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Egypt’s Long Journey to Accepting Organ Transplants

October 15, 2022
Image Credit: Slate

In 1997, a legislative proposal of drafting laws for organ transplant in Egypt stirred nationwide controversy. 15 years later, on 26 September 2022, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced the country’s plans to open the Middle East and North Africa’s largest organ transplant center – ushering in a new era for organ transplantation in the country Egypt now has 37 organ transplant centers, plans to construct the MENA region’s largest transplant facility, and is considering revealing organ donors in the national ID. While the residue of religious debates still exists within the dialogues of organ transplants, it now exists far less than it did in 1997. Egypt’s long path to normalizing organ transplants appears to be reaching its destination. Over two decades ago, Mohamed Al-Sharawi, Egypt’s most popular Islamic cleric at the time, publicly rejected the concept of organ transplantations on his weekly television program – declaring that the medical procedure violates God’s creations. Al-Sharawi’s claims, and his cultural influence on the topic, went against Al-Azhar’s endorsement of the matter around the same time as Al-Sharawi’s speech. Al-Azhar, the government’s official Islamic advisory body at the time, faced severe backlash…

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