Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sadat and his Legacy, 25 Years on...

This is a very important interview given by Jimmy Carter to Newsweek on occasion of the 25th anniversary of Sadat's death. It's a must read.

It's a shame that a former American president should know more about the Egyptian people and their peace treaty than our uber-intellectuals.

* * *

What I am about to say will be met with shocked gasps of horror from certain readers...but I will go ahead and say it anyway:)

You know what...when I think of it now, it gives me chuckles what Sadat did to the uber-intellectuals in September 1981.

Here is a little background to our story...

Basically at the time, the country was in a state of dangerous civil strife; some angry crazy Muslims were up in arms against some angry crazy Christians (I proudly boast of our unity in this mutual way), more than a dozen countries and organizations around the world were out to kill Sadat, all the while the opposition from all directions and uber-intellectuals were ganging up and doing their best in abusing the freedoms they had been given to make a mockery of the president and accuse him of treason. All this while in the background Sadat was pre-occupied with the greater project he had dedicated his presidency to; the Middle East peace process he had launched and the tangible fruition of his work with the completion of Israel's final phase of withdrawal from the rest of Sinai at the very imminent date of April 1982.

You have to understand where Anwar el Sadat was coming from. He inherited a country that was ruled by his military colleague and predecessor with a tyrannical iron fist; a police state of terror where families were too afraid to talk of politics in their own homes. He inaugurated his presidency, as soon as he consolidated his power, by overthrowing this vicious police state and giving Egyptians the freedoms they had been denied throughout Nasser's reign. Yet here we were, ten years later and the country was in this state of chaos at this critical juncture of Egypt's political and territorial history.

After all the achievements he had done in his presidency, and in the middle of its most critical part which he was undergoing now, how do you think this all made him feel?

So in his self-described capacity as the father of the Egyptian village, Sadat said enough is enough; you will rise above your petty differences and Egypt will focus on its existential cause that we are undergoing right now. He was worried that this internal strife would spill over to something more serious that would cause Israel to halt its scheduled handover of the rest of Sinai.

So he had 1500 people from all over the political spectrum arrested; Islamists, Christian fundamentalists, vocal critics of his peace policy (i.e. uber-intellectuals), and even the Pope, whom Sadat regarded as a fanatic for his meddling in politics (and whom Heikal wrote of under the chapter of "Militant Monks", in his book Autumn of Fury), was exiled to his monastery in Wadi el Natroun. Unlike was the going habit of his predecessor however, Sadat ordered for them all to be treated well and planned to release them as Israel completed its withdrawal in April 1982, the year he was looking forward to retire.

In my opinion he planned to tell them, here you go; this is what I did for you. And now I retire in peace. Which is exactly what happened at that same exact date, but with him already gone from the scene. In my opinion he would have released them much sooner than this had he lived, because his objective was exactly to make a statement.

This last act of September may be seen as a little eccentric and grandiose of Sadat, but this statement of his wasn't without its meaning, or lacking humor in its truthfulness which continues to laugh at his opponents everyday. And this may be why the uber-intellectuals continue to hate him more and more with each passing day.

All I can say, looking back in hindsight, is Sadat was right.

In the midst of his army in a parade after the war.

Nota Bene:

Before you make a jump for my throat, make sure you first read the above interview to understand the scope of what Sadat had worked for and achieved in the years leading up to and following Camp David, as opposed to the endless lies and smear campaigns he had been and continues to be subjected to that you may or may not already be familiar with.

Also read what Abouna Matta el Meskeen had to say about the banishment of the Pope:

"I can't say I'm happy, but I am at peace now. Every morning I was expecting news of more bloody collisions. Sadat's actions protect the church and the Copts. They are from God."

Ok, now you go right ahead.


Seneferu said...

According to Nabawi Ismail, this is what Sadat said to him:

«أنا مش هضيع دماء الشهداء ونصر أكتوبر من أجل مجموعة أصوات عالية».

وأكمل: «هؤلاء نستضيفهم عندنا لمدة ٦ شهور، ويقوم المدعي الاشتراكي بسؤالهم عن التجاوزات التي يقومون بها في ندواتهم ويوم خروج آخر جندي إسرائيلي في ٢٥ أبريل ١٩٨٢ يخرجوا جميعاً ويعارضوا كما يريدون».

Seneferu said...

To Peter,

It's not that I disagree with what you said in the last post, as much as it is with your perspective of looking at things.

Consider this not my personal opinion, as much as it is my personal igtihad of trying to see things from this perspective.

Mohamed said...

That was a really great interview seneferu, Jimmy Carter's always an example in human decencey, kindness and genuine faith.
Egypeter, please give me a break, you can't have it both ways unless you're a case study of shamless hypocricy, you can't lament Sadat and Mubarak's dictatorship then wish for an exponentially more brutal dictator like Ataturk, and also you can't admire Ataturk's secularism while at the same time profess your absolute admiration for a hideous religious fanatic like Rick Santorum, either you're secular period or a theocrat, you can't admire separation of church and state as long as this religion isn't yours while at the same time advocating the fusion of church and state if this religion happens to be yours, it doesn't go both ways buddy.

DNA said...

The more I read up on Sadat, the more I think he was probably the right man at the wrong time. Thanks for that Seneferu.

Egypeter said...

Since Mohammed took it upon himself to be an ass, I will address his idiotic comment first.

I don't see anywhere in my posts to SENEFERU where I addressed YOU but since YOU initiated...

Mohammed Said:

"A case study of shameless hypocrisy.."

Hmmm, that's not very nice ya mohammed....But ok, let the personal attacks begin Mo.

You said:

"you can't lament Sadat and Mubarak's dictatorship then wish for an exponentially more brutal dictator like Ataturk"

Huh? Have you been to Turkey you imbicile? Ataturk a brutal dictator??? I think that would be news to the millions of Turks living inside Turkey. What do you base your claims on Mohammed? Have you even ever stepped out of your one bedroom apt. in Assiut? Go take a look at Turkey and see the benefits of living under a civil secular democracy where, at least the government, isn't blinded by fundementalism. Go look at how much more modern Turkey is compared to Egypt. Go look at what life COULD be in Egypt. There's a muslim country that has a sense of nationalism and pride (a lot probably having to do with the fact that they're not Arab). They're so far more advanced that they're trying to enter the European Union and I hope they get in. So when you call Ataturk an "exponentially more brutal dictator" than our three clowns (Nasser, Sadat and Muburak) excuse me while I laught at your ass!

And then you spouted off about how you know what my political leanings are. LOL. You idiot.

Not as if I'm obligated to explain to you what MY political affiliation is but you better believe I am a strong Republican. And damn proud of it. Yep. I voted for Bush...TWICE! I'd say I share VERY similar views to a fellow blogger, you might've heard of him, his name is Sandmonkey :)

And contrary to the lies you said about me...I do support separation of Religion and State, as stipulated in the U.S. Constitution not the flawed one that Egypt is using. Now if only the middle east could implement 5% of that philosophy, compared to the U.S., things would be way better off in Egypt. We're not even talking the same stratosphere of separation of Religion and State when talking about Egypt and the U.S., understand moahmmed?? VERY VERY little is legislated in Egypt without the consideration of religon. So spare me your bullshit guy.

Anyway, sorry Seneferu for my long response. I apologize to YOU.

Interesting point of view on Sadat. I'll respond later.

Mohamed said...

Egypeter, I didn't attack you on a personal level, I just said that you've got a hypocritical point of view, that's not personal, I'm just stating the obvious, thanks anyway for your good manners, and yes, if you know anything about history, Ataturk was a military tyrant, who forced turkey to a military dictatorship for decades after he died, and the kind of progress you're talking about only started to take place when Bo2loz (don't remember his name right now, the rafeek el 7areery twin brother) came to power.
And yeah, and since I've just realized how ugly someone looks when he raves like a mad man as you've just did, and also because you'd be too easy for me kid, I won't return the favor.
PS: The Sandmonkey is a blogger not a fellow blogger, because although you've got a nominal blog, you never blog (I have to give it to you though, you've got a great taste in music, but obviously you never understand a word that Roger Waters writes), and what has the SM got to do with anything here, is he your official brain now? Anyway, take it easy boy.

Egypeter said...

I wonder if anybody else on this blog would consider being called a "Case study in shameless hypocrisy" an insult. I would bet 'yes' Mohammed.

Whatever. You can keep calling me a "hypocrite" or "hypocrital point of view" or however else you wanna phrase it Mo. You don't know shit bro.

Your're just flat wrong about your knowledge on Turkey. And my question still stands. Have you been there? Do you know any Turks? Have you ever spoken with one? If Ataturk, the "Father of Turkey", is so hated then why was his picture everywhere I went? Why is his face on all their currency? Why did the young grougeous Turks I met speak so fondly of him and talk about how proudly secular, yet distinctively muslim, their country was? Why is he held in such high esteem by most, not all (read Islamists), Turks. Mind you, this is DECADES after his death!

But whatever, it seems facts don't impress you much.

And did you call me "kid?" Lol :)

My reference to SM was that you took a jab at my political affiliation (remember the Rick Santorum comment?) So my point in referencing SM is that we share very similar political views and we're both Egyptian...that's all, nothing more. You ask if "he's my official brain now?" Who's the "kid" here again ya Mohammed? You meant that as an insult but I'll take it as a compliment.

You should go open up his blog it might open up your mind.


Mohamed said...

No thanks, I'll pass, the only thing his blog can do to my mind is a severe migraine.
And in fact I know a lot of turks here and and I assure you, the only thing they know about him is his name and picture (always confuse him with Estefan Rosty) , they all love Bo2loz though, maybe you meant the persians and the shah, because those guys really miss his days.

Seneferu said...


Thanks! minawwar el blog with your first comment here:) I would go a step further than that and say he was the perfect man for the right time; meaning what he accomplished in his 11 year tenure...tigibha yemeen, tigibha shimal, it couldn't have deen done otherwise. That's what makes the man such an enigma.


This post wasn't directed at Peter. I was merely picking up here where we left at the last comments section.


Attaturk did impose secularism dictatorially. The Turkish state is behind the scenes ruled by a secular military junta that has and will get rid of any politician that thinks of messing with secular nature of the state.

Mo and Peter,

Please don't turn this space into a personal brawl, unless you are arguing something related to the post. Thanks.

Egypeter said...

Well, since we'll never agree on anything mohammed (except for Pink Floyd and maybe Classic Rock), we'll just have to agree to disagree. Good luck to you.

Seneferu - that Time's article from 1981, in my opinion, is terribly biased and factually incorrect in much of its analysis .

Fist of all, from the perspective of the Church, Father Matta Al Maskeen never had any authority to speak out against Pope Shenouda, ever. A priest who is ordained by the Pope cannot question or counter the directives of the Pope, even though the Coptic Church does NOT consider the Pope infallible. So I'm not really sure what Father Matta was doing in siding with Sadat against the Pope on issues relating to the Coptic Church. That article seems like it was dictated by Sadat himself to Time Magazine. None of those points are reflective of the point of view of the Coptic Church.

And Pope Shenouda had every right to question the rising tide of radicalism that was sweeping through Egypt during the time Sadat made peace with Israel. Sadat makes peace with Israel and then releases all the people who would kill him for it. What kind of retarde policy is that? Does that make any sense? That's why I think he was a failed president.

And then the whole debate on "monophysisite" in the article reflects someone who has no understanding of Orthodox let alone Coptic theology. But that's besides the point and a whole other debate.

I just think it was a poorly written article from 25 some years ago and not indicative of any current Coptic point of view.

Seneferu said...


Father Matta was no ordinary priest. He was a candidate for the papacy before Pope Shenouda, and perhaps even Kirrillis the 6th (if my reading was correct).

This Time article is of no significance here; I was citing the source of Matta's quote.

About Sadat and the Islamists, all he did was merely let them go. The left accuses him of being a dictator for letting them go and not doing what his predecessor did to them.

As you can see, this paradoxical accusation makes no sense.

Egypeter said...

I agree that he imposed a "civil secular government" in the country and that the millitary was responsible for strictly enforcing it. It was probably tough medicine for the citizens but it was for their own benefit. GOOD, GREAT IDEA! It worked. The foundations he laid after the collapse of the failing Ottoman Empire and subsequent partition helped shape the country that is Turkey today. Which is a whole lot better than what we've got in Egypt. Like I said, Turkey is a country with a sense of nationalism. A sense of pride. A country where citizens are relatively free and actually have personal freedoms that are protected by the state that are non-existant in Egypt. And, sure, till this day the Turkish Millitary is responsible for protecting the country from falling into the hands of Islamists like Hamas or Ikhwan. Good for the Turks. That's why, in my opinion, the Turkish model has been a far more successful one than Egypt's.

شهرزاد Shahrazad said...

Very informative piece there seneferu.
The article's quite interesting too. I have to admit i'm still not sure about Sadat, i guess i'm guilty of seeing him as a dictator but this is shedding some light on facts i was previously unaware of so thanks for that!

Seneferu said...

Thanks Shahrazad, I'm happy to have at least helped shed some different light.

Belya said...

I guess the Sadat deserves that we read el-fat7a 3ala ro7oh every single day of our lives. He was just a great man.

Egyptian_Patriot said...

Very informative seneferu. Thank You. I've never denied Sadat's positive achievements. I just think he should've been a foreign minister at the most. I mean Nasser, made many positives as well. My beef with Sadat, and my question to you is.
Why did El sadat breathe LIfe back into the muslim brotherhood, after nasser wiped them? Why did el sadat help and ease funds coming from the gulf to Islamist groups in Egypt? Why did el sadat encourage and allow Egyptian money to go in the aid of the arab-afghans and mujahideen during the soviet invasion of aghanistan? (A mistake that cost him his life..because el islamboly was a mujahid). Why did he bring Islamism BAck to Egypt? And the civil strife in Egypt, it continued. Mubarak Got egypt that was on the bring of civil war. That's why the emergency laws were made in the first place (that and the assasination of sadat). What do you think about that?
(P.S, don't take my comments too seriously in the sense that i'm not passionate or angry or anything. I know you're adecent fella. )

Seneferu said...

Good questions. I don't know, although I can try and guess the answers to some.

Two remarks though:

- Nasser imprisoned anyone barely affiliated with the brotherhood and treated them horribly, but that doesn't mean he wiped them out.

- If Sadat were only a foreign minister, he wouldn't have had power to do what he did. Sinai would still be occupied now.

So again based on these differences of perception, these questions can be viewed differently.