All who know Haddara would tell you that he has not forgotten the country where he came from – Egypt. He has always had an unwavering love to the country for his extended family, for it history, its language and culture.
As the Arab Spring developed, Haddara was at the centre of discussions, whether it be coffee discussions, academic debates, or invited to speak on what was taking place in the Middle East, particularly Egypt. Haddara offered a Canadian perspective to the quickly changing events at the time.
Haddara comes from a very well-respected family in Egypt of academics, scientists, entrepreneurs and career civil servants.
Introduction to Egyptian Politics
In November 2011, Haddara travelled to Egypt to visit family and was introduced, via a family friend to Dr Esam ElHaddad, then head of the newly formed Freedom and Justice Party’s Foreign Relations Committee. As Egypt’s transition to democracy developed Dr. ElHaddad reached to Haddara for help.
“Most of us living in this part of the world felt there was so very little that we were doing to help Egypt in a time where really it needed a lot of help.”
“It was an opportunity to bridge my two identities,” says Haddara, of his decision to help the Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party after the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
“I see myself as someone who has a foot in both cultures. I value my Egyptian roots and values and I also know there are a lot of great things about Canada and the United States and other Western Nations. The opportunity to be that bridge builder seemed to be the reason why my life evolved the way it did.”
Throughout the presidential elections Haddara continued to advise the FJP candidate, Dr Morsi.
“It was surreal,” he says.
“To feel like you are part of a country’s first free, real, fairly-held elections that were actually competitive where the result was not pre-determined – and you have a ringside seat . . . you actually did something? You had a small part, but a part of it?”
“It felt like walking into the warm sunshine after a long cold winter. It was really like, ‘Wow, this country is finally going somewhere.”