On this date in 1970, Mohamed Anwar El Sadat (1918-1981) was elected President of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Sadat was born in the Nile delta village of Mi Abu al Kawm to a family of 13 children.
He and Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin negotiated the historic Camp David Accords with President Jimmy Carter. Both Begin and Sadat shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.
Sadat courageously gambled everything for peace and called his dedication to Middle East peace his "sacred mission."
"He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress," Sadat explained.
With Sadat's statesmanship, Egypt became the first Arab state to recognize Israel's right to exist. "There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, not as many separate ones," he said.
There is an old Arabic Proverb that says, "Trust in Allah, but tie your camel." In embracing Israel, Sadat outraged the Arab world. At a Cairo military parade in, while looking up at air force jets overhead, he was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists within his own army.
In 1999, former President Gerald Ford nominated Sadat for Time magazine's Man of the 20th Century and said, "Sadat taught us that it is possible for human beings to put ideals above self-interest... (He) died for the cause that he ennobled."
The heart beats for peace.