The National Association for Change (NAC) launched a door-knocking campaign two days ago, aiming to collect one million signatures on a petition called “Together We Can Introduce Change.”
The petition includes seven demands for democratic reform specified by Mohamed ElBaradei, the former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The petition calls for guarantees of the integrity of the election process, the facilitation of the nomination of independent candidates for the presidency, the possibility of voting using national identity cards, and the granting to expatriate Egyptians the right to vote in Egypt’s elections.
The campaign started at 5:30 PM in 12 governorates: Cairo, Giza, Qaluybiya, Alexandria, Gharbiya, Daqahlia, Ismailia, Suez, Port Said, Sohag, and Qena.
The youth from NAC divided themselves into groups of 10 and began canvassing residential areas, introducing themselves to tenants as members of the NAC. They explained the petition in simple terms: “If you would like to have good social insurance coverage… If you would like to have a pension that satisfies your needs… If you would like your children to find jobs after graduation, please sign the statement so that Mohamed ElBaradei or another person will be able to change conditions in Egypt to the better.”
The Cairo and Giza groups met in front of the Lawyers Syndicate at 6 PM where Nasser Abdel Hamid, the campaign coordinator, declared Imbaba the campaign starting point.
Participants headed to Ahmed Orabi Street, Mohandessin. Wearing white clothes and carrying Egyptian flags, Abdel Hamid and Maha el-Gamal began their campaign at el-Yasmeen pharmacy, located in building 91. They explained the seven demands but the pharmacy owner refused to sign the statement saying, “We have nothing to do with politics.”
Undeterred, Hamid and el-Gamal moved on to building’s apartments. Nehad Nashat, a resident, opened the door and willingly signed the petition, agreeing with the pro-reform statement. Nashat’s mother also signed, saying, “The people are frustrated and fed up. We all have to do something for Egypt, especially since economic conditions are not reassuring.” She went on, “I will sign to put an end to the theft of Egypt’s resources, and I approve the nomination of ElBaradei for a better life.”
The group then headed to building 94, apartment 203, where Mohamed Elwi Ata, an engineer, identified them by their Egyptian flags and the “Together We can Introduce Change” slogan. “You are with ElBaradei, aren’t you?” he said, before confidently signing the petition and requesting another another for his wife to sign.
Campaign reports have shown that 90 percent of the people approached in the governorates signed the petition compared to 80 percent in Cairo.
Leaders at the NAC, including George Ishaq and Hassan Nafaa, are expected to participate in the campaign at a later stage.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.