Sadat and 6 October

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On Friday and in a gesture of recognition Melody Films was playing the movie Days of Sadat. The celebration was double; first the victory of 6 October, to which he takes full credit, and second his barbarian assassination. Although I had it as DVD I stayed over to watch it, and differently I was emotionally moved, and I was thinking a lot, to the point that I started writing this post.

Although I am not for learning about history from movies and soap operas, however looking at Sadat’s life from the 1948 war till his assassination in 1981, I was impressed by the hardship he went through in his life, also the how chance played in his favor.

I suddenly moved back to 1973 and to be more specific to 6 October 1973 which I believe is just a topic on history books for a large number of Egyptians in my opinion 50% of them did not live through this event and its precursor events back in 1967. Unfortunately this event was immortalized in three movies Al Rossassa La Tazal Fi Gaybi, Hatta Akher El Omr, and Bodour. Although the number of movies produced to immortalize WWI WWII, war of Vietnam, even the Desert Storm on Iraq was large; our war did not have a fair share of production.

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Going back to that day, I was in preparatory school, and schools have been on holidays. To us that day was unbelievable, from the first hours no one believed what is happening, a high degree of skepticism and mistrust, this mistrust found its roots in that all military declarations in 1967 were pure lies, resulting in a high degree of skepticism in any official declarations.

What is worth mentioning that we have lived through a state of euphoria once the credibility of the official declarations was reestablished. The endeavor was amazing; Sadat himself described it in his speech to the parliament: The armed forces have achieved a miracle

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Today when I look back 34 years, and think of the decision he had to take to go through a war, a war that was strategically impossible due to many factors; among which the balance of power, the arming, and the natural barrier of the canal and the defense line o the east shore, I ask myself several questions:

  1. How did Anwar El Sadat take this decision when all facts that were all against it?
  2. How did he get the courage to make such a move?

A decision if it failed would have meant the end for him and the end for Egypt succumbing to two defeats. His inheritance from Nasser was heavy, the country was in a big mess after the defeat, economically speaking and socially, a priority was to rebuild the army, although the process started after 1967, it was still incomplete. When you consider that Egypt had one source of arms the Soviet Union who were not highly supportive, you can see the huge challenge ahead, it is worth mentioning that for examples the tanks that Egypt had were from WWII technology well behind those of Israel.

Despite the fact that from time to time there are claims that Egypt lost this war, my counter argument would be why Israel if it won the war accepted to with draw from Sinai? Why it did not do so with the 242 decree from the Security Council of the United Nations.  The success of any endeavor is always judged by its results and the end results. Although it took so many years of political efforts; was that what was lost in 1967 was regained after 1973.

This man had a vision and a very clear one, his two moves; the war and the peace proved such clear vision. He was not perfect and he had his shortcomings and defects, he also committed big errors, but this is not the place to judge him, this is the place to pay him tribute and admire his achievements. The bottom line  is that despite his political sins  the man deserves every year a recognition for his decisions the decision to launch war in 1973 and the decision to go to Israel in 1977 and launch the peace process.

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4 Responses to “Sadat and 6 October”


  1. 1 Basim Sultan October 8, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Dr. Rafik totally missed your thoughts 🙂

    Well, the right post at the right time.

    SURPRISE!

    I think this is the main reason for our victory in that war, whether we won it or we lost it as some people claimed, but let’s be result oriented here and take the end result as you said.

    I guess something would be the reason for this, which is Israeli themselves, they never believed that Egypt could take such a move after 1967, they were surprised by the action Sadat took, may be the Egyptian army was not well prepared at that time, and may be if Israel have had believed that Egypt could do it may we may haven’t won that war. I guess that day was a great day and surprise element played a very important role at either the surprise of the timing of the war or the surprise Israelis were in when we took that move

    This guy, he was very very smart and clever, he knew what to do and when to do it. We can see that from his bio. He him self admitted once that luck was a very important element in his life and it changed his life many times. Sadat wouldn’t have been a member of ظباط احرار without his luck, he wouldn’t have been vice president and then a president without his luck, although he is not just a lucky guy, he is too smart, because his luck put him in very hard situations, but he had the ability to cope with them and winning the situation too, this is not easy from my point of view. And may be his luck played a role at that war too!

    God bless his soul and forgive him for his mistakes.

  2. 2 rafiknakhla October 8, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    You are right surprise is one of the reasons but I would add determination of the army to make a change. there was a cause and a strong belief in the army that it should be achieved.
    Luck or fortune has been on the side of Sadat, however opportunities are present you come across them but you have to be smart to grab them and make the most, however what used to be fortune at the end turned into misfortune.

    God bless his soul for the good things he did

  3. 3 mohamed abdel raouf November 10, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    hi dr: rafik
    firstly i want to tell u that i like & respect the presdient anwar el sadat so much & i think that it si one of the best president in our history & i repect pease diciasion although there is many people in egypt don’t agree with him
    but i think although the many movies that we make about this war we still don’t make a big film represent the war

  4. 4 rafiknakhla November 25, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Sadat was a man of vision, he had the courage to take two crucial decisions the war and peace decisions, he also had his misjudgements, we should judge hima as a human being who made an effort to clear the country from the burden of occupation.


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