A brown boy, small in body, barefoot, walks behind his grandmother, who carries a honey “slip” among the green fields, and despite the signs of poverty in the scene, the boy feels unique happiness, as the grandmother always tells him, “Nothing equals that you are the son of the earth and the earth.” Immortality because God deposited all his secret. “
The boy will grow up and walk a path crowded with events, but he never forgets the steps of the grandmother until he becomes the president of the country, and tries to recover the land from the enemy who usurped it.
On the 50th anniversary of the late President Mohamed Anwar Sadat’s rule of Egypt in mid-October 1970, we saw that we allow the man to speak about himself and his life, through the book “Searching for the Self” which he wrote 4 years before his death.
The biographies of famous people usually consist of angelic narratives of the life they lived, for they are heroes, and at the same time victims, and no exception is the “search for self”, in which Sadat narrated about 400 pages of his career, which he considered the story of the life of Egypt.
However, the “search for self” that was released in 1978, is full of dramatic events, many of which derive from that angelic narrative, because they are simply part of history that cannot be denied.
It may not be reasonable to accuse Sadat of claiming heroism when he talks about his arrest twice during the monarchy of the country, his dismissal from the armed forces due to his political moves against the British occupation, and his suffering with the journey of homelessness and hunger.
Sadat’s grandmother, who saw wisdom, instinct, experience and life, had a great impact on the formation of his character, and he never forgot her voice while telling him the story of Zahran, the hero of the Dinshaway Incident, which took place in 1906, and was an example of a brutal reaction on the part of the English occupation at the time in the face of simple Egyptian peasants.
Therefore, he was greatly affected after he left his village, Mit Abu al-Koum, in the Menoufia Governorate, to begin, when he was under 10 years old, the journey of suffering with Cairo, a city in which he did not feel as happy as he felt in the countryside of his small town.
Sadat’s journey in Cairo is full of stories that may be judged by novelty or heroism, but in both cases they are surprising.
In 1932, the Indian leader Gandhi visited Egypt when he was on his way to England. At that time, Sadat – who was no more than 14 years old – read the history and struggle of the man, and his image seized his conscience, so he imitated him, took off his clothes and covered his lower half with a scarf and made a cordon and held himself on the roof of his house for several days Until his father convinced him to change his mind.
In his book, Sadat deals with the organization of the Free Officers, and considers himself the first founder of it, and not Gamal Abdel Nasser or even others about whom previous accounts have been narrated.
After he graduated from the War College in 1938, he saw the need to form an organization aimed at making a revolution by the army, which he was doing by educating his fellow officers about political history, and he mentioned that Abdel Nasser was serving with his military unit in Sudan, and he returned in 1942 where he received the organization after his arrest Sadat.
In the summer of 1941, Sadat planned his first revolution. After the parliament decided to withdraw the army from the Western Desert, where the British were participating in their war against the Axis powers, it was agreed with all units returning from Marsa Matrouh to meet at a specific hour at the end of the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road.
From there, forceful forces intervened to strike the British and seize power, and for that he prepared a plan with all its details, and waited with his unit on time, but no one came, and his first revolution failed.
Rabbits in prison
In the prisons that Sadat entered as a political prisoner, many anecdotes, as he spent about 6 years there, so he decided to spend his spare time learning new languages, namely: English and German, then the conditions in Zaitoun prison helped him to raise rabbits with other prisoners.
Sadat says that they started with a couple of rabbits and then multiplied until it filled the only spacious hall of the prison, and they cooked and ate it for dinner, and there it returned to its rural origin, so he planted alfalfa in the prison garden to be food for rabbits and then planted potatoes.
But perhaps the most exciting thing that Sadat tells about his story with prison is his success in escaping, and he goes to Abdeen Palace where the ruling is located, and not to his home, to write in the protocol register his protest against the bad treatment by one of the guards, then he returns to the prison again of his own will .
After that incident, he fled again, but this time he did not return, and he remained on the run to do heavy manual work, including paving roads, digging waterways and transporting quarry marble, until martial law fell after the end of World War II.
It is well-known about Sadat that he participated in the killing of the pro-British Finance Minister in the 1940’s, Amin Othman, and after that, he remained for 3 years in detention, after he spent the equivalent of it on another charge of contacting the Germans during the World War.
However, Sadat tells another story in his biography, which is about the attempted assassination of the head of the Wafd Party, Mustafa al-Nahhas Pasha, whom he considered a national symbol, and then the situation changed completely after the incident of February 4, 1942.
Indeed, Sadat and his companions were watching the copper car, and they actually threw their bombs, but it did not hit the target car because its driver swerved due to a tram car suddenly intercepting its way, leaving it outside the blast circle.
Sadat and the Brotherhood
Before his arrest and dismissal from the army, Sadat used to deliver a sermon to his soldiers on the anniversary of the Prophet’s birthday. It happened that there were a number of Muslim Brotherhood members among these soldiers, and one of them found one of them whispering in his ear that one of the men at the door wanted to deliver a speech on the occasion of the religious commemoration. He was the founder of the group, Hassan al-Banna, who welcomed him and made him give the speech in his place, and that was in 1940.
The late President saw Hassan Al-Banna as an excellent cleric in choosing topics, explaining, understanding and delivering religion, and testified to him with gentleness, tolerance, and good treatment of people in all respects, and considered him qualified for religious leadership.
In turn, the first guide of the Brotherhood invited Sadat to attend the Tuesday lesson, which he gave every week after the Maghrib prayer at the Society Center in Helmiyeh al-Jadida, and he actually went, and he even met him in private sessions in his office after the lesson.
Sadat believed that the Brotherhood was a force to be reckoned with, and that it had even succeeded in recruiting some officers and soldiers in the military branch of their military organization. That is why Sadat declared al-Banna that he wanted to create a military organization whose aim was to overthrow the state of government in the country.
At first, Al-Banna questioned his intentions, then asked him how many officers and weapons he had and how powerful they were. For his part, Sadat informed him that he was the first man in the Free Officers organization, and the second man was Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf, who was subsequently recruited by the Brotherhood, according to what was confirmed by the author of the “Search for the Self.”
It seems that events were faster than the completion of the relationship between Sadat and Al-Banna, as the former tried to communicate with the Germans during World War II. This led to his arrest, but the relationship remained good with the Brotherhood’s mentor.
The best proof of the good relationship is that Hassan al-Banna contacted Sadat’s brother to tell him that the Muslim Brotherhood Association allocated 10 pounds per month to Sadat’s family during his detention.
Anwar and Jamal
Sadat met Abdel Nasser during their service in the military units in Miqbad in Sudan, at that time he was branded as serious, but from Sadat’s point of view, he was not inclined to joking with himself and was setting up a barrier between him and the people, which made most of his colleagues distant from him and avoid talking with him until Not misunderstood.
Sadat stated that he had all the love for Abdel Nasser and Saad when he became president of Egypt and then leader of the Arab nation, stressing that unlike everyone around Abdel Nasser, he did not enter into conflict with him throughout his life.
Nevertheless, Sadat does not hide that Abdel Nasser was full of contradictions and spent his life from emotion to emotion, as he assumed suspicion in every person, “and the natural result was that behind a terrible legacy of hatred .. Abdel Nasser built a mountain of hatred on all levels, Even at the level of the same family, it was possible for a son to spy on his father, “wrote Sadat.
The Soviets killed Abdel Nasser
In Sadat’s opinion, the Soviet Union was the one who killed Abdel Nasser, as they treated him completely far from generosity and dignity, which was one of the most important factors that affected his psychological and then physical health, and helped his heart and diabetes, which were what killed him.
Abdel Nasser was quoted as saying that the Russians are a hopeless situation, and that he accepted Rogers ‘US initiative because he is ready – after the Russians’ humiliating treatment of him – to accept a solution even from the Devil.
After the death of Abdel Nasser, the journey of “soul-searching” moved between the details of the beginnings of the period of the presidency of Ibn Mit Abu al-Kom to Egypt and the October War and the beginning of the path of peace with Israel.
Sadat’s biography was filled with many events and feelings, but the most amazing of them was the story of Zahran, the hero of Danshuan. The late president remained throughout his life imbued with the image of the hero who climbs to the gallows at a steady pace who does not fear the death that he will meet after minutes, which is similar to the end of Sadat, as he advanced towards They fought him in steady steps during the October 6, 1981 military parade, which saw the curtain fall on his busy life.