In an interview on Friday, Dr. Ahmed Arif, a Muslim Brotherhood media spokesman, said that civil society is one of the most important poles of development in Egypt, which is by no means an exclusive responsibility of the government or official State institutions.
In this context, the Muslim Brotherhood launched its campaign entitled ‘Mother Egypt… your children matter’ to activate its role in society, a positive contribution in solving the nation’s problems, in the belief that the country must now move from demonstrations and political battles to work and production.
Arif revealed details of the campaign, which will allocate hotlines as well as websites, to enable the people to communicate with organizers of all events of the campaign, which will be launched before January 25 – the second anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution.
Arif further pointed that the campaign will not end after the anniversary of the revolution, but will extend over two or three more weeks. He added that there will be central committees following up the campaign throughout Egypt.
"The campaign’s medical convoys will involve many doctors from the Muslim Brotherhood and others, and will provide medical services to a large number of Egyptians.
"The timing of the campaign aims to make use of the academic mid-year holiday in Egypt, through communication with students and teachers to provide technical and financial support and exert efforts to maximize the benefit of the campaign, especially in maintenance and beautification of as many public schools as possible. Preparations are under way for a geographical map of all campaign events, which will reach into many villages and provinces."
Moreover, Arif added that the water purifying part of the campaign will include the installation of large huge purifiers in more than one location in various provinces.
"More importantly, the campaign will attempt to change the way people deal with sale and purchase of goods, in order to cut prices in a sustainable manner, by promoting the idea of selling at wholesale prices. This will benefit everyone, traders and consumers alike. The campaign endeavors to ease the heavy burdens on the shoulders of Egyptian households.
The Muslim Brotherhood media spokesman added that all the details of the ‘Mother Egypt… your children matter’ campaign will be announced late next week at a press conference where names of large companies, corporations and businessmen, as well as shops that will sell the goods will be revealed too, said Arif. Those will be great examples and role models for others to emulate, Arif added, hoping to spread what might be called 'contagious goodness and charity' – which will help make the benefits of the campaign more sustainable.
"The campaign is now one of development efforts, away from totally pointless political bickering and partisan intransigence. All efforts must be coordinated and directed to serving the nation with cooperation among the people to raise morale on a national level. The message of our campaign, using the slogan ‘Mother Egypt… your children matter’, is directed to all people, not only the laboring classes, but also the middle classes and the poor.
"We seek to provide a real model of public development for the Egyptian people. Our message is close to the hearts of Egyptians, the ordinary man in the street. We are trying to help the government deal with a heavy legacy. It cannot be left alone to meet the challenges facing the country under these circumstances. Civil society must participate positively by taking its patriotic responsibility. Incidentally, this campaign is not at all about collecting Zakat (alms) as some are falsely claiming."
Asked whether there was coordination with other parties, groups or movements, for potential participation in the campaign, Arif said: "This campaign is unrelated to any political or partisan alliances. We do not want it to have any political cover. However, the door is open for all to participate – not only politicians and political parties, but also social groups and professionals.
"For example, there will be a related campaign of planting trees, which requires the participation of farmers, and other campaigns that require doctors and so on. This is the best way to make best use of everyone's efforts, without coloring or politicizing the whole issue, in order to restore the spirit of the revolution where everyone was unite."
Arif mentioned that there will be a daily counter for the duration of the campaign to help follow up the achievements of the campaign on the ground, by for example, logging and monitoring the number of operations performed by surgeons, the amounts of drinking water newly installed purification devices are producing, and the demand on ‘Easing the burden on Egyptian households’ campaign goods. Contact details will be announced, including names of contact persons to communicate with.
Arif completely rejected accusations claiming that the ‘Mother Egypt… your children matter’ campaign comes in anticipation of the upcoming House of Representatives elections, in order for the FJP to win a larger number of electoral votes.
"We and all patriotic people who do not flinch from bearing their dutiful responsibility towards the homeland recognize all such intentional vilifying attacks trying to undermine our best endeavors.
"We are working day and night, all the time without pause, to the service of this great people. This is what touches the Egyptian citizen who voted for us usually in all elections. This also is the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘human’ approach, not an electoral process. The Brotherhood did this before and after the revolution, and will do it again before and after the elections."