Biography of Mohamed Anwar el-Sadat Loyalty, humility, peace seeking, and bravery are a number of traits we don’t associate with a lot of world leaders, but Mohamed Anwar el-Sadat proved us wrong here. He was named after Ismail Anwar, who is also known as Anwar Pasha. Safe to say that he was named after a hero, and then he went ahead and became one as well. His father was a government clerk, while his mother was Sudanese.
Sadat grew up a happy child, growing up among average Egyptian villagers in a town called Mit Abul Kom, Menufeya, which is about 40 miles north of Cairo. As at that time, Egypt was colonized by the British. As a result of this influence, Sadat has harbored anti-colonial beliefs from an early age. He was brought up as a devout Muslim, even benefitting a lot from Islamic education. After his graduation from a military school in Egypt he attended, he was posted to a remote government base.
This is where he made a friend of Gamal AbdelNasser.
During the second world war, Sadat landed himself in prison because he offered Germans help to assist in sending the Brits out of Egypt. And although he managed to escape after two years in jail, he was arrested a second time in 1946, on the charges of being involved in the assassination of a pro-British minister. While in prison, he wrote his first book, In Search of Identity. He was released two years after his arrest, and he went on to join a group called the free officers’ organization, which was responsible for leading the coup against the royal government of King Farouk in 1952.
He supported Nasser’s election as the president of Egypt in 1954. While Nasser was president, Sadat was appointed minister of state in 1954, and he was also appointed editor of the then recently founded daily, Al Gomhuria. He became the secretary of the National Union in 1959, and president of the National assembly from 1960-1968.
In 1964, he was named the vice president and member of the presidential council. In 1969, he was renamed the vice president. Upon Nasser’s death in 1970, Anwar Sadat was elected president of Egypt. As president, he made so many bold moves, many of which can be likened to an act of heroism. He was responsible for breaking Egypt’s links with the Soviet Union, and asked for the support of the US in reclaiming territories that were lost to Israel. Sadat shared a Nobel Peace prize with Begin, after initiating the negotiation for peace between Egypt and Israel. This brought about the Camp David Accords, which was successful thanks to the mediation of Jimmy Carter, the then Us president .
When Sadat became president, he was thought to be a puppet and not capable of ruling a nation by a lot of people. But, Sadat made a lot of bold moves that firmly set him apart as a great ruler and a man with a mind of his own. On May 15th, 1971, Sadat announced a Corrective Revolution, a system which he used to cleanse the government, purging every facet of it, from security to political to government establishments of the most ardent Nasserists.
He shocked many Egyptians by dismissing and imprisoning two of the most powerful people in the regime- the vice president Ali Sabri, who had close ties with soviet officials and Sharawy Gomaa, the Interior Minister that controlled the secret police. As a part of his corrective measure, he also went ahead to cut down on the power wielded by the much hated secret police. He expelled the Soviet military from Egypt and reformed the Egyptian army to face off with the Israel army again, making them better this time.
He also encouraged the rise of Islamist movements, being a devout himself. On the 6 th of October, 1973, Sadat and Hafez al-Assad of Syria launched the October War also known as the Yom Kippur War, and even less popularly known as the Ramadan War.
It consisted a series of surprise attacks against the Israeli forces occupying the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, and the Syrian Golan Heights with the sole purpose of retaking their territories back for the Egyptians and Syrians. These regions had been occupied by the Israeli since the Six Day War which happened six years earlier.
At this point, the Israeli recognized the power Egypt was gathering and they started regarding them as a formidable foe. Egypt had gained a renewed political significance, and this led to the regaining and reopening of Suez Canal, the peace process Sadat had put in place. This same peace policy led to the conclusion of two agreements on the disengagement of forces with the Israeli government.
The first agreement was signed on January 18th, 1974, and the second was signed on September 4,1975. On November 19th, 1977, Sadat became the first Arab leader to officially make a visit to Israel when he went over to have a meeting with the Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin, and he made a speech before the Knesset in Jerusalem about his views on how to achieve an all-inclusive peace. During the last months of his presidency, a lot of internal uprisings were witnessed.
He disregarded all allegations that the uprisings were caused by domestic issues, instead believing that the Soviet Union was recruiting its regional allies in Libya and Syria to create an uprising that will eventually force him out of power. Finally, on the 6 th of October 1981, Sadat was assassinated during the annual victory parade that was held in Cairo to celebrate Egypt’s crossing of the Suez Canal.
The squad that carried out his assassination was led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli after a fatwa was issued by Omar Abdel-Rahman in approval of the assassination. Along with Sadat, eleven other people were killed, including the Cuban ambassador, an Omani general, a Coptic Orthodox bishop and the head of Egypt’s Central Auditing Agency, Samir Helmy. And so, the reign of a great leader came to an end.