• MB News
  • December 15, 2015
  • 5 minutes read

Muslim Brotherhood in Dakahlia Mourns 80-Year Old Leader Talaat Shenawi Death

Muslim Brotherhood in Dakahlia Mourns 80-Year Old Leader Talaat Shenawi Death

 Talaat Shenawi, Muslim Brotherhood in Dakahlia administrative office manager, 80-year old, passed away Monday morning, after a long illness, in a Cairo hospital.

Shenawi was a leader from the first generation of the Muslim Brotherhood. The long years etched on his faced lines of determination and resolve to tread the path of truth, whatever the sacrifices. He spent 18 years in politically-motivated detention. He was married, with two sons and four daughters.

Shenawi was born on September 16, 1935 in the village of Sanava, Meit Khamr – Dakahlia. His father was a school headmaster; and he had 14 brothers and sisters.

Shenawi was arrested while still in high school. He was under twenty years of age. As he went to apply for university, he was arrested again, and detained for a further five full years.

Shenawi got acquainted with the Muslim Brotherhood in his village since the early forties. Group members had good relationships with all villagers and shared their problems and their joys. The Brotherhood’s presence, sports and cultural activities, and varied scout activities were very powerful.

Shenawi used to say: "What characterized the Muslim Brotherhood in that period the most was the call to jihad and defense of the sanctities of Muslims, especially since coincided with the build-up for the (1948) Palestine War. At the time, I was only thirteen years of age. I was keen to regularly attend the group’s Tuesday meetings, in which Imam Hassan Al-Banna lectured in the main center in Cairo. We felt a great responsibility towards our nation".

In 1955, Shenawi was barely twenty years old, but he was arrested and detained – for the first time – in a massive crackdown by Gamal Abdel-Nasser, with arbitrary arrests of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and members in an attempt to quell the group.

Talaat Shenawi was then sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Coming out of jail, he was arrested and detained yet again – only three months after his release. This time he was sentenced to five years in prison.

Again, in 1995, he was jailed, in another ferocious crackdown against members of the Muslim Brotherhood. He came out three years later, in 1998.

Shenawi did not personally meet Imam Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was fourteen when Al-Banna was assassinated. He was a contemporary of the martyr Sayyid Qutb and former Brotherhood Chairman Omar Telmesani.

Shenawi said: "I remember I once complained to Sayyid Qutb about the significant lethargy in one of the brothers, which never failed to infuriate me and almost ruined my otherwise good relationship with him. Then, Qutb taught me a great lesson in adapting to the other, saying: "Each of us has his personality and character streaks, that could and should be invested for the benefit of the call to Islam". He then gave me examples from the life of Prophet Mohamed (peace be on him) and the lives of his companions. From that moment, I learned the lesson that I must deal with each person in way that suits him, so as to successfully connect with him".