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Monday, 17 December 2018

The 30th anniversary of his death finds revolution youth divided over Sadat

The young people of the 25 January revolution knew Sadat as a figure of history. On the 30th anniversary of his assassination Ahram Online sought the revolutionary youths take on Mubarak's one time boss

Zeinab El Gundy, Thursday 6 Oct 2011
Sadat and Mubarak
Sadat makes an official visit to Ismailia, where he is triumphantly welcomed with then Vice President Mubarak June 26, 1977.
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It is thirty years today since the assassination of late president Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat.

Many Egyptians still remember Sadat as the 'hero of war and peace' while others continue to view him as a traitor who betrayed the Palestinian cause, sold out to the Israelis, and opened the door to economic deregulation policies that devastated the poor.

Decades later, in the aftermath of the January 25 revolution, how do young Egyptian activists, who helped to topple Hosni Mubarak in a peaceful revolution, view Sadat, who - in 1975 - appointed then airforce chief, Hosni Mubarak, as his vice president.

Mahmoud Salem, an activist and blogger who goes by the name Sandmonkey, told Ahram Online that Sadat was a great man who had a great vision for Egypt after the end of Nasser's dictatorial rule in 1970.

Salem believes, however, that Sadat made three fatal mistakes during his 11-year rule.

These were: supporting Islamist forces in order to use them against the Left, passing the 1971 Constitution that gave the president limitless powers and terms in office, and appointing Hosni Mubarak as his vice-president.

Islamist liberal activist Ibrahim El-Houdaiby, on the other hand, finds little to admire in Sadat's legacy. Houdaiby told Ahram Online that 30 years of Mubarak's rule were simply an extension of Sadat's, who persued policies against national independence and social justice.

Despite that, Houdaiby stressed that he opposed the assasination of Sadat. 

Filmmaker and activist Mohamed Diab believes that Sadat was a dictator just like his predessor Gamal Abdel Nasser and succesor Hosni Mubarak.

"There is no such thing as a just dictator. There is no such a thing as a dictator who is good for a country."

Diab still gave Sadat some credit for going to war against Israel to liberate Sinai in 1973.

Activist and video blogger, Salma El-Daly, aka "Vlogger", had a few brief words with which to describe Sadat: "He was a very smart president yet as corrupted as any one who ever ruled us."

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