ANSAmed – CAIRO, DECEMBER 22 – The Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar University-Mosque, 80-year-old Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi, the top cleric of Sunni Islam, has been under medical care at Cairòs Wadi el Nil Hospital since Thursday after having been hit by thrombosis in a leg during a working meeting.
He told friends on the telephone he was feeling well and might be released from hospital soon. His health condition was “encouraging and steadily improving”, said Ezzedin Essawy, head of the medical team looking after the Imam. Sheikh Tantawi “will be able to leave hospital soon – one of his aides said – even today or tomorrow”.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak asked Health Minister Hatem al Gabali, to follow the Grand Imam’s condition constantly. Sheikh Tantawi was repeatedly at the center of controversy in the past few weeks, first because he shook hands with Israeli President Simon Peres during a meeting between representatives of different religions held in New York, and later for having expressed opinions held to be offensive by Gazàs Palestinians.