Al-Ahram Weekly Online   9 - 15 October 2003
Issue No. 659
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Remembering October

By Naguib mahfouz

Naguib Mahfouz The generation that lived through the October War will never forget its impact. It breathed new life into the Arab soul, investing it with a newfound confidence.

The first person who comes to mind as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the October victory is Anwar El-Sadat -- the hero of this battle and, subsequently, the hero of Middle East peace -- who fell victim to extremism. Sadat had a penetrating, long- term vision: those who opposed him barely saw beyond their feet while he rose above short term concerns to focus on long- term goals.

In this context we must also salute the airforce, which played a crucial role in the victory. Indeed, President Hosni Mubarak remains the very embodiment of the October spirit. There may be among us those who are unhappy with Sadat's achievements as president but there is no doubt that without the October War, and without his role in it, we would be in a far worse position than we are.

And we must also remember those whose names history does not record, the thousands of soldiers who handed over their lives to make victory possible.

Based on an interview by Mohamed Salmawy.

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