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. Sadat's rising popularity would accelerate after he cut back the powers of the hated secret police, expelled Soviet military from the country and reformed the Egyptian army for a renewed confrontation with Israel.
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, 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 the Egyptian Third Army, prompted by an agreement between the United States of America, the Soviet Union, the "United Nations Security Council passed "Resolution 338 on 22 October 1973, calling for an immediate ceasefire. Although agreed upon, the ceasefire was immediately broken. "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. 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.
Peace with Israel
|National Press Club Luncheon Speakers Anwar Sadat, February 6, 1978, "National Press Club. Speech begins at 7:31|
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. 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. Sadat, on his part, extended to the Pope a public invitation to visit Cairo.
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. This statement caused some concern to the Israeli government, but Kissinger denied such a promise was ever made.
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. The riots ended with the deployment of the army and the re-institution of the subsidies/price controls. During this time, Sadat was also taking a new approach towards improving relations with the West.
The United States and the Soviet Union agreed on 1 October 1977, on principles to govern a Geneva conference on the Middle East. Syria continued to resist such a conference. 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.
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".
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.
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. 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 is the solution. 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.
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). The improved relations Egypt gained with the West through the Camp David Accords soon gave the country resilient economic growth. By 1980, however, Egypt's strained relations with the Arab World would result in a period of rapid inflation.
Relationship with Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran
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.
The last months of Sadat's presidency were marked by internal uprising. 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. Following a failed military coup in June 1981, Sadat ordered a major crackdown that resulted in the arrest of numerous opposition figures. Though Sadat still maintained high levels of popularity in Egypt, it has been said that he was assassinated "at the peak" of his unpopularity.
Earlier in his presidency, "Islamists had benefited from the 'rectification revolution' and the release from prison of activists jailed under Nasser 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".
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. All non-government press was banned as well. The round up missed a Jihad cell in the military led by Lieutenant "Khalid Islambouli, who would succeed in assassinating Anwar Sadat that October.
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.
On 6 October 1981, Sadat was assassinated during the annual victory parade held in Cairo to celebrate "Egypt's crossing of the Suez Canal. 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). 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. 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. Israel's prime minister, "Menachem Begin, considered Sadat a personal friend and insisted on attending the funeral. Begin even walked throughout the funeral procession so as not to desecrate the Sabbath. 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. His brother "Muhammad al-Zawahiri was imprisoned from 2000 until 17 March 2011, and then re-arrested on 20 March 2011. "Abboud al-Zomor and Tareq al-Zomor, two "Islamic Jihad leaders imprisoned in connection with the assassination, were released on 11 March 2011.
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.
Media portrayals of Anwar Sadat
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; the court held, "the distortions and the slanders found in the film took place outside the country," so that "the crimes were not within the Egyptian courts' jurisdiction."
Western authors attributed the film's poor reception to racism – Gossett being African American – in the Egyptian government or Egypt in general. Either way, one Western source wrote that Sadat's portrayal by Gossett "bothered race-conscious Egyptians and wouldn't have pleased [the deceased] Sadat". The two-part series earned Gossett an "Emmy nomination in the United States.
He was portrayed by "Robert Loggia in the 1982 television move "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.
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.
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- Peace with Israel
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Upset by 'Sadat,' Egypt Bars Columbia Films
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|""||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anwar Sadat.|
|""||Wikiquote has quotations related to: Anwar Sadat|
- Official website (Arabic)
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Front Page
- Ben-Gurion on Anwar Sadat Wanting Peace, 1971 Shapell Manuscript Foundation
- Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the "University of Maryland
- Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony for the Presidential Medal of Freedom - March 26, 1984
- Anwar Sadat at the "Internet Movie Database
- "Anwar Sadat collected news and commentary". "The New York Times.
- Works by or about Anwar Sadat in libraries ("WorldCat catalog)
- Video of Sadat's assassination
- Free Egyptians Point of View About Sadat's Assassination (Arabic) (English) (Internet Archive)
- The short film Anwar Sadat (1976) is available for free download at the "Internet Archive
- Anwar Sadat at "Find a Grave
- Sadat Movie (Produced in 1983) - Banned from the Middle East because of some historical mistakes.
Abdul Latif El-Bughadi
|President of the "People's Assembly of Egypt
Dr. Mohamed Labib Skokeir
"Gamal Abdel Nasser
|"President of Egypt
"Sufi Abu Taleb acting
|"Prime Minister of Egypt
"Abdelaziz Muhammad Hejazi
|"Prime Minister of Egypt
|Party political offices|
|"Chairman of the National Democratic Party