CAIRO: Renowned film director Khaled Youssef, instead of preparing for an upcoming movie, is planning his electoral campaign to win a parliamentary seat for the Kafr el-Sheikh constituency, his hometown, as an opposition candidate.
“Ask Khaled Youssef” was the title of the conference he held on Sunday with the citizens and leaders of Kafr el-Sheikh, to discuss his ideas, with a particular focus on the youth, their dreams and what they could achieve.
Youssef said he would “die of grief” if he failed, adding he had a strong desire to follow in the footsteps of former leading politician Khaled Mohy el-Din, from the same constituency.
Mohy el-Din was a former military officer, and member of the Free Officers who overthrew King Farouk I by a military coup in 1952, and was a leftist politician and member of the People’s Assembly until 2005, one of the factions of the parliament before the dissolution of Shura Council.
Youssef, the protégé of cinema icon Youssef Chahine, has been politically active since the January 25 Revolution in 2011. In 2013, Youssef joined the 50-member committee which was tasked with drafting the constitution, which was adopted in January 2014.
Youssef’s name has been also associated with the National Salvation Front (NSF) formed in November 2012 in opposition to former president Mohamed Morsi’s policies; the front was led by several politicians including Mohamed ElBaradei, Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa.
Despite having close ties to Sabbahi and widely supporting him as a presidential candidate in the beginning of the latest elections, Youssef switched positions to support rival candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi amid public criticism.
Youssef stated that despite his support for Sisi he would “never be on the government’s side,” meaning that he would not pursue or accept any official state position, but that he aspired to have a position in the next regime, as an opposition member, in a TV interview July 7.
In December 2013, Youssef was attacked near the Media Production City in October 6; he later accused the Muslim Brotherhood and the extreme Salafists of attempting to murder him.