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Jihan Sadat: The Woman Who Opened The

1086 words - 4 pages

Jihan Sadat: The Woman Who Opened The Doors To A Better Life For Egyptian Women Jihan Sadat is the most influential women's rights activist in modern Egypt. Jihan Sadat is the wife of former leader of Egypt, Anwar Sadat. She raised four children while being a politician, and earned a doctorate in English literature from Cairo University. I will show you my findings of Mrs. Sadat's life and how she influenced modern Egypt. Jihan Safwat Raouf was born in 1934 to parents Safwat Raouf, and Gladys Mary Cotrell. Safwat Raouf, her father, was a physician, judge, and civil servant. Gladys Mary Cotrell, her mother, was an English Schoolteacher. Jihan's daughter, Camellia once wrote: "Jihan's parents were like a United Nations in human form. The father was of Egyptian and Turkish extraction, the mother was of Egyptian, British, and Turkish lineage."(Moritz, 276) Jihan has two brothers and three sisters, and was raised as a Muslim Arab, even though her mother was British. Although her mother was not Muslim, she valued her children's religious upbringings, so she helped them by observing many Muslim holidays with her children. For example, she fasted in the month of Ramadan to be a good example for her children. In a Muslim society with men being superior over women, Jihan's father never favored his sons over his daughters, as was common practice in those days. She attended an Egyptian missionary girl's school whose owner was a friend of her mother's from age twelve. She later transferred to a secondary school, where she met future husband, Anwar Sadat, before the age of fifteen. At the time, Anwar was twenty-nine years old, penniless, just divorced, and a former political prisoner of the British. (Rashdan, line 51) He spent thirty-one months in prison, eighteen in solitary confinement. Of course, Jihan's parents objected to the man, but they got married anyway on May 29, 1949. By 1954, Jihan was busy raising four children. Three daughters: Loubna, Noha, and Jihan, and son: Gamal. In 1967, Jihan decided that she wanted to help her community, and became more active, and started to visit wounded and disabled soldiers from the war with Israel as an Egyptian Red Cross volunteer. In the same year, she made a plan to establish a self-help cooperative in Talla, a village in the Nile Delta. In 1969, Jihan spoke at a meeting of the Monufiya People's Council. She would speak there twice a month for four years. Later that year in December of 1969, Anwar Sadat was named Vice President of Egypt behind Nasser. In 1974, Jihan enrolled into Cairo University and earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Islamic Literature. After Anwar Sadat was named leader of Egypt, Jihan established the Wafa Wal Amal Rehab Center, aka Faith and Hope City, on 160 acres of land near Cairo. The rehab center was for people who needed medicare, but could not afford it, hence the name Faith and Hope City. Jihan Sadat had a big effect on how women in...

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