Visiting Scholars - Jehan el Sadat Collection
RU 3.5

Summary Information

McConnell Library Archives and Special Collections
Visiting Scholars - Jehan el Sadat Collection
RU 3.5
Date [inclusive]
2.0 Linear feet
Located in locked compact shelving, level 1, Shelf 19D.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Visiting Scholars - Jehan el Sadat Collection, Radford University Archives, McConnell Library, Radford University, Radford, VA.

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Biographical Note

Jehan el Sadat was born in Cairo, Egypt, and met her future husband, Anwar Sadat when she was 15. Anwar Sadat, 16 years her senior, was a political activist who had recently been released from prison at the time. Jehan Sadat’s parents initially objected to her marriage to Anwar but eventually allowed the couple to wed. Mrs. Sadat began her own activism in her village of Talla, promoting women’s independence through a program that trained train girls and women of all ages to make handicrafts. She expanded her work to include boys and men, training them in skills such as carpentry, electric works, and carpet weaving. Mrs. Sadat also helped establish family services such as a kindergarten, family guidance, and a clinic.

Anwar Sadat became President of Egypt in 1970, and is best known for signing the Camp David Accords in 1978 that led to the first peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in 1979. Islamic fundamentalists felt Sadat had betrayed the Egyptian people and assassinated him during a parade in 1981. His death left Jehan el Sadat alone with their four children: Lobna, Noha, Jehan, and Gamal. Mrs. Sadat decided to continue her activism after her husband’s death by promoting women’s rights and peace in Egypt.

Mrs. Sadat advocated for more rights and security for Egyptian women, and pushed a new Civil Rights law through the Egyptian parliament in 1976. She also fought to help Egyptian orphans by initiating the S.O.S. Children’s Villages. Mrs. Sadat founded and/or headed the following organizations: The Egyptian Red Crescent Society, The Egyptian Blood Bank Society, The Egyptian Society for The Scientific Association for Egyptian Women, The Egyptian Society for Biomedical Engineering, The Higher Committee for Children, The Egyptian Society for the Welfare of University and Higher Institute Students, and The Egyptian Society for the Preservation of Antiquities.

Mrs. Sadat received a BA in Arabic Literature from Cairo University’s Faculty of Arts. She earned a Master’s degree from Cairo University in 1980, writing a thesis on “The influence of Shelley on Arabic Literature.” In 1986 she earned her Ph.D. from Cairo University, writing her dissertation on “The Influence of English Criticism on Romantic Critics in Egypt Between the Two Wars.” She came to the US and held positions at Radford University and University of South Carolina. At Radford she was an Honorary Visiting Professor in 1985-86, teaching the courses “Women in the Third World” and “Egypt: Its History and Culture.”

Mrs. Sadat won various international awards for her efforts to help women and promote the message of peace. In 1975, she was named Volunteer of the Year from the Rehabilitation International U.S.A., named a Paul Harris Fellow from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, as well as being the recipient of the Commissioner’s Award from the Rehabilitation Services Administration in December. She has been awarded a number of honors, including Cross of Merit from the Italian Red Cross, a Distinguished Public Service award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Margret Sanger Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Women’s International Center Living Legacy Award, the Crittenton Center International Humanitarian Award, the Eleanor Roosevelt United Nations Award, the Community of Christ International Peace Award, and the Pearl S. Buck Award.

Mrs. Sadat published her autobiography, A Woman of Egypt, in 1987. In 2009 she published My Hope For Peace, a call for peace in the Middle East. Both volumes are available at McConnell Library.

Sarah Theibert, based on an autobiographical sketch by Jehan el Sadat.

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Scope and Contents

The Jehan el Sadat Collection contains correspondence, class lecture notes, newspaper articles, and other materials related to her tenure as a Visiting Professor at Radford University in 1985-86.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

McConnell Library Archives and Special Collections

McConnell Library
PO Box 6881
Radford, Virginia

Restrictions to Access

An appointment for research is required. The collection is open for research. No interlibrary loan.

Accruals Note

No additional accruals are expected.

Processing Note

Processing and finding aid by Sarah Theibert with finding aid assistance by Gene Hyde.

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Collection Inventory

Box 1 

Folder 1: Mrs. Sadat Stationary and Brief Biography 

Folder 2: Conference on Status of Women 

Folder 3: Sadat Newspaper Articles 

Folder 4: Sadat Articles July 26, 1985- July 30, 1985 

Folder 5: Sadat Articles August 1, 1985- October 31, 1985 

Folder 6: Sadat Articles November 4, 1985- December 18, 1985 

Folder 7: Sadat Articles January 1986- June 1988 

Folder 8: Sadat Photos 

Box 2 

Folder 1: Sadat Lectures Fall 1985- Fall 1986 Original Lectures: Women in the Third World 

Folder 2: Sadat lectures Fall 1985- Fall 1986 Women in the Third World 

Folder 3: Sadat Lectures Spring 1986 Egypt: Its History and Culture 

Folder 4: Sadat- Fall 1985 Activities Miscellaneous 7/1/85-12/31/85 

Folder 5: Sadat- Spring 1986 Activities Miscellaneous 1/1/86- 6/30/86 

Folder 6: Sadat- Fall 1986 Activities Miscellaneous 7/1/86- 1/31/87 

Box 3 

Folder 1: Sadat Correspondence 12/9/85- 8/30/86 

Folder 2: Sadat Correspondence 9/1/86- 10/14/86 

Folder 3: Sadat Correspondence 10/15/86- 11/23/86 

Folder 4: Sadat Correspondence 11/24/86- 2/12/88