The goals of the Anwar Sadat Chair, and of the professor who occupies it, are three-fold. First, the Chair works to further the dialogue for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world. Second, the Chair works to bridge the gap that often occurs between the academic and policy worlds, bringing the policy community of nearby Washington, D.C. in closer touch with the latest research findings. Third, the Chair strives to maintain an active and rigorous research agenda.
Professor Shibley Telhami was invested on October 7, 1997 as the first Sadat Professor. That date was also the day of the first annual Sadat Lecture for Peace, which was delivered by President Ezer Weizman of Israel. President Weizman, who played an integral role in the negotiations leading to the Camp David Accords, shared his memories of Anwar Sadat and noted that the Weizman and Sadat families continued a close relationship through the years.
In a recorded message of congratulations on the establishment of the Chair, President Jimmy Carter noted,
"The legacy left by Anwar Sadat deserves celebration and reinforcement. I congratulate my friend Jehan Sadat on this special occasion, for I know well that Anwar Sadat's accomplishments were also her own. I commend the University of Maryland, and all those who worked to establish this important chair as an anchor for a program in population, development and peace. And I congratulate the Sadat Chair holder, Professor Shibley Telhami, whose scholarship has already made an important impact in both the academic and policy communities in the quest for peace. He combines scholarly rigor with a personal commitment to the peace that Anwar Sadat so dearly craved. I have every confidence that through the Chair, Professor Telhami will provide the leadership and understanding that are so badly needed in the march for peace."
Read the full text of the first Sadat Lecture for Peace, Professor Telhami's acceptance remarks, and messages and speeches read at that event.