A YouTube Appeal to Egypt’s Diaspora From the Muslim Brother Who Would Be President
Readers who are curious about the Egyptian presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood but are hampered by their lack of Arabic can get a sense of the man by watching a video message he recorded in English, appealing for the support of the Egyptian diaspora.
The candidate, Mohammed Mursi, speaks English fluently. He lived in Los Angeles for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he earned a Ph.D. in materials engineering at the University of Southern California and taught for a few years at a smaller school nearby. His two children were born in the United States and hold U.S. citizenship.
The somewhat rambling video address — posted on YouTube on May 6, before the first round of the presidential election — adds weight to the idea that Mr. Morsi advanced to the second round on the strength of the Brotherhood’s popularity and organization, not his personal charisma or speaking ability. But it also accurately reflects the character of the Brotherhood’s campaign moving into the runoff against Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, which stresses the need for an economic recovery and the recovery of national pride.
As the Egyptian blogger Zeinobia noted earlier this month, it is not entirely clear why Mr. Morsi chose English for his appeal to the 586,803 Egyptians abroad who are registered to vote. Official statistics posted online by Egypt’s presidential election commission show that just 45,000 of those voters live in the U.S., Canada and Britain, while more than 475,000 are in four Arabic-speaking countries with more prosperous economies than Egypt: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Kuwait on Tier 3 for 6th consecutive year.
Kuwait is a destination country for men and women who are subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser degree, forced prostitution. Men and women migrate from India, Egypt, Bangladesh, Syria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran, Jordan, Ethiopia, and Iraq to work in Kuwait, mainly in the domestic service, construction, and sanitation sectors. Although most of these migrants enter Kuwait voluntarily, upon arrival their sponsors and labor agents subject some migrants to conditions of forced labor, including nonpayment of wages, long working hours without rest, deprivation of food, threats, physical or sexual abuse, and restrictions on movement, such as confinement to the workplace and the withholding of passports. While Kuwait requires a standard contract for domestic workers delineating their rights, many workers report work conditions that are substantially different from those described in the contract; some workers never see the contract at all. Many of the migrant workers arriving for work in Kuwait have paid exorbitant fees to recruiters in their home countries or are coerced into paying labor broker fees in Kuwait that, by Kuwaiti law, should be paid for by the employer – a practice that makes workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in Kuwait. Due to provisions of Kuwait’s sponsorship law that restrict workers’ movements and penalize workers for running away from abusive workplaces, domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to forced labor inside private homes. In addition, media sources report that runaway domestic workers fall prey to forced prostitution by agents who exploit their illegal status. Continue reading