A Woman of Egypt Author:Jehan Sadat Beautiful, courageous, brilliant, controversial, living in a world wholly dominated by men, Jehan Sadat defied the traditions of her country and culture. More than a witness to the tumultuous years which saw Egypt gain its freedom from British colonial rule and become a republic under Gamal Abdel Nasser, Jehan Sadat is among those who have made ... more »her country's and the world's history.
She had a conventional Egyptian middle-class childhood in Cairo. Though her mother was English, the girl longed for Egypt's liberation. As a seventeen-year-old, she fell in love with a divorced revolutionary hero fifteen years her senior, who had recently been released from a British jail. Anwar Sadat and Jehan overcame her parents' objections to their marriage, and soon she was the wife of a rising political leader who was an intimate of President Nasser. When Nasser died, unexpectedly and young, the way was set for Anwar to succeed him, though not without opposition and an insurrection which the I new President Sadat put down.
As a mother of four, Jehan Sadat went back to university at age forty-one (this October she was awarded her Ph.D.). She was the first wife of a Muslim leader to have her picture in the newspaper, to travel outside her own country and to take up public causes. She set up village cooperatives for peasant women, succeeded in reforming the divorce laws which victimized women, campaigned for feminist causes, nursed wounded veterans from Egypt's wars with Israel and encouraged her husband, who was under continuing attack. From November 19, 1977, when Sadat went to Jerusalem to offer peace between Egypt and Israel, she lived in fear for his life. Characteristically, she was with him for a Victory Day parade in the re-viewing stand when he was assassinated by right-wing fundamentalists.
A Woman of Egypt is a frank and compassionate account of a life lived as a patriot, feminist, wife, mother, a heroine. It is an autobiography from the Islamic world such as we have not yet had. « less