Special Section: In Search of Identity

Egyptian civilization, Anwar Sadat has often observed, is 7,000 years old, but the country's modern history as a sovereign state dates only from 1922. Sadat is both a witness to many of the major events in Egypt's recent history and one of the primary figures who shaped them. Born on Christmas Day, 1918, in the Nile village of Mit Abu el Kom, he was inspired as a youth by the exploits of Kemal Atatürk, the father of modern Turkey. Sadat was twice imprisoned for his revolutionary activities—the second time, in 1946, for complicity in the murder of a former minister in...

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