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Born into a family of 13 children in 1918 Anwar al-Sadat grew up among average Egyptian villagers in the town of Mit AbulKom 40 miles to the north of Cairo Having completed a grade school education Sadats father worked as a clerk in the localmilitary hospital By the time of his birth Anwars Egypt had become a British colony Crippling debt had forced the Egyptiangovernment to sell the British government its interests in the French engineered Suez Canal linking the Mediteranian Sea with theIndian Ocean The British and French had used these resources to establish enough political control over Egyptian affairs toFour figures affected Sadats early life The first a man named Zahran came from a small village like Sadats In a famousincident of colonial rule the British hanged Zahran for participating in a riot which had resulted in the death of a British officerSadat admired the courage Zahran exhibit on the way to the gallows The second Kemel Ataturk created the modern state ofTurkey by forcing the downfall of the Ottoman Empire Not only had Ataturk thrown off the shackles of colonialism but heestablished a number of civil service reforms which Sadat admired The third man was Mohandas Gandhi Touring Egypt in1932 Gandhi had preached the power of nonviolence in combating injustice And finally the young Sadat admired Adolf Hitlerwhom the anticolonialist Sadat viewed as a potential rival to British controlIn 1936 as part of a deal between the British and the Wafd party the British agreed to create a military school in Egypt Sadatwas among its first students Besides the traditional training in math and science each student learned to analyze battles Sadateven studied the Battle of Gettysburg the turning point in Americas civil war Upon graduating from the academy thegovernment posted Sadat to a distant outpost There he met Gamal Abdel Nasser beginning a long political association whicheventually led to the Egyptian presidency At this outpost Sadat Nasser and the other young
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