"I never again want to see the face of a starving
child or hear the weeping of a mother who has lost her son to war. Peace,
this is what my husband gave his life for, and I want the world to know
that he did not die in vain. Peace, this is what will make me very happy."
Sadat was born in Cairo, Egypt. When she was fifteen, she met Anwar Sadat
who had been recently released from prison where he had been confined for
many years because of his fierce resistance of the British occupation of
Egypt. On May 29, 1949, Jehan married Anwar Sadat, thus beginning a journey
that would last for more than thirty-two years with a man who would become
the President of Egypt and would change the course of history not just for
the Middle East, but also for the world.
One of Mrs. Sadat's first projects was Talla Society, a cooperative which
made it possible for village women to learn skills to enable them
to earn their own money which in turn paved the way to
self-sufficient and contribute the financial welfare of their families.
The Talla Society began with Mrs. Sadat’s dream and a small group
of women who were eager and willing to work at twenty-five sewing machines
in an abandoned building.
In 1975, she was head of the Egyptian delegation to the United Nations
International Women’s Conference in Mexico City and later, the Egyptian
delegations to the UN Women’s Conference in Copenhagen and the United
Nations Decade of Women in New York. She founded the African-Arab Women’s
League and has hosted and participated in, and is still participating in,
countless conferences and seminars concerning women’s issues, children’s
welfare, literacy, and peace in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South
Sadat established the Wafa’ Wal Amal (Faith and Hope) Society in Egypt
in 1972, which has constructed and now operates a fully integrated city
for handicapped war veterans and civilians, complete with clinics, rehabilitation
centers, national training programs, and recreation areas. Wafa' Wal Amal
is the first and largest rehabilitation center of its kind in the Middle
In 1977, after visiting several S.O.S. Villages of Austria, Mrs. Sadat
initiated the idea of SOS Children's Villages in Egypt, offering needy orphans
the opportunities to lead normal family lives. She is a long-time national
and international advocate of legal reform on behalf of family issues and
women's eauality and has founded or headed many organizations and charitable
associations, including the Egyptian Blood Bank and the Egyptian Society
for Cancer patients. Mrs. Sadat firmly believes, “The most precious
capital any country can have is an educated citizenry.” She, therefore,
promotes education, learning, in all aspects and stages of life, particularly
for women, as the major way for any nation to achieve lasting economic,
social, and political equality.
receiving her baccalaureate degree with honors in Arabic Literature, she
earned a masters degree, also with honors, and a doctorate degree in Comparative
Literature from Cairo University in 1980 and 1986, respectively.
Following the assassination of President Sadat on October 6, 1981, the
deeply aggrieved young widow retreated from public life, her beloved projects,
and her teaching position at Cairo University. Following a period of grief
and uncertainty, she resumed her role as educator, lecturer, and social
activist, promoting the women’s rights and international peace. Currently,
Mrs. Sadat is Associate Resident Scholar at the University of Maryland where
The Anwar Sadat Chair for Development and Peace was established and fully
endowed in 1997 to honor her husband's legacy.
Today, Jehan Sadat’s mission is to maintain her husband’s legacy,
keeping alive his memory so that future generations will know that Egypt’s
President Anwar Sadat was a “man of peace.” At the same time,
she continues to deliver her own views concerning the rights of women, the
importance of the family, and world peace.
Book by Dr. Jehan
Sadat "My Hope for Peace", 2009
of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty of 1979 :
Launching the Sadat Museum and Digital
Archive in Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt
Years After Camp David: My Hope for Peace in the Middle
Wall Street Journal, March 2009
Jehan Sadat Reflects on Working Toward
Jehan Sadat and Barbara Walters at the 92nd Street
Interview on the Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC), on her new
book My Hope for Peace, March 26, 2009
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