Buena Vista University has announced that Jehan Sadat, humanitarian and widow of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, will be the 17th William W. Siebens American Heritage Lecture laureate in September.
The lecture series at BVU gives Iowa and the Midwest access to figures from the world stage to explore the current issues underlying American freedoms.
"As a prominent world figure who has been an important part of the history of the Middle East, Madame Sadat will offer our students and guests new insight," NBU President Fred Moore said.
He said that her message will illustrate the impact that events in that region are having on long-term relationships with the United States and the world community.
Sadat brings to this lecture series a special perspective on the balance of power, prospects for an eventual lasting piece in the region, as well as on the advancement of democratic principles and humanitarian issues.
Born in Upper Egypt in 1933, Sadat has spent much of her life challenging traditional Muslim women's roles in society and has been active in the women's movements throughout the world. As the first lady of Egypt from 1970 to 1981, she was the first wife of a Muslim leader to have her picture in the newspaper, to travel outside her country, and to take up public causes.
Sadat had worked closely with her husband in his quest for peace. In 1981, President Sadat was assassinated, three years after he attended the Camp David Accords with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Sadat has devoted her life to public service and maintaining the legacy of her husband, taking on the roles of educator, lecturer, and social activist in promoting women's rights and international peace.
She is the author of A Woman of Egypt, her best-selling autobiography.
Sadat joins a preeminent list of lecturers in the series at BVU. Past lecturers have included George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, F.W. de Klerk, Margaret Thatcher, Shimon Peres, Benazir Bhutto, John Major, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell.