Children for Change

“Children for Change” Movement in Egypt: We Want Mubarak Out Because He Arrests People Unjustly and Beats Them with a Whip
The following are excerpts from an interview with the leaders of the “Children for Change” movement in Egypt, which aired on Dream 2 TV on August 23, 2005.

Host: The leader of the movement and two members are with us. let’s get to know them and see what this movement is about. Good evening.

Children: Good evening.

Host: Muhammad, you are the leader of this movement. How are you?

Muhammad: Allah be praised.

Host: Muhammad, your slogan is “children for change,”?

Muhammad: Yes.

Host: What change?

Muhammad: Changing the regime.

Host: The regime or the system?

Muhammad: The regime itself. Mubarak.

Host: The president.

Muhammad: Yes.

Host: Why, Muhammad?

Muhammad: Because he arrests people for no reason.

Host: He arrests people for no reason?

Muhammad: Yes. For no reason. He has done more bad things than good.

Host: That is what you think.

Muhammad: Yes.

Host: OK. I want to ask you a question, Muhammad. In order for you to think this way, your environment – your relatives, friends, and family – might have been oppressed somehow, or something happened in their lives to make you want to rally your friends and brandish the slogan “children for change.” What happened?

Muhammad: On July 30, they arrested my dad.

Host: Why was he arrested?

Muhammad: They claimed he broke the law.

Host: Does he belong to a religious movement?

Muhammad: No, no. He was protesting.

Host: In a demonstration?

Muhammad: Yes. In a demonstration. After that I said that if dad isn’t released within a week, Allah willing, I would establish the “children for change” movement.

Host: And your father did not return within a week.

Muhammad: No, thank God, he did.

Host: But you had already made the decision.

Muhammad: When dad came home, he saw we were upset. (He said) “You are upset because of 48 hours?” He took us to the Prisoner Day convention. We saw the wives and mothers of the prisoners speak and they affected me. After that I said I had to establish the “Children for Change.” movement.

Host: Muhammad, you are in 7th grade?

Muhammad: Yes.

Host: You’re 12 years old. I’ll return to you, but I want to ask ’Omar… ’Omar, you are six years old? Six and a half?

’Omar: Yes.

Host: You support change too. What do you want to change?

’Omar: Me?

Host: Yes.

’Omar: Husni Mubarak.

Host:Why, Muhammad?

’Omar: He is Muhammad, not me.

Host: I’m sorry, ’Omar, I called you Muhammad. Why do you want to replace him? I want to tell you something. If someone wants to change something, he must experience it for a long time… I want to tell you something. You are mad at your school, because you sit there for a long time, and you get mad and say that you want to go to high school and not elementary school, right? You’ve been alive for six years, three of which don’t count because you were a little baby. What bothers you? What do you want to change?

’Omar: I want Husni Mubarak to be replaced because he arrested people who have done nothing and beat them with a whip.

Host: He beat them with his hands? With a whip?

’Omar: No.

Host: Then how did he beat them?

’Omar: With a whip.

Host: Oh, with a whip. He grabbed a whip and beat them. You think this is unjust?

’Omar: Yes.


Ihab, have you heard about the elections?

Ihab: Yes.

Host: Don’t you think that in these elections, if someone gets more votes than the president, he could be the ruler, the new president?

Ihab: It’s difficult, because the elections are forged, and no one else can win.

Host: Who told you the elections are forged? Did you read about it or did someone, your dad or mom, tell you?

Ihab: No. No one. I saw it myself.

Host: What did you see?

Ihab: I saw the forgeries. They swap the ballot boxes in the elections.


Host: What bothers you most in the country?

Muhammad: What bothers us the most…

Host: You, you, Muhammad.

Muhammad: For example, when I walk down the street, I see children that no one cares for. They search for food in the trash. You can go see it with your own eyes.

Host: That is what bothers you most?

Muhammad: Yes.