The village of Mit Abul Kom, in the central Delta province of Menoufiyeh, is the birthplace of President Sadat, and its unchanging traditional character explains much in the outlook of the man who now leads the United Arab Republic.
GV Women walking through village street
SV Camels carrying wheat along road
GV Village square
GV Roadway outside Sadat's house
SV EXT. Sadat's family house & garden (3 shots)
SV Mayor of village with others (L to R) Mady, Mayor, Fathy Mady, security man)
SV Men drilling for water in main street
SV Local women & children washing
SV PAN Women washing utensils in stream
SV ZOOM IN woman washing clothes at roadside
SV People in fields working with oxen on wheat grinding
SV PAN Wheat field
Initials SGM/1758 SGM/1725 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The village of Mit Abul Kom, in the central Delta province of Menoufiyeh, is the birthplace of President Sadat, and its unchanging traditional character explains much in the outlook of the man who now leads the United Arab Republic.
In a recent speech this staunchly Moslem President reminded his countrymen and fellow politicians that in re-making the Constitution they must "go back to the village, our original home", for in it there are "traditional moral values against which it is a disgrace to transgress".
When he took over the Presidency on the death of President Nasser, President Sadat promised a state based on freedom and security, and said every individual, however poor, would give full protection against abuses of the law. He is now preparing a new Constitution for the country which he hopes will ensure this.
The abortive coup just over a week ago which has led to the house arrest of six of his Ministers, is the first major check to his administration.
SYNOPSIS: In 1971, life in the Egyptian village of Mit-Abul-Kom Menoufiyeh, is traditional in appearance, some scenes looking almost biblical to the casual observer. It must have looked very much like this when Anwar Sadat, the U.A.R.'s current President, was born here on Christmas Day 1918, eleven months before Abdul Nasser was born.
This is the Sadat family house, rebuilt fifteen years ago, but retaining its original character. President Sadat, a staunch Moslem, often reflects in his speeches on his humble origins and the moral values he absorbed in the village.
The Mayor and the Chief of local security, to the left of this group, are both related to the man who left these surroundings so long ago, and is now fighting to consolidate his position as successor to the late and greatly lamented President Nasser. President Sadat is often regarded as a sophisticated man of the urban Egyptian scene, but he himself says he was brought up "among the ducks and buffalo" like any other country boy.
Should he return here, he will find that the women still wash clothes and utensils in the stream, and at the central well. The houses are also much as they were in the President's youth, although now there is a primary school. The young Sadat had to travel to the next village for schooling.
In the fields, there is still a place for oxen to grind the grain. President Sadat might very well have spent his life working in a traditional setting like this, had he no taken advantage of the liberalization of army recruiting policy, following the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, to gain admission to the Cairo Military Academy.
This was the first step to his meeting with a fellow officer, Gamal Abd Nasser, and the start of a long association which saw both men in the Presidency. It's a remarkable story which indicates how a traditional society can successfully offer wide opportunities to its citizens.