A BA Project Documenting the Life of Late President Sadat

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Alexandria— “History teaches us that a hero’s actions do not die with him . . . The great contribution of the heroes of humanity is that their deeds have the ability to outlive them” . Based on this saying by Egyptian President Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat, the BA will celebrate in the coming few days the launch of a comprehensive project documenting the life of the late President. The event will open with a speech by Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Library of Alexandria, followed by a Culturama Show and the inauguration of the Sadat Museum, which exhibits a rare collection of his personal belongings. A digital archive documenting the life of Sadat will also be launched.

This project was undertaken under the auspices of HE Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, Chair of the BA Board of Trustees, who was very keen on having the Sadat Museum and digital archive within the BA. Mrs. Gihan El-Sadat gave full support to the project since its inception and donated to the Library, a rare collection of Sadat’s personal belongings, in spite of their high personal value.

Dr. Serageldin said that the Sadat Museum is the first of its kind in Alexandria. It is launched in the context of the BA endeavors in documenting Egypt’s modern and contemporary history. A venue of 200 square meters was allocated to the Sadat Museum next to the Planetarium Science Center. Dr. Hussein Al-Shaboury, Professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts, chose the location and handled the museum display.

Before entering the museum, visitors will have the opportunity to watch the Culturama Show: 9 interactive screens each displaying a specific period of the life of Sadat. The show lasts for around 20 minutes and was prepared by the Center for the Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, directed by Dr. Fathi Saleh.

Dr. Khaled Azab, Director of the BA Media Department and supervisor of the project, pointed out that the museum will feature medals, decorations, badges and awards offered to the late President throughout his life, in addition to a collection of his personal belongings, including the military suit he was wearing on the day of his assassination on 6 October 1981, his own radio, his desk and personal library, his walking cane and pipe, in addition to a recording of the Holy Quran in the voice of President Sadat as well as some of his personal papers.

The Sadat digital archive documents the Life of Sadat providing easy display and access to all information. The archive can be browsed through a number of themes: speeches; photographs; documentary films; documents and publications; in addition to the newspaper archive. Besides, the home page provides access to a complete life-history of Sadat. Search tools enable a number of features: a time-line search, a morphological search, an exact search, an advanced search, in addition to search by content or title.

The project team documented 1116 written speeches of President Sadat, as well as 35 visual ones, including the very famous speech delivered in the Knesset in 1977. More than 14000 rare photographs of Sadat are posted for the first time on the Internet, covering a great number of official events, visits and meetings between years 1952 and 1981. The digital archive also comprises more than 200 documentary films, as well as more than 940 rare Egyptian and American documents. The BA was also very keen on providing various historical material, and hence the artistic publication section was added. The section has a collection of rare material and is divided into 4 sub-sections: stamps, caricatures, paintings, and cards.

In an aim to have the project as perfect as could be, the BA has cooperated with several other partners such as the Sadat family, Fawzi Abdel Hafez’s family, Egypt State Information Service, Akhbar Elyoum newspaper and Dar Elhelal publishing house.

Dr. Khaled Azab said that all these collections are displayed in a way matching the status of a great Arab leader whose name is associated with two historic events: the October 1973 War and the 1977 Peace Initiative resulting in the Egyptian- Israeli Peace Treaty.


© Bibliotheca Alexandrina