities- Muslim female students- through interviewing leading student figures. I interviewed student Habiba Alaa Abdul Moneim- the Secretary-General of the Free Student Union in the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University and the assistant Secretary General of the Free Student Union in the university, and student, Khulaida Abu Zeid, a student in the faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University.


Regarding establishing activities for Muslim Brotherhood female students, Habiba says, "The activities of the Muslim Brotherhood female students started a long time ago; however, unfortunately, we do not have logs of female students, something we are trying nowadays to do. At the beginning, the Muslim Brotherhood female students had limited activities and they used to depend on a male supervision. Thereupon, we started to establish a private organization although we are still affiliated to the male students’ organization as much as decisions over activities in the university are concerned.


Concerning the axes of the student action for female students, Khulaida said," the main axis of action which the female students focus on is the human aspect, bringing up a proper character for girls in accordance with the right ordains of Islam, spreading good values and manners among students, overcoming defects in the educational system (like high prices of the academic books, professor-student ties and other student-related problems).


Khulaida pointed that there are two main points in which the Muslim Brotherhood group’s policies and student activities are intersected; 1) Interest in change and reform, 2) Focusing on the human aspect, reforming the individual, human values and the idea of comprehensiveness for which the Muslim Brotherhood is distinguished as it cares for all aspects in all walks of life.


As for Habiba, she said that the activities of the MB female students are diversified and they tackle various activities, including culture, athletics, excursions, cultural competitions, academic seminars, in addition to helping students in problems like high price of books, helping poor students to buy academic books; the Muslim Brotherhood female students decided to establish a solidarity fund to help poor girls to get their staff, in addition to edifying girls to become good citizens and prepare them for being a successful wife in the future.


Regarding their attitudes towards nowadays hot issues, like the issue of the veil, Khulaida said, "we definitely refuse the talk of the Culture Minister, Farouk Hosni, about the veil and his considering it a symbol of backwardness; we staged a student march to show our attitude denouncing the statements of the Minister of Culture; we believe that the dress is a personal freedom as preachers for freedom said repeatedly; add to this that the veil is an ordain from Allah -Glory be to Him; the Culture Minister shouldn’t have tackled this issue and he shouldn’t have given his opinion that contradicts with that of the religious scholars. Definitely, we respect and estimate the freedom of expression, but without offending others.


Habiba added that:" We- Muslim Brotherhood students- deal with all female students- veiled or unveiled; we reach out to and help all people and we do not offend any one; we cooperate with other trends in some campaigns like the campaign of (Free University .... Free Homeland); we coordinated with others like the Socialists and Labor Party activists.


Habiba says that:" Unfortunately this co-ordination is only in political aspects, we hope to extend this co-operation to many fields.


Concerning the structure of the system of the Muslim Brotherhood female students, Khulaida said:" the structure of the female members is like the same structure of the student union committees; there is an arts committee, a culture committee and others.


As for their towards the idea of establishing a Free Student Union, Khulaida said, "This idea addresses the student’s full right to run for the elections, to express his/her own opinion, to choose his representative in the student unions; however all this did not take place in the university elections; so we thought of establishing the Free Student Union to be a podium for students to express their opinions on away from security and government pressures on Egyptian universities. Khulaida said that there is another option to practice freedom through the system of groups despite the security measures; the security pressures lead to shutting down the famous group "Fairouz" at the Faculty of Economic and Political Sciences; it is worth noting that this group has a long history as it was established in 1988; then, it was excluded and its activities were stopped without notifying the leaders of the group. Habiba said that there are other 4 groups in Cairo University, but they practice their activities under heavy pressures from security services and the administrations of the faculties.


Regarding the experience of the Free Student Union and the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood female students, Habiba said," the Muslim Brotherhood female students participated with great veracity in the elections; we participated in the voting process in all faculties in which the idea was carried out, and we ran as nominees in three other faculties (the faculties of Arts, Commerce and Dar al-Olum).


She spoke about her own experience in running for the elections, she said that she ran for the elections of the general secretariat of the Free Student Union at the Faculty of Arts, 7 male students and 5 females including me won the elections; there were two who aren’t affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, one was Socialist while the other was an independent; this proved that the elections were fair.


They spoke also about the security pressures against the MB female students; Klida said, "many assaults took place; for example, we staged a march-after the crisis of the veil- to object to the minister’s statements; security shut down the university and riot police was deployed everywhere although it was a march that included female students only; in addition to this, security summoned student: Israa at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Helwan University, and sent her three warnings because she distributed sweets among first graded students, in addition to monitoring Muslim Brotherhood female students."


We asked them about their opinion regarding the future of the universities; Khulaida said "The University is definitely the mirror of the country, but we are worried so much about the future of Egypt under the current situations, because we hear of many social vices like drugs, adultery, and other immoral acts."

tags: Press Syndicate / Cairo Conference / Imperlialism / Resistance / Free Student Union / Female Students / Egyptian Universities / State Security
Posted in MB News  
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