In 2012 Haddara went through one of the most difficult periods of his life when his mother passed away. He, his father and brother traveled to Egypt for the funeral and to be with family. While on this trip Presidential Candidate Morsi, who had not met Haddara but heard about his previous advice to the party, called on him for help. Haddara was reluctant as he was in a period of grieving but in the last couple days of his trip it was arranged for them to meet.
Haddara spent several weeks in Egypt, helping Morsi to frame messages. Morsi needed advice on how he was being portrayed to the West.
He arrived home just before the election, which Morsi won by a slim majority, which meant there’d be a run-off vote. Morsi called Haddara in London and asked for more help.
Despite his wife and kids’ objections, Haddara went back. He was still consumed by his mother’s death, making at life at home and work painful.
“I went back to work (at the hospital) and I’d find myself crying . . . completely unprovoked, standing there and a memory washes over you. So I took off.”
As Mohamed Morsi won the first fair elections and became Egypt’s first democratically elected president, one of his obstacles was a great difficulty in overcoming communication barriers in order to share his view with western governments and his counterparts.
President Morsi developed an appreciation for Haddara’s assessments and advice – he was critical, he was intelligent and most of all he could wear the hat of someone from the west and of an Egyptian. Haddara was unique – a person who was invaluable to President Morsi. A major aspect of President Morsi’s challenges was not only dealing with issues on the ground domestically but it was presenting a new Egypt that could be understood in the global political discussion.
But as this was all developing Haddara had to make a clear decision because he was becoming invested in the future and success of this government and it would take sacrifices to be a special advisor to the President; his family and medical career would be impacted. Yet his love for Egypt and his belief in democracy drew him in.
Haddara spent a year globe-trotting, writing speeches, setting up interviews for Morsi, and working at the hospital.
End of the Presidency
Many stories could be told about what happened in the year of Morsi’s presidency before the military coup d’état but after July 3, 2013 Haddara’s role as a special advisor to the President was over. But it did not take long before he heard from officials from western governments who wanted his opinion on what was taking place post-coup. Haddara had become the bridge building between two political worlds.
Today Haddara does not actively speak on Egypt but he is regularly invited as an intellectual thinker on Egypt pre and post-coup by think tanks, universities, governments, and human rights groups.
“My ongoing work is raising awareness about the coup and the abuses urgently happening in Egypt.”