WASHINGTON – The United States Mint unveiled the designs for the Anwar El Sadat Congressional Gold Medal in the Department of the Treasury’s historic Cash Room. United States Mint Director David J. Ryder unveiled the designs, and the ceremony was led by Assistant Treasury Secretary David Eisner. In attendance were Rep. Chris Stewart, Gamal Sadat, son of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Egypt’s ambassador Yasser Reda and members of the Anwar Sadat Congressional Gold Medal Commission including International Chair Shafik Gabr, National Chairs Tzili Charney and Ezra Friedlander.
“We are eternally grateful for President Sadat’s contributions towards peace in the Middle East,” said Director Ryder. “Through this medal, the United States honors a courageous man of principle, vision, and wisdom, who brought hope and unity in a world filled with conflict and divisiveness.”
Congress bestows the Congressional Gold Medal – one of the nation’s highest civilian awards –as an expression of gratitude for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals, groups, or institutions. After a multi-year advocacy effort, led by Anwar Sadat Congressional Gold Medal Commission established by Mr. Ezra Friedlander, Congress authorized the award in recognition of Sadat’s heroic achievements and courageous contributions to peace in the Middle East.
President Sadat was the first Arab leader to visit Israel, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, and speaking before the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem stating, “I have come to you so that together we might build a durable peace based on justice, to avoid the shedding of one single drop of blood from an Arab or an Israeli. Any life lost in war is a human life, irrespective of its being that of an Israeli or an Arab. When the bells of peace ring, there will be no hands to beat the drums of war.”
President Sadat engaged in negotiations with Prime Minister Begin, which resulted in the Framework for Peace in the Middle East, more commonly known as the “Camp David Accords.”
Following negotiations, they signed the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty at the White House on March 26, 1979, and Egypt became the first Arab country to officially recognize Israel. The Peace Treaty ultimately ended the state of war that had existed between Israel and Egypt since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1978, both President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
“President Sadat took countless personal risks to achieve a society grounded in peace and diplomacy – an endeavor that ultimately cost him his life,” said Isaac Dabah, National Chairman of the Anwar Sadat Congressional Gold Medal Commission.
“ Anwar Sadat is an iconic figure, a symbol of staunch statesmanship who illustrated how civil courage and determination can alter the course of history.” – Tzili Charney founder of the Charney Resolution Center & National Co-Chair of the Sadat Commission
“Anwar Sadat’s leadership reflected wisdom and courage in the face of adversity and enabled him to implement, against all odds, his noble vision of peace.
His legacy remains as a testament to the power of reconciliation, and a reminder to us all that great things can be achieved when vision and courage are put together to promote peace, stability and security.
I am extremely happy that the US Congress recognized the integrity and importance of Anwar Sadat’s legacy. The bridges that President Sadat built are pillars of peace and understanding, and they remain a strong foundation for peace between Egypt and Israel. Moreover, they have formed an exemplary, positive path that the Middle East and the world must follow in order to make the world a better place for our children and the next generations.” – M. Shafik Gabr International Chairman, Anwar Sadat Congressional Gold Medal Commission
President Sadat’s courage and willingness to sacrifice for peace should inspire our current generation and leaders to show similar to show similar boldness in pursuit of peace said Ezra Friedlander, Founder of the Sadat Commission.
The medal’s obverse (heads) design features a large, dramatic portrait of Anwar El Sadat. The composition is designed for the portrait to be sculpted in the manner of ancient Egyptian relief, with the figure inset into the surface of the medal and its features sculpted flush with the medal’s surface. The inscription “ANWAR EL SADAT” is incused along the right border. The reverse (tails) design depicts the Unknown Soldier Memorial and Anwar El Sadat’s Tomb with the inscriptions “HE LIVED FOR PEACE AND DIED FOR PRINCIPLES,” “ANWAR EL SADAT 1918-1981,” and “ACT OF CONGRESS 2018.”
The Anwar El Sadat Congressional Gold Medal design will be struck at the United States Mint at Philadelphia. The Medal presentation ceremony is scheduled for 2020 and it will take place in the U.S. Capitol.