Each night during the revolution in Tahrir Square, after the skirmishes, we talked with other youths and among ourselves,” said Kamal Samir Fargallah, 38, a business consultant, whose first act after the revolution was to create a Facebook group, as he had seen other groups do, calling for reform in the Brotherhood. “It was the first time we youths from different movements sat together. We learned from each other,” he said.
But even as they push to build a more modern, moderate Brotherhood, the group’s younger members know they risk alienating its leadership, which is still firmly in charge.
“It’s delicate,” said Mohammad al-Kassas, a youth leader in the Brotherhood. “For that reason, you see the overt attempt online, but underneath that are quiet efforts as well behind the scenes.”
Sitting at a downtown coffee shop in a slate-gray suit with a smartphone in each coat pocket, Samir spoke cautiously, playing down the divisions and being careful to avoid criticizing the old guard.
“We have the same goals. It is simply a difference in speed,” he said. “The old leaders are driving at 80 kilometers an hour because this used to be outlawed. We are pointing to the new speed limit, asking why not go 120?”
But half an hour into the conversation, in a moment of candor, he said: “In the future, the young people will be the leaders of Egypt, even in the Muslim Brotherhood. This is what the revolution showed all of us. The young are the only ones with the flexibility to adapt.”