The Morsi biographies circulating on the Internet all emphasize the modest rural origins of this son of a farmer, born in 1951 in a village in the Sharqiya governorate in the Nile Delta, and his brilliant academic career that took him from the engineering faculty at Cairo University to the University to California, where he earned a PhD. His degree enabled him when he returned to Sharqiya to become chair of the Zagazig University Physics Department from 1985 to 2010. This rags-to-riches story, although tarnished by accounts of his difficulty making friends in California, is rounded out on various Brotherhood websites by an “official story” that glorifies his excellent reputation and heroism in combating the former regime. His role as a former member of Parliament is often highlighted in this narrative, as it is in the biography on the organization’s English-language website: “In Egypt’s Parliament in 2000, Dr. Mohammed Morsi played a prominent and influential role as leader of the parliamentary bloc. He was one of the most active members of parliament, responsible for the most famous questioning sessions in Parliament—for the train crash incident—in which he held the government responsible for the tragic accident. Internationally, he was chosen as the best parliamentarian in the years 2000–2005 due to his effective parliamentary performance.”13


Nile Delta Muslim Brotherhood Forced Withdrawal Political Section Parliamentary Seat 
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© Marie Vannetzel 2016

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  • Marie Vannetzel

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