Sadat's Crown

Analysis / Interpretation / Press

Curator's note: This graphic depicts Anwar Sadat sometime after signing the Camp David Accords of 1978. He is much be-medalled, however, he stands alone except for the image of Menachem Begin, sick and enfeebled, on a couch atop Sadat's cap. The artist is suggesting that Sadat's leadership served not the interests of the Egyptian, Arab or Palestinian people but rather the needs of Israel and Zionism, represented by the figure of Begin and the Star of David on the blanket. The artist, by including the medals (which evince Sadat's earlier heroism and restoration of Arab pride as a result of his launching the October War of 1973 and also for his part in the Free Officer's Movement of Gamal Abdul Nasser) contrasts them with the figure of Begin and Sadat's subsequent recognition of Israel. The insignia on his collar appears to be a hieroglyphic cartouche and may be a satirical allusion to Sadat's sense of himself as a latter-day pharaoh.