Anwar el-Sadat was an Egyptian politician who served in the military before helping to overthrow his country's monarchy in the early s. He served as vice president and later became president in Though his country faced internal economic instability, Sadat earned the Nobel Peace Prize for entering into peace agreements with Israel. He was assassinated soon after on October 6, , in Cairo, Egypt, by Muslim extremists.
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Anwar el-Sadat was an Egyptian politician who served in the military before helping to overthrow his country's monarchy in the early s. He served as vice president and later became president in Though his country faced internal economic instability, Sadat earned the Nobel Peace Prize for entering into peace agreements with Israel.
He was assassinated soon after on October 6, , in Cairo, Egypt, by Muslim extremists. In , the British created a military school in Egypt, and Sadat was among the first of its students. When he graduated from the academy, Sadat received a government post, where he met Gamal Abdel Nasser, who would one day rule Egypt.
The pair bonded and formed a revolutionary group designed to overthrow British rule and expel the British from Egypt. Before the group could succeed, the British arrested and jailed Sadat in , but he escaped two years later.
In , Sadat was again arrested, this time after being implicated in the assassination of pro-British minister Amin 'Uthman. Imprisoned until , when he was acquitted, upon release Sadat joined Nasser's Free Officers organization and was involved in the group's armed uprising against the Egyptian monarchy in Four years later, he supported Nasser's rise to the presidency. Sadat held several high offices in Nasser's administration, eventually becoming vice president of Egypt —, — Nasser died on September 28, , and Sadat became acting president, winning the position for good in a nationwide vote on October 15, Sadat immediately set about separating himself from Nasser in both domestic and foreign policies.
Domestically, he initiated the open-door policy known as infitah Arabic for "opening" , an economic program designed to attract foreign trade and investment. While the idea was progressive, the move created high inflation and a large gap between the rich and poor, fostering unease and contributing to the food riots of January Where Sadat really made an impact was on foreign policy, as he began peace talks with Egypt's longtime foe Israel almost immediately.
Initially, Israel refused Sadat's terms which proposed that peace could come if Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula , and Sadat and Syria built a military coalition to retake the territory in A few years after the Yom Kippur War, Sadat restarted his efforts to build peace in the Middle East, traveling to Jerusalem in November and presenting his peace plan to the Israeli parliament.
Thus began a series of diplomatic efforts, with Sadat making overtures to Israel in the face of strong Arab resistance across the region. For their historic efforts, Sadat and Begin were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in , and follow-through on the negotiations resulted in a finalized peace treaty between Egypt and Israel—the first between Israel and an Arab country—being signed on March 26, Unfortunately, Sadat's popularity abroad was matched by a new animosity felt toward him in Egypt and around the Arab world.
Opposition to the treaty, a declining Egyptian economy and Sadat's quashing of the resulting dissent led to general upheaval. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives.
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It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above. Keeping Faith. Memoirs of a President.
Sadat was a senior member of the Free Officers who overthrew King Farouk in the Egyptian Revolution of , and a close confidant of President Gamal Abdel Nasser , under whom he served as Vice President twice and whom he succeeded as President in In his eleven years as president, he changed Egypt 's trajectory, departing from many of the political and economic tenets of Nasserism , re-instituting a multi-party system , and launching the Infitah economic policy. Although reaction to the treaty—which resulted in the return of Sinai to Egypt—was generally favorable among Egyptians,  it was rejected by the country's Muslim Brotherhood and the left, which felt Sadat had abandoned efforts to ensure a Palestinian state. He entered the army as a second lieutenant and was posted to Sudan Egypt and Sudan were one country at the time.