Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Anwar Sadat

Egypt, here I come.  I have heard and read so much about you.  Finally, I have a chance to see for myself what you are like, and what your people are like.  One of these people is President Anwar Sadat.  Here I am, at the Tomb for Unknown Soldiers.  In 1981, Sadat was assassinated in front of the grandstand opposite from the Tomb. 

Sadat was there at the annual victory parade celebrating the Egyptian army’s crossing of the Suez Canal in 1973, marking the beginning of the Yom Kippur War.   In 1967, Egypt had lost the Sinai Peninsular in the Six Day War.  Sadat started the war which surprised Israel.   Even though Israel recovered to gain the upper hand, Egypt did regained Sinai as a result of the war.   

The pyramidal memorial is for the soldiers who died crossing the Suez Canal.  Sadat is also buried here next to them, opposite from where he was assassinated.  The people who assassinated must be turning continuously in their graves. 

In 1978 Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. For this, he became extremely unpopular in the Arab world.  It also directly led to his assassination by a group of Islamists.  

Sadat knew it was risky fighting Israel.  He knew it was riskier making peace with Israel.  Yet he was brave enough to do what he felt was right despite all the risks.  In the end he paid with his life.  But people will remember him.  That’s also why I am here.  

No comments: