Jehan Sadat, Widow of Assassinated Egyptian President, Dies at 87
Jehan Sadat, the widow of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, has died. Sadat died on July 9 at the age of 87. She died after an unspecified illness.
Sadat was married at the age of 15 to the future president, who was 15 years older than her. She stood by her husband when he became the first Arab leader to make peace with Israel, despite opposition in Egypt to the deal, later saying in interviews she has expected that he would be killed for the decision. He was assassinated by Islamic extremists in 1981.
Sadat worked to improve women’s rights in Egypt, and pushed for laws that gave women financial rights and the right to alimony in the case of divorce, as well as making it easier to apply for divorce and for custody of children. She also was praised for her high-profile charitable work, including on behalf of the Egyptian Red Crescent, the country’s blood bank and the Egyptian Society for Cancer Patients. She also was involved in helping wounded soldiers and their families.
She graduated from Cairo University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in Arabic literature. She received a PhD in comparative literature at Cairo University in 1986. She as a visiting lecturer and resident scholar at several American universities, including the University of South Carolina, Radford University and the University of Maryland.
She was the author of two books: “A Woman of Egypt” published in 1987, and “My Hope for Peace” published in 2009.