Anwar Sadat

Last updated

Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat
محمد أنور السادات
Anwar Sadat cropped.jpg
Anwar Sadat in 1980
3rd President of Egypt
In office
15 October 1970 6 October 1981
Acting: 28 September 1970 – 15 October 1970
Prime Minister
Vice President
Preceded by Gamal Abdel Nasser
Succeeded by Sufi Abu Taleb (Acting)
Prime Minister of Egypt
In office
15 May 1980 6 October 1981
Preceded by Mustafa Khalil
Succeeded by Hosni Mubarak
In office
26 March 1973 25 September 1974
Preceded by Aziz Sedki
Succeeded by Abd El Aziz Muhammad Hegazi
Vice President of Egypt
In office
19 December 1969 14 October 1970
President Gamal Abdel Nasser
Preceded by Hussein el-Shafei
Succeeded by Ali Sabri
In office
17 February 1964 26 March 1964
President Gamal Abdel Nasser
Preceded by Hussein el-Shafei
Succeeded by Zakaria Mohieddin
Speaker of the National Assembly of Egypt
In office
21 July 1960 20 January 1969
President Gamal Abdel Nasser
Preceded by Abdel Latif Boghdadi
Succeeded byMohamed Labib Skokeir
Personal details
Born(1918-12-25)25 December 1918
Monufia, Sultanate of Egypt
Died6 October 1981(1981-10-06) (aged 62)
Cairo, Egypt
Nationality Egyptian
Political party National Democratic Party
Other political
Arab Socialist Union
Alma mater University of Alexandria
Signature Anwar El Sadat Signature.svg
Military service
Branch/service Egyptian Army
Years of service1938–1952
Rank Turco-Egyptian ka'im makam.gif Colonel

Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat ( /səˈdæt/ , also UK: /sæˈdæt/ , US: /səˈdɑːt/ ; [2] [3] [4] Arabic : محمد أنور السادات, romanized: Muḥammad ʾAnwar as-Sādāt, Egyptian Arabic:  [mæˈħæmmæd ˈʔɑnwɑɾ essæˈdæːt] ; 25 December 1918 – 6 October 1981) was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981. Sadat was a senior member of the Free Officers who overthrew King Farouk in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and a close confidant of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, under whom he served as Vice President twice and whom he succeeded as President in 1970.

British English is the standard dialect of English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective wee is almost exclusively used in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and occasionally Yorkshire, whereas little is predominant elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in written English within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English. The forms of spoken English, however, vary considerably more than in most other areas of the world where English is spoken, so a uniform concept of British English is more difficult to apply to the spoken language. According to Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English, British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions in the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. American English is considered one of the most influential dialects of English globally, including on other varieties of English.

The romanization of Arabic writes written and spoken Arabic in the Latin script in one of various systematic ways. Romanized Arabic is used for a number of different purposes, among them transcription of names and titles, cataloging Arabic language works, language education when used in lieu of or alongside the Arabic script, and representation of the language in scientific publications by linguists. These formal systems, which often make use of diacritics and non-standard Latin characters and are used in academic settings or for the benefit of non-speakers, contrast with informal means of written communication used by speakers such as the Latin-based Arabic chat alphabet.


In his eleven years as president, he changed Egypt's trajectory, departing from many of the political and economic tenets of Nasserism, re-instituting a multi-party system, and launching the Infitah economic policy. As President, he led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967, making him a hero in Egypt and, for a time, the wider Arab World. Afterwards, he engaged in negotiations with Israel, culminating in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty; this won him and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize, making Sadat the first Muslim Nobel laureate. Although reaction to the treaty—which resulted in the return of Sinai to Egypt—was generally favorable among Egyptians, [5] it was rejected by the country's Muslim Brotherhood and the left, which felt Sadat had abandoned efforts to ensure a Palestinian state. [5] With the exception of Sudan, the Arab world and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly opposed Sadat's efforts to make a separate peace with Israel without prior consultations with the Arab states. [5] His refusal to reconcile with them over the Palestinian issue resulted in Egypt being suspended from the Arab League from 1979 to 1989. [6] [7] [8] [9] The peace treaty was also one of the primary factors that led to his assassination; on 6 October 1981, militants led by Khalid Islambouli opened fire on Sadat with automatic rifles during the 6 October parade in Cairo, killing him.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Nasserism Arab socialist and nationalist political ideology

Nasserism is a socialist Arab nationalist political ideology based on the thinking of Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the two principal leaders of the Egyptian revolution of 1952 and Egypt's second President. Spanning the domestic and international spheres, it combines elements of Arab socialism, republicanism, nationalism, anti-imperialism, developing world solidarity and international non-alignment. In the 1950s and 1960s, Nasserism was amongst the most potent political ideologies in the Arab world. This was especially true following the Suez Crisis of 1956, the political outcome of which was seen as a validation of Nasserism and a tremendous defeat for Western imperial powers. During the Cold War, its influence was also felt in other parts of Africa and the developing world, particularly with regard to anti-imperialism and non-alignment.

A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national election, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition. Apart from one-party-dominant and two-party systems, multi-party systems tend to be more common in parliamentary systems than presidential systems and far more common in countries that use proportional representation compared to countries that use first-past-the-post elections.

Early life and revolutionary activities

Anwar Sadat was born on 25 December 1918 in Mit Abu El Kom, Monufia, Egypt to a poor Nubian family, one of 13 brothers and sisters. [10] One of his brothers, Atef Sadat, later became a pilot and was killed in action during the October War of 1973. [11] His father, Anwar Mohammed El Sadat was an Upper Egyptian, and his mother, Sit Al-Berain, was Sudanese from her father. [12] [13]

Mit Abu El Kom is a village in the Egyptian Nile Delta and the Monufia Governorate. It is the birthplace of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat (1918–1981), and his childhood home has been made into a museum.

Monufia Governorate Governorate in Egypt

Monufia Governorate is one of the governorates of Egypt. It is located in the northern part of the country in the Nile Delta, to the south of Gharbia governorate and to the north of Cairo. The governorate is named after Menouf, an ancient city which was the capital of the governorate until 1826. The current governor is Said Mohammed Mohammed Abbas.

Nubians are an ethnolinguistic group of Africans indigenous to present-day Sudan and southern Egypt who originate from the early inhabitants of the central Nile valley, believed to be one of the earliest cradles of civilization. They speak Nubian languages, part of the Northern Eastern Sudanic languages.

He graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Cairo in 1938 [14] and was appointed to the Signal Corps. He entered the army as a second lieutenant and was posted to Sudan (Egypt and Sudan were one country at the time). There, he met Gamal Abdel Nasser, and along with several other junior officers they formed the secret Free Officers, [15] a movement committed to freeing Egypt and Sudan from British domination, and royal corruption.

The Egyptian Military Academy is the oldest and most prominent military academy in Egypt and Africa. Traditionally, graduates of the Military Academy are commissioned as officers in the Egyptian Army. However, they may serve in other branches and commands of the Egyptian military establishment.

Cairo Capital and largest city of Egypt

Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa and the 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 AD by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, and is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC.

Gamal Abdel Nasser Second president of Egypt

Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt, serving from 1954 until his death in 1970. Nasser led the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy and introduced far-reaching land reforms the following year. Following a 1954 attempt on his life by a Muslim Brotherhood member, he cracked down on the organization, put President Mohamed Naguib under house arrest and assumed executive office. He was formally elected president in June 1956.

During the Second World War he was imprisoned by the British for his efforts to obtain help from the Axis Powers in expelling the occupying British forces. Anwar Sadat was active in many political movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the fascist Young Egypt, the pro-palace Iron Guard of Egypt, and the secret military group called the Free Officers. [16] Along with his fellow Free Officers, Sadat participated in the military coup that launched the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, which overthrew King Farouk on 23 July of that year. Sadat was assigned to announce the news of the revolution to the Egyptian people over the radio networks.

Young Egypt Party (1933) political party

The Young Egypt Party was an Egyptian political party.

The Iron Guard of Egypt was a secret pro-Axis society and royalist political movement formed in Egypt in the early 1930s and used by King Farouk for personal and political vendettas. The guard was involved in attacks on Farouk's declared enemies, operating with a license to kill, and is believed to have taken orders from Farouk personally. Its other functions included protecting Farouk, serving as a special operations force, and gathering military intelligence.

During Nasser's presidency

Top Egyptian leaders in Alexandria, 1968. From left to right: Gamal Abdel Nasser, Sadat, Ali Sabri and Hussein el-Shafei Nasser, Sadat, Sabri and Shafei.jpg
Top Egyptian leaders in Alexandria, 1968. From left to right: Gamal Abdel Nasser, Sadat, Ali Sabri and Hussein el-Shafei

During the presidency of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Sadat was appointed minister of State in 1954. He was also appointed editor of the newly founded daily Al Gomhuria . [17] In 1959, he assumed the position of Secretary to the National Union. Sadat was the President of the National Assembly (1960–1968) and then vice president and member of the presidential council in 1964. He was reappointed as vice president again in December 1969.

<i>Al Gomhuria</i>

Al Gomhuria is an influential state-owned Egyptian Arabic language daily newspaper.


Some of the major events of Sadat's presidency were his "Corrective Revolution" to consolidate power, the break with Egypt's long-time ally and aid-giver the USSR, the 1973 October War with Israel, the Camp David peace treaty with Israel, the "opening up" (or Infitah) of Egypt's economy, and lastly his assassination in 1981.

1972 Echo newsreel about the early Sadat years

Sadat succeeded Nasser as president after the latter's death in October 1970. [18] Sadat's presidency was widely expected to be short-lived. [19] Viewing him as having been little more than a puppet of the former president, Nasser's supporters in government settled on Sadat as someone they could manipulate easily. Sadat surprised everyone with a series of astute political moves by which he was able to retain the presidency and emerge as a leader in his own right. [20] On 15 May 1971, [21] Sadat announced his Corrective Revolution , purging the government, political and security establishments of the most ardent Nasserists. Sadat encouraged the emergence of an Islamist movement, which had been suppressed by Nasser. Believing Islamists to be socially conservative he gave them "considerable cultural and ideological autonomy" in exchange for political support. [22]

In 1971, three years into the War of Attrition in the Suez Canal zone, Sadat endorsed in a letter the peace proposals of UN negotiator Gunnar Jarring, which seemed to lead to a full peace with Israel on the basis of Israel's withdrawal to its pre-war borders. This peace initiative failed as neither Israel nor the United States of America accepted the terms as discussed then.[ citation needed ]

Corrective Revolution

Shortly after taking office, Sadat shocked many Egyptians by dismissing and imprisoning two of the most powerful figures in the regime, Vice President Ali Sabri, who had close ties with Soviet officials, and Sharawy Gomaa, the Interior Minister, who controlled the secret police. [19] Sadat's rising popularity would accelerate after he cut back the powers of the hated secret police, [19] expelled Soviet military from the country and reformed the Egyptian army for a renewed confrontation with Israel. [19]

Yom Kippur War

On 6 October 1973, in conjunction with Hafez al-Assad of Syria, Sadat launched the October War, also known as the Yom Kippur War (and less commonly as the Ramadan War), a surprise attack against the Israeli forces occupying the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, [23] and the Syrian Golan Heights in an attempt to retake these respective Egyptian and Syrian territories that had been occupied by Israel since the Six Day War six years earlier. The Egyptian and Syrian performance in the initial stages of the war astonished both Israel, and the Arab World. The most striking achievement (Operation Badr, also known as The Crossing) was the Egyptian military's advance approximately 15 km into the occupied Sinai Peninsula after penetrating and largely destroying the Bar Lev Line. This line was popularly thought to have been an impregnable defensive chain.

As the war progressed, three divisions of the Israeli army led by General Ariel Sharon had crossed the Suez Canal, trying to encircle first the Egyptian Second Army. Although this failed, prompted by an agreement between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 338 on 22 October 1973, calling for an immediate ceasefire. [24] Although agreed upon, the ceasefire was immediately broken. [25] Alexei Kosygin, the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, cancelled an official meeting with Danish Prime Minister Anker Jørgensen to travel to Egypt where he tried to persuade Sadat to sign a peace treaty. During Kosygin's two-day long stay it is unknown if he and Sadat ever met in person. [26] The Israeli military then continued their drive to encircle the Egyptian army. The encirclement was completed on 24 October, three days after the ceasefire was broken. This development prompted superpower tension, but a second ceasefire was imposed cooperatively on 25 October to end the war. At the conclusion of hostilities, Israeli forces were 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Damascus and 101 kilometres (63 mi) from Cairo. [27]

Peace with Israel

External audio
Nuvola apps arts.svg National Press Club Luncheon Speakers Anwar Sadat, 6 February 1978, National Press Club. Speech begins at 7:31 [28]

The initial Egyptian and Syrian victories in the war restored popular morale throughout Egypt and the Arab World and, for many years after, Sadat was known as the "Hero of the Crossing". Israel recognized Egypt as a formidable foe, and Egypt's renewed political significance eventually led to regaining and reopening the Suez Canal through the peace process. His new peace policy led to the conclusion of two agreements on disengagement of forces with the Israeli government. The first of these agreements was signed on 18 January 1974, and the second on 4 September 1975.

One major aspect of Sadat's peace policy was to gain some religious support for his efforts. Already during his visit to the US in October–November 1975, he invited Evangelical pastor Billy Graham for an official visit, which was held a few days after Sadat's visit. [29] In addition to cultivating relations with Evangelical Christians in the US, he also built some cooperation with the Vatican. On 8 April 1976, he visited the Vatican for the first time, and got a message of support from Pope Paul VI regarding achieving peace with Israel, to include a just solution to the Palestinian issue. [30] Sadat, on his part, extended to the Pope a public invitation to visit Cairo. [31]

Sadat also used the media to promote his purposes. In an interview he gave to the Lebanese paper El Hawadeth in early February 1976, he claimed he had secret commitment from the US government to put pressure on the Israeli government for a major withdrawal in Sinai and the Golan Heights. [32] This statement caused some concern to the Israeli government, but Kissinger denied such a promise was ever made. [33]

In January 1977, a series of 'Bread Riots' protested Sadat's economic liberalization and specifically a government decree lifting price controls on basic necessities like bread. The riots lasted for two days and included hundreds of thousands in Cairo. 120 buses and hundreds of buildings were destroyed in Cairo alone. [34] The riots ended with the deployment of the army and the re-institution of the subsidies/price controls. [35] [36] During this time, Sadat was also taking a new approach towards improving relations with the West. [19]

The United States and the Soviet Union agreed on 1 October 1977, on principles to govern a Geneva conference on the Middle East. [19] Syria continued to resist such a conference. [19] Not wanting either Syria or the Soviet Union to influence the peace process, Sadat decided to take more progressive stance towards building a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel. [19]

On 19 November 1977, Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel officially when he met with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and spoke before the Knesset in Jerusalem about his views on how to achieve a comprehensive peace to the Arab–Israeli conflict, which included the full implementation of UN Resolutions 242 and 338. He said during his visit that he hopes "that we can keep the momentum in Geneva, and may God guide the steps of Premier Begin and Knesset, because there is a great need for hard and drastic decision". [37]

Sadat (left) shaking hands with Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, 1978 Anwar Sadat greets Ezer Weizman 9-7-78.gif
Sadat (left) shaking hands with Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, 1978
President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledge applause during joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., during which President Jimmy Carter announced the results of the Camp David Accords, 18 September 1978 Sadat and Begin clean3.jpg
President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledge applause during joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., during which President Jimmy Carter announced the results of the Camp David Accords, 18 September 1978
President Jimmy Carter shaking hands with Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty on the grounds of the White House, 1979 Sadat Carter Begin handshake (cropped) - USNWR.jpg
President Jimmy Carter shaking hands with Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the signing of the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty on the grounds of the White House, 1979
President Sadat with U.S. Senator Joe Biden (left), and U.S. Senator Frank Church (center), at Camp David, 1979. Biden-Church-Sadat.jpg
President Sadat with U.S. Senator Joe Biden (left), and U.S. Senator Frank Church (center), at Camp David, 1979.

The Peace treaty was finally signed by Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in Washington, D.C., United States, on 26 March 1979, following the Camp David Accords (1978), a series of meetings between Egypt and Israel facilitated by US President Jimmy Carter. Both Sadat and Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for creating the treaty. In his acceptance speech, Sadat referred to the long-awaited peace desired by both Arabs and Israelis:

Let us put an end to wars, let us reshape life on the solid basis of equity and truth. And it is this call, which reflected the will of the Egyptian people, of the great majority of the Arab and Israeli peoples, and indeed of millions of men, women, and children around the world that you are today honoring. And these hundreds of millions will judge to what extent every responsible leader in the Middle East has responded to the hopes of mankind. [38]

The main features of the agreement were the mutual recognition of each country by the other, the cessation of the state of war that had existed since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and the complete withdrawal by Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the rest of the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had captured during the 1967 Six-Day War.

The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal and recognition of the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba as international waterways. The agreement notably made Egypt the first Arab country to officially recognize Israel. The peace agreement between Egypt and Israel has remained in effect since the treaty was signed.

The treaty was extremely unpopular in most of the Arab World and the wider Muslim World. [39] His predecessor Nasser had made Egypt an icon of Arab nationalism, an ideology that appeared to be sidelined by an Egyptian orientation following the 1973 war (see Egypt). The neighboring Arab countries believed that in signing the accords, Sadat had put Egypt's interests ahead of Arab unity, betraying Nasser's pan-Arabism, and destroyed the vision of a united "Arab front" for the support of the Palestinians against the "Zionist Entity". However, Sadat decided early on that peace was the solution. [19] [40] Sadat's shift towards a strategic relationship with the US was also seen as a betrayal by many Arabs. In the United States his peace moves gained him popularity among some Evangelical circles. He was awarded the Prince of Peace Award by Pat Robertson. [41]

In 1979, the Arab League suspended Egypt in the wake of the Egyptian–Israel peace agreement, and the League moved its headquarters from Cairo to Tunis. Arab League member states believed in the elimination of the "Zionist Entity" and Israel at that time. It was not until 1989 that the League re-admitted Egypt as a member, and returned its headquarters to Cairo. As part of the peace deal, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula in phases, completing its withdrawal from the entire territory except the town of Taba by 25 April 1982 (withdrawal from which did not occur until 1989). [19] The improved relations Egypt gained with the West through the Camp David Accords soon gave the country resilient economic growth. [19] By 1980, however, Egypt's strained relations with the Arab World would result in a period of rapid inflation. [19]

Relationship with Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran

Queen Farah Diba, President Anwar Sadat and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Tehran in 1975 Queen Farah of Persia Egyption President Anwar Sadat Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of Persia 1975.jpg
Queen Farah Diba, President Anwar Sadat and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Tehran in 1975

The relationship between Iran and Egypt had fallen into open hostility during Gamal Abdel Nasser's presidency. Following his death in 1970, President Sadat turned this around quickly into an open and close friendship.

In 1971, Sadat addressed the Iranian parliament in Tehran in fluent Persian, describing the 2,500-year-old historic connection between the two lands.

Overnight, the Egyptian and Iranian governments were turned from bitter enemies into fast friends. The relationship between Cairo and Tehran became so friendly that the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, called Sadat his "dear brother".

After the 1973 war with Israel, Iran assumed a leading role in cleaning up and reactivating the blocked Suez Canal with heavy investment. The country also facilitated the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Sinai Peninsula by promising to substitute the loss of the oil to the Israelis with free Iranian oil if they withdrew from the Egyptian oil wells in western Sinai.

All these added more to the personal friendship between Sadat and the Shah of Iran. (The Shah's first wife was Princess Fawzia of Egypt. She was the eldest daughter of Sultan Fuad I of Egypt and Sudan (later King Fuad I) and his second wife Nazli Sabri.)

After his overthrow, the deposed Shah spent the last months of his life in exile in Egypt. When the Shah died, Sadat ordered that he be given a state funeral and be interred at the Al-Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo, the resting place of Egyptian Khedive Isma'il Pasha, his mother Khushyar Hanim, and numerous other members of the royal family of Egypt and Sudan. [42]


The last months of Sadat's presidency were marked by internal uprising. [19] Sadat dismissed allegations that the rioting was incited by domestic issues, believing that the Soviet Union was recruiting its regional allies in Libya and Syria to incite an uprising that would eventually force him out of power. [19] Following a failed military coup in June 1981, Sadat ordered a major crackdown that resulted in the arrest of numerous opposition figures. [19] Although Sadat still maintained high levels of popularity in Egypt, [19] it has been said that he was assassinated "at the peak" of his unpopularity. [43]

Earlier in his presidency, Islamists had benefited from the 'rectification revolution' and the release from prison of activists jailed under Nasser. [21] But Sadat's Sinai treaty with Israel enraged Islamists, particularly the radical Egyptian Islamic Jihad. According to interviews and information gathered by journalist Lawrence Wright, the group was recruiting military officers and accumulating weapons, waiting for the right moment to launch "a complete overthrow of the existing order" in Egypt. Chief strategist of El-Jihad was Abbud al-Zumar, a colonel in the military intelligence whose "plan was to kill the main leaders of the country, capture the headquarters of the army and State Security, the telephone exchange building, and of course the radio and television building, where news of the Islamic revolution would then be broadcast, unleashing—he expected—a popular uprising against secular authority all over the country". [44]

In February 1981, Egyptian authorities were alerted to El-Jihad's plan by the arrest of an operative carrying crucial information. In September, Sadat ordered a highly unpopular roundup of more than 1,500 people, including many Jihad members, but also the Coptic Pope and other Coptic clergy, intellectuals and activists of all ideological stripes. [45] All non-government press was banned as well. [46] The round up missed a Jihad cell in the military led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli, who would succeed in assassinating Anwar Sadat that October. [47]

According to Tala'at Qasim, ex-head of the Gama'a Islamiyya interviewed in Middle East Report , it was not Islamic Jihad but his organization, known in English as the "Islamic Group", that organized the assassination and recruited the assassin (Islambouli). Members of the Group's 'Majlis el-Shura' ('Consultative Council') – headed by the famed 'blind shaykh' – were arrested two weeks before the killing, but they did not disclose the existing plans and Islambouli succeeded in assassinating Sadat. [48]

On 6 October 1981, Sadat was assassinated during the annual victory parade held in Cairo to celebrate Egypt's crossing of the Suez Canal. [49] Islambouli emptied his assault rifle into Sadat's body while in the front of the grandstand, mortally wounding the President. In addition to Sadat, eleven others were killed, including the Cuban ambassador, an Omani general, a Coptic Orthodox bishop and Samir Helmy, the head of Egypt's Central Auditing Agency (CAA). [50] [51] Twenty-eight were wounded, including Vice President Hosni Mubarak, Irish Defence Minister James Tully, and four US military liaison officers.

The assassination squad was led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli after a fatwā approving the assassination had been obtained from Omar Abdel-Rahman. [52] Islambouli was tried, found guilty, sentenced to death, and executed by firing squad in April 1982.


Sadat was succeeded by his vice president Hosni Mubarak, whose hand was injured during the attack. Sadat's funeral was attended by a record number of dignitaries from around the world, including a rare simultaneous attendance by three former US presidents: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. Sudan's President Gaafar Nimeiry was the only Arab head of state to attend the funeral. Only 3 of 24 states in the Arab League—Oman, Somalia and Sudan—sent representatives at all. [53] Israel's prime minister, Menachem Begin, considered Sadat a personal friend and insisted on attending the funeral, walking throughout the funeral procession so as not to desecrate the Sabbath. [54] Sadat was buried in the unknown soldier memorial in Cairo, across the street from the stand where he was assassinated.

Over three hundred Islamic radicals were indicted in the trial of assassin Khalid Islambouli, including future al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, Omar Abdel-Rahman, and Abd al-Hamid Kishk. The trial was covered by the international press and Zawahiri's knowledge of English made him the de facto spokesman for the defendants. Zawahiri was released from prison in 1984. Abboud al-Zomor and Tareq al-Zomor, two Islamic Jihad leaders imprisoned in connection with the assassination, were released on 11 March 2011. [55]

Despite these facts, the nephew of the late president, Talaat Sadat, claimed that the assassination was an international conspiracy. On 31 October 2006, he was sentenced to a year in prison for defaming Egypt's armed forces, less than a month after he gave the interview accusing Egyptian generals of masterminding his uncle's assassination. In an interview with a Saudi television channel, he also claimed both the United States and Israel were involved: "No one from the special personal protection group of the late president fired a single shot during the killing, and not one of them has been put on trial," he said. [56]

Media portrayals of Anwar Sadat

Yuri Gagarin with Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser in Cairo, 1962 Gagarin and Nasser and Sadat in Cairo Egypt 01-02-1962.jpg
Yuri Gagarin with Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser in Cairo, 1962

In 1983, Sadat , a miniseries based on the life of Anwar Sadat, aired on US television with Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr. in the title role. The film was promptly banned by the Egyptian government, as were all other movies produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures, over allegations of historical inaccuracies. A civil lawsuit was brought by Egypt's artists' and film unions against Columbia Pictures and the film's directors, producers and scriptwriters before a court in Cairo, but was dismissed, since the alleged slanders, having taken place outside the country, fell outside the Egyptian courts' jurisdiction. [57]

The film was critically acclaimed in North America, but was unpopular among Egyptians and in the Egyptian press. Western authors attributed the film's poor reception in Egypt to racism – Gossett being African-American – in the Egyptian government or Egypt in general. [58] Either way, one Western source wrote that Sadat's portrayal by Gossett "bothered race-conscious Egyptians and wouldn't have pleased [the deceased] Sadat," who identified as Egyptian and Northeast African, not black. [59] The two-part series earned Gossett an Emmy nomination in the United States.

He was portrayed by Robert Loggia in the 1982 television movie A Woman Called Golda , opposite Ingrid Bergman as Golda Meir.

The first Egyptian depiction of Sadat's life came in 2001, when Ayyam El Sadat (English: Days of Sadat) was released in Egyptian cinemas. This movie, by contrast, was a major success in Egypt, and was hailed as Ahmed Zaki's greatest performance to date. [60]

The young Sadat is a major character in Ken Follett's thriller The Key to Rebecca , taking place in World War II Cairo. Sadat, at the time a young officer in the Egyptian Army and involved in anti-British revolutionary activities, is presented quite sympathetically; his willingness to cooperate with German spies is clearly shown to derive from his wish to find allies against British domination of his country, rather than from support of Nazi ideology. Some of the scenes in the book, such as Sadat's arrest by the British, closely follow the information provided in Sadat's own autobiography.

Sadat was a recurring character on Saturday Night Live , played by Garrett Morris, who bore a resemblance to Sadat.


Foreign honour


See also

Related Research Articles

Camp David Accords peace treaty

The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978, following twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by President Jimmy Carter. The second of these frameworks led directly to the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty. Due to the agreement, Sadat and Begin received the shared 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. The first framework, which dealt with the Palestinian territories, was written without participation of the Palestinians and was condemned by the United Nations.

Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel

The Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., United States on 26 March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords. The Egypt–Israel treaty was signed by Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, and witnessed by United States president Jimmy Carter.

History of modern Egypt Aspect of history

According to most scholars the history of modern Egypt dates from the emergence of Muhammad Ali's rule in the early 19th century and his launching of Egypt's modernization project that involved building a new army and suggesting a new map for Egypt.

Mohamed Hassanein Heikal Egyptian journalist

Mohamed Hassanein Heikal was an Egyptian journalist. For 17 years (1957–1974), he was editor-in-chief of the Cairo newspaper Al-Ahram and has been a commentator on Arab affairs for more than 50 years.

Abdel Hakim Amer Egyptian politician and general

Mohamed Abdel Hakim Amer was an Egyptian general and political leader.

Khālid al-Islāmbūlī Egyptian Islamist terrorist

Khalid Ahmed Showky Al-Islambouli was an Egyptian army officer who planned and participated in the assassination of Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, during the annual 6th October victory parade on 6 October 1981. Islambouli stated that his primary motivation for the assassination was Sadat's signing of the Camp David Accords with the State of Israel and Sadat's plan for a more progressive Egypt. Islambouli was tried before an Egyptian court-martial, found guilty, and sentenced to death by firing squad. Following his execution, he was declared a martyr by many radicals in the Islamic world, and became an inspirational symbol for radical Islamic movements as one of the first 'modern martyrs' for Islam.

Mohamed Abdel Ghani el-Gamasy Egyptian Field Marshal

Mohamed Abdel Ghani el-Gamasy was an Egyptian Field Marshal (Mushir) and The Commander in Chief of The Armed Forces.

Targets of terrorism in Egypt have included government officials, police, tourists and the Christian minority. Many attacks have been linked to Islamic extremism, and terrorism increased in the 1990s when the Islamist movement al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya targeted high-level political leaders and killed hundreds in its pursuit of implementing traditional Sharia law in Egypt.

Egypt–United States relations Bilateral relations between Egypt and United states

Egypt–United States relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Egypt and the United States.

Sadat is a 1983 American two-part, four-hour made-for-television biographical film based on the life and death of the late 3rd President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat starring Louis Gossett Jr. as Sadat and Madolyn Smith as Sadat's wife, Jehan. It was distributed by Columbia Pictures Television through Operation Prime Time. Gossett's performance earned him a nomination for an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

History of the Republic of Egypt

The history of the Arab Republic of Egypt spans the period of modern Egyptian history from the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 to the present day, which saw the toppling of the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, the establishment of a presidential republic, and a period of profound economic, and political change in Egypt, and throughout the Arab world. The abolition of a monarchy and aristocracy viewed widely as sympathetic to Western interests, particularly since the ousting of Khedive Isma'il Pasha, over seven decades earlier, helped strengthen the authentically Egyptian character of the republic in the eyes of its supporters. From then until now Egypt has always been an independent country.

Abdel Latif Boghdadi (politician) Egyptian politician

Abdel Latif Boghdadi or Abd el-Latif el-Baghdadi was an Egyptian politician, senior air force officer, and judge. An original member of the Free Officers Movement which overthrew the monarchy in Egypt in the 1952 Revolution, Boghdadi later served as Gamal Abdel Nasser's vice president. The French author Jean Lacouture called Boghdadi "a robust manager" who only lacked "stature comparable to Nasser's." The two leaders had a fallout over Nasser's increasingly socialist and pro-USSR policies and Boghdadi subsequently withdrew from political life in 1964, although he mended ties with Nasser before the latter's death in 1970.

Muhammad abd-al-Salam Faraj Egyptian revolutionary

Muhammad abd-al-Salam Faraj (1954-1982) was an Egyptian radical Islamist and theorist. He led the Cairo branch of the Islamist group al-Jihad and made a significant contribution in elevating the role of jihad in radical Islam with his pamphlet The Neglected Obligation. He was executed in 1982 for his role in coordinating the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat the previous year.

The assassination of Anwar Sadat occurred on 6 October 1981. Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt, was assassinated during the annual victory parade held in Cairo to celebrate Operation Badr, during which the Egyptian Army had crossed the Suez Canal and taken back a small part of the Sinai Peninsula from Israel at the beginning of the Yom Kippur War. A fatwa approving the assassination had been obtained from Omar Abdel-Rahman, a cleric later convicted in the US for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The assassination was undertaken by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

Egypt–Palestine relations Bilateral relations between Palestine and Egypt

Egypt–Palestine relations are the bilateral relations between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Palestine. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause and he favored self-determination for the Palestinians. Even today Egypt maintains strong relations with the Palestinian Authority and it favors peace between both Israel and Palestine.

Egypt–Iran relations Bilateral relations between Iran and Egypt

Egypt–Iran relations refers to the current and historical relations between Egypt and Iran. Following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, Iran appointed its first ambassador to Egypt in almost 30 years. Despite oft-wavering tensions between the two countries, they share membership in the OIC and the Developing 8.

Hussein Salem is an Egyptian-Spanish businessman, co-owner of the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), and ally and advisor to former president Hosni Mubarak. He is also the chairman and CEO of HKS Group, a hospitality company that operates Maritim Jolie Ville Resort in Sharm El Sheikh. He has been described as "one of the most secretive businessmen in Egypt", a mogul, and Mubarak's close confidant. He was known as the "Father of Sharm El Sheikh" due to his resort development activities.

History of Egypt under Anwar Sadat

Sadat era refers to the presidency of Anwar Sadat, the eleven-year period of Egyptian history spanning from the death of president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970, through Sadat's assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981. Sadat's presidency saw many changes in Egypt's direction, reversing some of the economic and political principles of Nasserism by breaking with Soviet Union to make Egypt an ally of the United States, initiated the peace process with Israel, re-instituting the multi-party system, and abandoning socialism by launching the Infitah economic policy.

Egypt–Syria relations Bilateral relations between Syria and Egypt

Egypt–Syria relations are foreign relations between Egypt and Syria. Egypt has an embassy in Damascus. Syria has an embassy in Cairo. Both countries were members of the Arab League, but as of November 2011, Syria has been suspended from the League due to its failure to follow up with an agreement concerning its current civil war. Relations were generally well under the reign of Hosni Mubarak, but since has been strained after the election of hard line Mohamed Morsi. Egypt closed down its embassy in Damascus in 2011. However, relations were restored and the embassies reopened in both Egypt and Syria after the military coup and mass protests in Egypt that toppled Morsi, also claimed as 30 June Revolution, with interference from the Army by the will of the Protestors in Egypt.

<i>The Angel</i> (2018 American film) 2018 film by Ariel Vromen

The Angel is an Israeli-American spy thriller film directed by Ariel Vromen and starring Marwan Kenzari and Toby Kebbell among others. It is an adaptation of the non-fiction book titled The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel and written by Uri Bar-Joseph and translated by David Hazony. It tells the true story of Ashraf Marwan, a high-ranking Egyptian official who became a spy for Israel and helped achieve peace between the two countries.


  1. Finklestone, Joseph (2013), Anwar Sadat: Visionary Who Dared, Routledge, ISBN   113519565X, Significantly, Anwar Sadat did not mention aspects in his early life...It was in Mit Abul-Kum that Eqbal Afifi, the woman who was his wife for ten years and whom he left, was also born. Her family was of higher social standing than Anwar's, being of Turkish origin...
  2. "Sadat". Collins English Dictionary . HarperCollins . Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  3. "Sadat" (US) and "Sadat". Oxford Dictionaries . Oxford University Press . Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  4. "Sādāt". Merriam-Webster Dictionary . Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  5. 1 2 3 Peace with Israel
  6. Graham, Nick (21 August 2010). "Middle East Peace Talks: Israel, Palestinian Negotiations More Hopeless Than Ever". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  7. Vatikiotis, P. J. (1992). The History of Modern Egypt (4th edition ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University. p. 443.
  8. "The Failure at Camp David – Part III Possibilities and pitfalls for further negotiations". Textus. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  9. "Egypt and Israel Sign Formal Treaty, Ending a State of War After 30 Years; Sadat and Begin Praise Carter's Role". The New York Times.
  10. "Profile: Anwar Sadat The former Egyptian president believed a peace deal with Israel was vital to end wars". Al Jazeera. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  11. US diplomatic cable about Atef Sadat's funeral
  12. C. J. De Wet (2006). Development-induced Displacement: Problems, Policies, and People. Berghahn Books. p. 198. ISBN   978-1-84545-095-3 . Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  13. Sadat's Wife autobiography
  14. Alagna, Magdalena (2004). Anwar Sadat. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN   9780823944644.
  15. Wagner, Heather Lehr (2007). Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin: Negotiating Peace in the Middle East. Infobase Publishing. ISBN   9781438104409.
  16. Jon B. Alterman (April 1998). "Sadat and His Legacy: Egypt and the World, 1977–1997". The Washington Institute.
  17. Alterman, Jon B. (1998). "New Media New Politics?" (PDF). The Washington Institute. 48. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  18. "Big 'yes' for Anwar Sadat". Ottawa Citizen. Cairo. AP. 16 October 1970. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 "Anwar el-Sadat, the Daring Arab Pioneer of Peace with Israel". The New York Times.
  20. "Egypt Corrective Revolution 1971". Onwar. 16 December 2000. Archived from the original on 1 February 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  21. 1 2 Le prophète et Pharaon by Kepel, p. 74
  22. Gilles Kepel, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam, p. 83
  23. "The Egyptian Military's Huge Historical Role". 5 July 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  24. Mary Ann Fay (December 1990). "A Country Study". The Library of Congress. pp. Chapter 1, Egypt: The Aftermath of War: October 1973 War. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
  25. "Situation report in the Middle East" (PDF). Department of State. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  26. Golan, Galia (1990). Soviet Policies in the Middle East: From World War Two to Gorbachev. Cambridge University Press Archive. p. 89. ISBN   978- 0521358590.
  27. Morris, Benny (2001). Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881–1998. New York: 1999. ISBN   9780679421207 . Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  28. "National Press Club Luncheon Speakers, Anwar Sadat, February 6, 1978". National Press Club via Library of Congress . Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  29. "Text of diplomatic cable regarding Graham's visit to Egypt (US government website)" . Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  30. "Text of Pope's message to Sadat". Vatican. 1976. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  31. "John Anthony Volpe (US Ambassador to Italy), cable describing Sadat's visit to the Vatican" . Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  32. "Sadat interview to El Hawadeth" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  33. "Telephone conversation between Kissinger and Rabin, February 5, 1976" (PDF). Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  34. Mary Ann Weaver, Portrait of Egypt, p. 25
  35. Olivier, Roy (1994). Failure of Political Islam. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 56. ISBN   0-674-29140-9.
  36. Weaver, Mary Ann (1999). Portrait of Egypt. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 25. ISBN   0-374-23542-2.
  37. "Sadat Visits Israel: 1977 Year in Review". UPI. Archived from the original on 19 January 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  38. "Anwar Al-Sadat". Archived from the original on 9 February 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  39. Vatikiotis, P.J. (1992). The History of Modern Egypt (Fourth ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University. p. 443. ISBN   0-8018-4214-X.
  40. "The Nobel Peace Prize 1978 – Presentation Speech". Nobel prize. 1978. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  41. "Teaching". Pat Robertson. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  42. An Ideology of Martyrdom – TIME
  43. Le prophète et Pharaon by Kepel, p. 192
  44. Wright, 2006, p. 49
  45. 'Cracking Down', Time , 14 September 1981
  46. Le prophète et Pharaon by Kepel, pp. 103–4
  47. Wright, 2006, p. 50
  48. For an account that uses this version of events, look at Middle East Report's January–March 1996 issue, specifically Hisham Mubarak's interview with ? On pages 42–43 Qasim deals specifically with rumors of Jihad Group involvement in the assassination, and denies them entirely.
  49. "1981 Year in Review". UPI. 1981. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  50. "Taher Helmi: Feats of circumstance". Al Ahram Weekly. 23 March 2005. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  51. "Taher Helmy's Speech at the AUC Commencement Ceremony 2008". YouTube. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  52. J. Tyler Dickovick (9 August 2012). Africa 2012. Stryker Post. pp. 41–. ISBN   978-1-61048-882-2 . Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  53. Tuhoy, William (11 October 1981). Most of Arab world ignores Sadat funeral. The Spokesman-Review .
  54. Avner, Yehuda (2010-07-24). The Prime Ministers (p. 575). The Toby Press, LLC. Kindle Edition.
  55. Egypt Releases Brother of Al Qaeda's No. 2, Liam Stack, The New York Times , 17 March 2011
  56. Sadat nephew in court appearance. BBC News. 18 October 2006.
  57. Reuters (1984). Suit Over Film 'Sadat' Is Dismissed in Cairo The New York Times Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  58. Benjamin P. Bowser, Racism and Anti-Racism in World Perspective (Sage Series on Race and Ethnic Relations, Volume 13), (Sage Publications, Inc: 1995), p. 108
    Upset by 'Sadat,' Egypt Bars Columbia Films
  59. Walter M. Ulloth, Dana Brasch, The Press and the State: Sociohistorical and Contemporary Studies, (University Press of America: 1987), p. 483
  60. Adel Darwish (31 March 2005). "Ahmed Zaki: 'Black Tiger' of Egyptian film". The Middle East Internet News Network. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
  61. "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1965" (PDF).

Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
Abdul Latif El-Bughadi
President of the People's Assembly of Egypt
Succeeded by
Dr. Mohamed Labib Skokeir
Preceded by
Gamal Abdel Nasser
President of Egypt
Succeeded by
Sufi Abu Taleb acting
Preceded by
Aziz Sedki
Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Abdelaziz Muhammad Hejazi
Preceded by
Mustafa Khalil
Prime Minister of Egypt
Succeeded by
Hosni Mubarak
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chairman of the National Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Hosni Mubarak