Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr recently interviewed Mrs Najla Mahmoud, wife of President Mohammed Morsi, regarding her visit to the president in Borg Al-Arab prison, prior to the commencement of his first trial.
Mrs Najla, please provide us with the details of your visit to the President.
It was pretty much a normal visit, just like all the visits we had been accustomed to previously [while President Morsi was imprisoned before the revolution]. What made this visit special was that it fell on the Islamic New Year and that it was the first time we were able to meet the president since the third of July. "Praise God" we were able to meet him and we were reassured that he is in good health. On my way to the prison I made a vow to be supportive and strengthening of the president, but I did not need to be. Instead I found him as he has always been; heroic, militant, resistant and steadfast. God has provided him with so much strength. He is determined to continue on the path of legitimacy, the path that he has chosen to lead, and is devoted to the principles of the revolution of the January 25.
What was the impact of the first session of the trial for the ousted president?
First I would like to comment on the term "ousted president". I prefer that he is referred to as the "legitimate president" because legally he is still the legitimate president. The people made their choice, and their presence and steadfastness in the streets for four months, going on to the five, has undermined this coup.
Okay, what was the impact of the first trial session on the legitimate or the detained president?
It increased his resistance and insistence on his stance. It made him more steadfast and optimistic. Truth is always stronger, and falsehood is weak and fragile. Although many people see falsehood and injustice as strong and great in magnitude, in reality it is weak and fragile and truth is stronger, "praise God". And President Morsi has both truth and legitimacy.
Did he speak to you about his vision for the future or solutions for the coming stages? Did he ask you to deliver a message to the Egyptian people?
The message he wanted delivered to the Egyptian people is that they should remain resistant and steadfast and not give up the revolution or its goals and that he, to the last moment of his life, will protect this legitimacy and the revolution of January 25.
And how does he envision the end of the current crisis?
Of course the vision is clear for everybody. The will of the people stands above all attempts from forces both in and outside of Egypt to end this revolution and, God willing, the people of Egypt will recover their revolution and proceed with it accompanied by their elected president. That is the trust and faith we have in Allah.
What is the thing the president asked about most during this visit?
As I mentioned earlier, this was the first time we were able to pay the president a visit in almost four months. Yet, the first thing he asked us, before he even asked how we were doing, was "how are the people doing?"
Can you describe to us what happened during this visit in detail, from when it began until it ended?
Well of course the first thing we did was to greet him warmly. As he always does he commented on every one of us. The first question he asked us "how are the Egyptian people doing?" Then, "How are living costs for the people?" He also asked questions as though he were still in power. He is always concerned about his people, his country.
And then? Did he ask you about the figures currently in power?
No. Not at all. We did not want to discuss any of the people currently in power because we are not concerned or worried about them anyway. The president does not acknowledge them and neither do we. The president in the past year has not discussed with his family any of Egypt's internal affairs. We used to find out, like the rest of the people, at the same time, anything concerning Egypt's internal affairs.
Regarding the atmosphere during the visit, was it confidential? Was security present during the visit?
At times they would remain close to us, other times they would be more distant. But "praise God" we do not have anything to hide from anyone. They would be present and it was fine; we did not feel that it was a problem.
How long was the visit approximately?
Approximately an hour.
Regarding his messages to you, were there any messages that he asked you specifically to pass on or that he specified his son Osama to pass on?
The messages were to all of us: to remain on the path as he has taught us and to remain resistant and steadfast. The message we gave him was: "Go and fight this battle with your lord and we will be fighting with you." We carry our shrouds in our hands, as you have taught us.
Did he give you details of his detainment since July 3 until your visit to him?
He spoke broadly. Time was tight and he wanted to be reassured about all of the members of the family. So we didn't speak in too much detail.
Did he speak about the occurrences in the Rabaa Al-Adawiyya or Al-Nahda Squares? Did you speak about anything political?
Did you discuss the details of the trial?
He said he met up with the lawyers and that he does not acknowledge the legitimacy of the trial. He discussed his situation with the lawyers and they reassured him about the conditions of his family.
What was his last message to you and your last message to him?
As I mentioned earlier, it was the same message throughout. Be strong, resistant and steadfast until the very end. This is the right path, we chose it ourselves and we knew when we chose it what we would have to sacrifice for God's sake our time, money and years of our life. He repeated persistently that we should remain steadfast on the path. The path that, God willing, will end in victory. We are now in victory and the praise is to God.
Finally, is President Morsi aware of what has been happening in Egypt through any form of media?
The availability of media, radio, television and newspaper, is very, very limited, almost non-existent. He formed his own ideas of what has been going on in Egypt. He got some information from the lawyers and from what he used to hear and formed his own, almost complete, vision of what is happening both inside and outside of Egypt.
Did the visit take place in preventive detention or in prison? If in the former, did you discuss whether he would be moved to jail?
It took place in the Borg Al-Arab Hospital, in a normal room. They had not expected the president to be present, so he was treated like any other detainee. They were surprised.
So is he present in the hospital due to exceptional circumstances?
His room inside the hospital was made into a prison cell. It had metal bars and thorn wire.
Was his presence in this hospital a temporary measure or will it last a while?
We don't know. They said that it is temporary, but we are not too concerned about these insignificant details.
How was his health condition?
'Praise God', he is in excellent health; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.