| December 25,
|Oct 6, 1981 (age 62)
| Mit Abu al-Kum,
Does Anwar Sadat Dead or Alive?
As per our current Database, Anwar Sadat died on Oct 6, 1981 (age 62).
In 1938, he completed his education at the Cairo Royal Military Academy.
Anwar Sadat was born on 25 December 1918 in Mit Abu El Kom, Monufia, Egypt to a poor family, one of 13 brothers and sisters. One of his brothers, Atef Sadat, later became a pilot and was killed in action during the October War of 1973. His father, Anwar Mohammed El Sadat was an Upper Egyptian, and his mother, Sit Al-Berain, was Sudanese from her father.
He graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Cairo in 1938 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, a movement committed to freeing Egypt and Sudan from British domination, and royal corruption.
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. 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.
Sadat succeeded Nasser as president after the latter’s death in October 1970. Sadat’s presidency was widely expected to be short-lived. 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. On 15 May 1971, 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.
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, 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.
In 1971, Sadat addressed the Iranian parliament in Tehran in fluent Persian, describing the 2,500-year-old historic connection between the two lands.
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, 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. 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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. Although Sadat still maintained high levels of popularity in Egypt, it has been said that he was assassinated “at the peak” of his unpopularity.
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.
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.
He was portrayed by Robert Loggia in the 1982 television movie A Woman Called Golda, opposite Ingrid Bergman as Golda Meir.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Currently, Anwar Sadat is 103 years, 9 months and 6 days old. Anwar Sadat will celebrate 104th birthday on a Sunday 25th of December 2022.
Find out about Anwar Sadat birthday activities in timeline view here.