In his presidential campaign stop in Aswan on Saturday, May 5th, Freedom and Justice Party and Muslim Brotherhood presidential nominee Mohamed Morsi started with a speech titled "Nubia at the heart of Nahda (Renaissance) Project" in Nasr El-Nuba town and concluded with a massive rally next to the city’s Youth Center in Aswan.
Accompanying Morsi were a number of intellectual leaders, political figures, and soccer stars, such as Board of Trustees of the Revolution Secretary-General and Member of the Islamic Legitimate Body for Rights and Reformation (ILBRR) Dr. Safwat Hegazy, preacher and ILBRR Member Ragheb El-Sirgany, former Ismaili soccer player Captain Hamza El-Gamal, and current soccer player for the Ismaili Club and the Egyptian National Team player Captain Mohamed Hems.
Nubians welcomed Dr. Morsi with great enthusiasm, chanting slogans such as "For Nubia, we will go for Morsi", "Nubia will go for Nahda (Project) through Morsi" and "renaissance was the people’s will, with Nubia we will overcome all challenges".
Aswan campaigners also organized a car rally alongside the Nile river which was widely welcomed by the people there.
Dr. Morsi: Developing Nubia and Aswan is Among My Top Priorities
In his speech, Dr. Morsi asserted that Egyptians, particularly Nubians, had been oppressed and deprived of their country’s bounties, and affirmed that Nubians would be among the first to reclaim their rights in the near future.
"We will cultivate and develop Nubian lands. The best people to do that are its own people", Morsi stressed, adding that the development of Nubia and Aswan was among the top priorities of Nahda Project.
Morsi further promised to restore Nubians’ rights and reclaim their usurped lands.
"We will endeavor to provide agricultural tools, construct waterways and channels, build factories, provide job opportunities, overcome unemployment, and provide all the necessary and developmental capacities and resources."
Morsi affirmed that Nubians’ rights will not be waived by prescription, that the lands of Nubia and El-Ayyat will return to their rightful owners, and that the development of Lake Nasser and the High Dam is among the primary goals of Nahda Project.
Morsi promised to establish a state-of-the-art independent university and implement engineering projects in Nubia and Aswan under his supervision as an Engineering University Professor.
"The Nubian land needs its people and the experiences of all Egyptians considering its significance in connecting Egypt with Sudan", Morsi added renewing his promise to compensate Nubians for their lost rights throughout the past decades.
Morsi highlighted that building Nubia and Aswan, and, in fact, all of Upper Egypt was among the top aims of his electoral program, considering Nubia the life vessel of Egyptians because it is where the Nile river sources are based.
Morsi described the Nubian people as the most religious, kind, ethical and magnanimous.
"Nahda Project is based on Islamic reference, and we’re proud of that because our religion calls for social justice among all citizens whether in the north or south. The people of Nubia are in no way less than those of Cairo and other Mediterranean coast governorates in terms of rights and duties."
Dr. Morsi assured that Nahda Project aims include overcoming unemployment in Nubia and implementing huge projects in Upper Egypt that would involve Nubians and the people of Upper Egypt who occupy a special place in Morsi’s heart.
"Nubian blood was sucked by the dissolved National Party. In fact, the rest of Egyptian people were afflicted by the same problem", Morsi recalled, promising to compensate Nubians and Egyptians for what they had been deprived from in the past and hoping to be a just leader like Omar Ibn Khattab.
Dr. Morsi: Tourism is the Backbone of Nahda Project
Expressing his fondness for Aswan, in a meeting with “Tourism Makers”, Morsi affirmed that Nahda Project aims to develop the whole city of Aswan, primarily the tourist industry there.
Moreover, Morsi suggested transforming tourism from a mere service sector to a productive industry, affirming that this could boost the number of tourists from 11 million to 60 million tourists annually.
Morsi further explained that Egypt’s tourism potential in Aswan or other cities, in terms of natural scenery, monuments, and different attractions, is not reflected in the number of tourists visiting Egypt. Nahda Project aims to address this problem, according to Morsi, by developing tourism in all Egyptian cities, especially Aswan since it boasts the most tourist attractions.
Morsi added that Egypt is going through serious political upheavals and seems to be completely burning. But this will not happen, because Egypt has human resources capable of reviving the country in all domains, with tourism at the lead, considering its importance as a source of national income.
Recognizing the negative impact of the violent events on tourism, in addition to lack of security, Morsi explained: "We are doing all we can so the transitional period would pass quickly, in order for security to be restored, and hence tourism should flourish".
"We’ve gone a long way in building strong institutions including the parliament which was freely elected for the first time in Egyptian history", Morsi noted, hoping that the tourism industry would soon regain its former well-deserved status.
Morsi further noted that 14 million workers in the tourism industry were negatively affected by the current events, which is one of the reasons why he is endeavoring to bring the transitional phase to a timely end.
"Other problems affecting tourism are security, transportation, gas and diesel fuels", Morsi added, stressing that "We need tourism’s contribution in Egypt’s development economically and scientifically because it is a profitable source".
"Tourism is the backbone of the upcoming phase for Egypt’s revival", Morsi stressed, affirming that "the development of the south of Nubia, the Red Sea, Aswan and South Valley, with all their agriculture, tourism and industries, is among the top goals of Nahda Project”.
Morsi pointed out that there are several neglected tourist sites in Egypt, especially in downtown Cairo and in Aswan, considering it a waste of public money. Morsi further noted that Egypt is the only country in the world to have embraced several civilizations: Islamic, Coptic, Romanian, and Pharoanic, emphasizing the importance of using this asset as an advantage to put Egypt among the top countries in the world in terms of national income through tourism.
Morsi added that tourism in general suffers severe neglect, asserting that Nahda Project, which represents his electoral program, seeks to make tourism in Egypt an industry that will dazzle the whole world in terms of its organization, charm and beauty, and hence affect Egyptian income positively.
Further, Morsi called on businessmen and tourist industry workers to invest in the field so that the vision becomes a reality, adding that Nahda Project comprises not only the tourist sites but also those working and investing in the field.
Morsi promised tourism stakeholders that Aswan city would be a global port by all measures, captivating tourists from all over the world.
Dr. Morsi’s Speech in the city of Aswan mass rally
In his campaign rally, in Aswan, Mohamed Morsi expressed that the people of the south in Nubia and Aswan, Muslims and Copts, young and old, men and women occupied a special place deep in his heart as they are the kindest and purest of all Egyptians.
Dr. Morsi added that Egypt was at a decisive point in its history, and that it won’t rise without its sincere youth and men who wish to see their country progress and develop, promising to provide Aswan’s youth with 200,000 job opportunities in the four coming years.
Morsi emphasized that Nahda Project includes the development of Egypt’s south including Aswan, the Red Sea, Nubia, and South Valley, thus contributing to a comprehensive renaissance through marine, agricultural, tourist, and industrial development.
Developing Lake Nasser, Morsi explained, should ensure a dignified living for the people of Aswan, especially with an abundance of fishery products that could benefit all of Egypt.
"We have no choice but to succeed and restore Egypt’s pioneering role, and for Egypt, our people, and our nation to rise, and for all of us to begin taking serious steps towards development for the sake of the homeland, our sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters, our neighbors, and the whole nation”, Morsi said.
Morsi continued, saying that Egyptians built a great civilization when Islam blessed Egypt; all the people coexisted happily regardless of their different religious backgrounds.
Morsi stressed that the corruption throughout the past decades threw Egyptians in the deserts, drowned them in the sea and forced them to spend their lives in prisons through an unscrupulous regime.
"Today, the corrupt regime, overthrown by the people in the January 25 revolution, still endeavors to drag Egypt back to darker older days, through its die-hard holdovers, chums and cronies. But that they will not succeed."
Morsi further explained that his project aims for Egypt to attain a modern, stable, developed status that all its citizens can enjoy. "Gone is the time of the oppressive ruler who drives people with his whip”, Morsi commented.
"Gone is the time of tyrants and dictatorships. The people have matured and are able to choose and effect change the way they want; and will not step back, waver or look behind."
Referring to the martyrs since the ‘Camel battle’ and the launch of the revolution, and until today, Morsi said "We will not rest or tire until the bloodshed stops and the culprits are punished".
"It is a responsibility on my own shoulders. I must exact fair retribution for all the martyrs of the revolution, against criminals, through the law”, Morsi continued.
Morsi addressed those who want to undermine the revolution and its gains, telling them that their attempts will not succeed. He added that Nahda Project was the dream everyone had been waiting for to revive the country beginning with the Nile, agriculture, industry and human resources which the project aims to develop".
Furthermore, Morsi promised to plant four million wasted acres and to reclaim another 1.5 million acres, when he becomes president. He said he would present his project to the Egyptian people to participate in implementing it and in rejuvenating their country.
Morsi explained that the problems of agriculture, industry, education, healthcare, and instruction will be solved by Nahda Project which includes 100 specialized projects that will solve all of Egypt’s problems including those linked with agricultural crops, and animal, poultry and fishery resources.
Vowing to restore respect to Egyptian farmers, Morsi promised to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat, beet and cane sugar, and rewarding the farmers well for it.
Morsi further promised to end the crisis of the sewage flood waterway in Aswan, which pours its sewage water directly into the Nile.
Pointing that he would increase the budgets of scientific research, education, and healthcare, Dr. Morsi stressed that every citizen would enjoy his/her basic rights of a good education and healthcare.
While the former regime committed a major crime against all Egyptians, Morsi said, there will be no more looting of the country’s resources by regime officials, cronies and comrades, adding that Egyptians are more worthy of their country’s riches.
Dr. Morsi affirmed that there are more than 60,000 people in Aswan with special needs who, he promised, will get all their rights.
He further assured that Nubian lands will be restored to their rightful owners, adding that their compensations which they’ve been deprived of for more than 70 years will go to their heirs.
Dr. Morsi called on the people of Aswan and all Egyptians to work hard and banish lethargy to prevent former regime leftovers and those who plot and scheme against Egypt abroad from dragging Egypt back to square one.
ILBRR Member Ragheb El-Sirgany’s Speech
During the rally, ILBRR Member Ragheb El-Sirgany explained that the Muslim nation today suffered weakness in all fields of life and that Egypt was one of the main countries that abandoned Islamic laws.
El-Sirgany stressed that Morsi aims to reform and advance Egypt and the whole nation. El-Sirgany added that in fact, the Brotherhood’s nominee will make Egypt the world’s leader based on moderate, tolerant Islam.
El-Sirgany suggested that the only way out of the nation’s confusion was through Islam, because it has practical, realistic solutions for all of life’s problems.
El-Sirgany explained that Morsi’s project will revitalize Egypt, which has long been deprived of its bounties, emphasizing that Nahda Project is the only project to offer solutions to the problems of Egypt based on Islamic reference.
Commenting on Abbassiya events, El-Sirgany considered it a plot to prevent the revolution from realizing its goals and to sabotage the Islamic project which aims to fight all aspects of corruption in the country.
El-Sirgany declared Islam innocent of the events taking place in Egypt today and the wholesale robbery of Egypt’s riches – explaining that throughout the past fifteen years, around 3 trillion dollars was looted; an amount which if divided among the 85 million Egyptians would have made every citizen amongst the richest in the world.
El-Sirgany added that there are over 2 million street children and more than 2.5 million school drop-outs who evidently get hired in brutally violent incidents like the ‘Camel battle’, the Port Said massacre and the Abbassiya clashes. The cause of all these problems is people’s deviation from Islam for many years.
El-Sirgany further stated that Islam called for the establishment of a state based on social justice and progress in all domains of life, the promotion of liberties, overcoming unemployment, and providing a dignified life, which are all Islamic principles that Morsi seeks to uphold.
El-Sirgany prayed that God help Morsi in his service to Egypt and to restore the pride and dignity to Islam and Muslims.
Board of Trustees of the Revolution Secretary-General Safwat Hegazy’s Speech
Board of Trustees of the Revolution Secretary-General and ILBRR Member Safwat Hegazy asserted that the people of Aswan and Nubia were the essence of Egypt, the most noble, patriotic and sincere.
Hegazy further thanked the people of Aswan for their amazing hospitality, commenting that such a welcome was never unfamiliar or unusual to the people of Aswan who were ever the kindest in Egypt.
"The ILBRR with all its members, led by Sheikhs Ali El-Salous, Mohamed Hassan, and Tal’at Afify chose Dr. Morsi after meeting with all presidential nominees”, Hegazy said.
Hegazy elaborated that the ILBRR found that Dr. Morsi is the best representative of all Islamists; adding that the ILBRR has only four Brotherhood scholars while the rest of its members are from other Islamic leanings; but that they all believe he would be the best for Egypt.
Hegazy further stressed that Morsi never sought the presidency personally, which is another reason why he and other scholars chose to support him. "Morsi didn’t seek nomination because he appreciates the responsibility”, Hegazy added.
Hegazy assured that if Morsi becomes president, all his decisions would be based on the people’s interests, and that the constitution and people would be his guide, not the Brotherhood Chairman as some believe.
Hegazy affirmed that the Board of Trustees of the Revolution will be organizing a campaign titled "Catch those thieves" to prevent former regime remnants from winning the presidential race.
Former Ismaili Club Soccer Player Captain Hamza El-Gamal’s Speech
In Morsi’s campaign rally, Captain Hamza El-Gamal expressed his joy with the people of Aswan, adding that he holds much respect for all the presidential candidates but that his vote will go to Morsi for certain.
El-Gamal emphasized that he chose Morsi because he has a comprehensive project through which he will reconcile life with religion adding that he had been waiting for someone to bear such a project to restore Egyptians’ dignity.
El-Gamal added that the Brotherhood was at the lead in confronting the country’s problems for more than 80 years, affirming that "the most pro-active people in the Egyptian society are the Muslim Brothers, which is why they deserve to be the leaders of Egypt during the next phase".
El-Gamal added that he believed Morsi would lead Egypt to a safe harbor, wishing him success in reviving and revitalizing Egypt.
Brotherhood Aswan Management Bureau Official Osama Anwar Hassanein’s Speech
Osama Anwar Hassanein, Muslim Brotherhood Management Bureau Official in Aswan, asserted that the Brotherhood’s aim is to protect Egypt’s interests.
"If it weren’t for the martyrs and January 25 revolution, we wouldn’t have been enjoying freedom today”, Hassanein added, calling for the overthrow of the whole former regime after its head had been toppled.
Hassanein explained that the media strives to destroy Egyptian unity because it is mostly owned by former regime remnants.
Hassanein further explained that Morsi’s project was laid out by the Muslim Brotherhood, over many years, as part of their dream of reviving Egypt with Islamic reference.
Hassanein continued, saying that Morsi possesses experience, skills and abilities that qualify him for the leadership of Egypt in addition to Nahda project which encompasses all fields.
Mohamed Ali, a deaf person attending the rally in Aswan, announced his support for Morsi and said, "Dr. Morsi has a major rejuvenation project, and is working towards ending the suffering of the deaf and blind in all of Egypt".
Through a sign language interpreter, Ali expressed his confidence that Islam is indeed the solution (to all problems) and that he will choose Morsi as the next president for Egypt because his program is Islamic.
Ali also urged all Egyptians to vote for Morsi, recognizing his sympathy for the poor and keenness to solve all their problems.
Ismaili Club and Egyptian Team Soccer Player Captain Mohamed Hems’ Speech
Captain Mohamed Hems said that "Morsi possesses leadership qualifications we have long awaited", adding that he is convinced that Morsi will be able to solve all the problems of the country in the shortest period of time.
Hems added that anyone concerned for Egypt’s interests should vote for Morsi. "This is why I will choose him, out of full conviction, to become Egypt’s next president”, Hassanein reasserted.
Aswan FJP Secretary Mohamed Abdel-Fattah El-Karrar’s Speech
Aswan FJP Secretary Abdel Fattah El-Karrar asserted that martyrs of January 25th revolution, Mohamed Mahmoud Street, and Abbassiya clashes as well as every martyr who died on the land of Egypt deserve a salutation and will not be forgotten.
El-Karrar added that Morsi was the most capable among all the candidates because he had a developmental project laid out with the help of hundreds of scholars from all specializations in addition to a venerable group supporting him which has offered many martyrs throughout history for the sake of Egypt’s revival.
He explained that the FJP was eagerly seeking to overthrow the former regime completely, establish a State of institutions, and develop all domains of life on the basis of Islam so that Egypt’s prestige and international status is restored.