Egypt / Politics /
muhammad 'anwār 'as-sādāt
(1918-1981) President of Egypt from 1970 to 1981.
In the 1930's, Sadat as a military cadet.
In 1946, during a trial accused for planned assassination of a politician.
In 1977, addressing the Knesset.
In 1981, moments before the assassination.
The assassination of Sadat.
Sadat's background was military education. He was active in the dissident officer's actions of freeing Egypt from British control, together with Gamal Abdel Nasser.
After becoming president in 1970, Sadat set a new course independent from Nasser, to the surprise of many. While Nasser had oriented himself away from the West, and started cooperation closely with the Soviet Union, Sadat sacked 20,000 Soviet military personnel within two year.
The 1973 Yom Kippur war against Israel was the first war of the Middle East in which the Arabs made great advances, Israel needed US aid to fight back. The war did not give back control over the Suez Canal, which was very important aim for Sadat, but it demonstrated that the Arab military now had reached a level of equality with the Israeli. All in all, the war was regarded as a victory for Sadat, especially compared to the falling star of Nasser in his last years at power.
Sadat's rising star on the Arab sky, dropped to the ground in 1977, when he surprised the world by visiting Israel. This visit was to a large degree motivated by the economic problems after many wars with Israel. The visit would lead to the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1979. The treaty with Israel isolated Egypt in the Arab world, and strong opposition was expressed from the Islamists.
1918 December 25: Born in Mit Abu al-Kawm, al-Minufiyya into a poor family of 13 children.
1939-45: Active in Egyptian resistance, twice arrested for cooperating with the Germans.
1946: Put to trial for having planned to assassinate a politician, but was acquitted.
1952 July 23: Army coup led by Nasser, against King Faruk, in which Sadat is a close partner.
1954 February: Central in deposing of Naguib.
1964: Sadat is appointed Vice President.
1966: Steps down as Vice President.
1969: Appointed Vice President for the second time.
1970 October 15: Becomes president following the death of Nasser.
1973 October 6: In 1973 Sadat was one of the instigators of the Yom Kippur war against Israel, but this only gave part of the victory he had hoped for.
1977 November 19: Makes a surprise visit to Israel, conducting talks with Israeli Prime Minister, Menachim Begin and giving a speech to the Knesset.
1978: Sadat is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Menachim Begin.
1979 March 26: Signs the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty.
1981 September: Sadat gives orders to round up 1,600 dissidents, Islamists and Communists.
1981 October 6: Dies after being shot by 3 soldiers under a military parade in Cairo.