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Sadat's widow, a professor, will visit

By SHARON L. BOND, Neighborhood Times Business Editor
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 20, 2002

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jehan Sadat, widow of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, will be the featured speaker at the March women's symposium of the Women's Council of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

A professor at the University of Maryland, Sadat, 69, works to improve the status of women and for world peace.

"We are really excited about her coming," said Lisa Wharton Turner, a past chairwoman of the council and now on the executive committee.

Turner said Sadat's name was on a list of prospects the council got from a speakers bureau in New York. Her fee for the appearance is $25,000.

"We thought we really wanted to maintain the international feel to the speakers and not just have somebody local," Turner said.

Last year's speaker was newswoman Andrea Mitchell, who talked about violence in the Middle East. Mitchell's fee was $20,000, and she drew 750 people to the luncheon. Turner said she was confident the council could raise the additional money needed for Sadat, particularly since she is so involved in education efforts for women.

The women's council is the largest and one of the more active subgroups in the chamber. Its purpose is to provide a network for women who can get and give help.

Jehan Sadat married Anwar Sadat when she barely was 16. He was 15 years older. The marriage of 32 years ended in 1981 when he was assassinated. In 1978 Anwar Sadat and Israeli President Menachem Begin signed the Camp David peace accords in the United States with the assistance of former President Jimmy Carter. Sadat's efforts for peace with Israel led to his death.

Jehan Sadat helped establish the women's education society that pays tuition for women to attend secondary schools and universities, according to information supplied by the council. She has aided women in other ways, such as establishing cooperatives for peasant women where they can sell their crafts.

At the University of Maryland, Sadat is a senior fellow and professor for International Development and Conflict Management.

The Women's Symposium is scheduled for March 21.

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