Friday, October 06, 2006

A Tribute to Sadat - 25 Years Later, Where Are We

It was 25 years ago that a great man was killed. Not only were we deprived of the promise he held for peace in the Middle East, but no one else since has been able to take on his mantle.

Many also pay tribute to Sadat today by taking a look at how far away we are from the promise of the possible had we followed the trajectory he offered us. Those who callously killed him know the mistake they made as quoted in today's International Herald Tribune:

"If I could turn back time, we wouldn't have killed Sadat. We would have appreciated his value," said Nageh Ibrahim, a leader of the Egyptian Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group), .."

Very few individuals in history make a real difference. Machiavelli spoke of the importance of glory and reputation, but it was Aristotle who noted the true virtue of practical wisdom. Sadat attained glory, but his real gift was his practical choices and wise leadership... not only for Egypt, but for the region and for the world.

As we face the possibility of an unrestrained hegemon in today's world, what lessons can we learn from the example of Sadat? What threats do we face and how can we successfully protect against them? Is it by fueling more anger, balancing, and division?

One of Sadat's most poignant lessons is not only courage, but also the importance of finding other ways of settling disputes. He showed us that we should not delude ourselves with self-righteous thinking. Where there is dissension, our start point should be to believe that all humans are rational beings acting and reacting to one another. This is not to say that there is no moral barometer adjudicating amongst us; it is to say that seeing from a single-angle means you can not be that judge. If we approach "the other" from the perspective that our actions induce reactions, and we believe in our agency, we can change the course of the ensuing chain reaction.

Sadat showed us that if you change, the equation changes - shifting the trajectory into a new direction. That is his legacy and that is the lesson we have failed to learn.

Here are a few words I wrote 25 years ago - the day we lost Sadat>

To Sadat

Behind the myth, where time begins,
I enjoy the mystery of life.
Life. A simple word.

A soothing touch of realism revealed
The true beauty of life.
The world, created and perfected
To be
Mild. Fresh. Serene.
Perfect harmony.

A world where
The trail of tears
The springs of hope and
A rocky haven of new thought
Never end.

Imagine silencing the spirit of life.

October 6, 1981

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3 Comments:

Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Really nice poem.

The events of today, are so apocalyptic, with the aggressiveness of Zionism, the rise of Islamism, and the corruption of Arab leaders, it's hard to even picture a leader like him.

1:56 AM  
Blogger Dahlia said...

Thank you Renegade Eye. Please keep visiting

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Steven Rix said...

Renegade will keep visiting you, Ren is a socialist friend of mine.

5:57 PM  

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