Egypt army commemorates Saadeddin El-Shazli

Ahram Online, Monday 11 Feb 2013

Army produces short documentary in praise of former chief of staff and war hero Saadeddin El-Shazli

Graffiti for the late Saad Eddin El-Shazly in Mohamed Mahmoud street near Tahrir square (Photo: Reuters)

On the second anniversary of the death of General Saadeddin El-Shazli, a war hero and former chief of staff, the Egyptian army has produced a short documentary on his role in the 1973 war against Israel.

The nine-minute film, published on the Facebook page of the armed forces spokesman, briefly tells the story of El-Shazli who was born in 1922 in Al-Gharbiya governorate and took part in World War II, and the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973.

El-Shazli is celebrated for founding the Egyptian paratrooper battalion in 1954, and becoming its first commander.

He was removed from military service by President Sadat in 1973 after differing with him over the conduct of the war with Israel.

Sadat appointed him ambassador to the United Kingdom and later Portugal.

He was forced into exile in Algeria in the late 1970s for his vocal opposition to the Camp David Agreement between Egypt and Israel.

During his 14 years in Algeria, El-Shazli wrote his memoirs of the 1973 war, which contradicted Sadat’s version of events.

As a result, he was accused by Sadat of leaking military information and sentenced to three years in prison in absentia.

El-Shazli returned to Egypt after the death of Sadat, only to be arrested and jailed.

On 10 February 2011, El-Shazli died aged 88, one day before Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down.

During last October's celebration of the 1973 war, President Mohamed Morsi granted both El-Shazli and Sadat the Nile Medal of Honour, Egypt's highest award, for their conduct during the 1973 War.

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