The man who is dubbed the "scholarly president," due to his many achievements and awards in the engineering field, has spoken to Ahram Online about the problems plaguing Egypt's transitional period, including the Muslim Brotherhood's spat with the government of Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri.
Mohamed Mursi received a scholarship from the University of Southern California for academic excellence in engineering and earned a Masters degree and PhD in protecting spacecraft engines in 1982. He worked as a professor in University of Southern California, Los Angeles University, Cairo University, Zagazig University, and Al-Fateh University in Tripoli, Libya between 1982 and 1985.
After the conclusion of his academic endeavors abroad, Mursi served as head of the Engineering Department at Zagazig University in Egypt from 1985 until 2010. He has been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood since 1979 and was considered one of their top leaders and official spokesperson before the January 25 Revolution.
Mursi, who heads the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), created after the January 2011 uprising, was not the group's first choice for president. The Brotherhood initially wanted Khairat El-Shater, the group's deputy supreme guide and financer, to be president. However, when El-Shater was disqualified from the race because of a criminal conviction during the Mubarak era, the Brotherhood presented Mursi as a substitute.
Tensions with El-Ganzouri cabinet
In interview, Ahram Online asked Mursi about the Muslim Brotherhood's volatile relationship with the government of Kamal El-Ganzouri. When El-Ganzouri was first appointed in November, the Brotherhood had good relations with him and even visited him in his office. However, things turned sour, with the Brotherhood repeatedly asking for the dismissal of the Ganzouri government, citing incompetence.
When asked about the Brotherhood's initial visit with El-Ganzouri, Mursi said that it was an attempt to clear the air for the sake of the nation. "This happened before the parliament commenced and we wanted to assure him that we don't consider anyone an enemy … We talked about many of the important issues regarding the resources of the country," Mursi said.
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