The World: Middle East: The Underrated Heir

WHEN he succeeded the late Gamal Abdel Nasser last October, he was greeted with a cascade of tasteless jokes. "We're suffering two plagues at one time. First Nasser dies. Then we get Sadat." Haughty survivors of the ancient régime ridiculed him for his dusky skin (from his Sudanese mother) and because he had come from an impoverished delta village that is so remote, the nearest bus route is a mile away. Politicians dismissed him as a light-weight whose chief talent was sheer survival. When he delivered his...

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