L-R: Joseph B. Stamm, Rabbi Elie Abadie, Ivette Dabah, H.E. Yasser Reda – Ambassador of Egypt to U.S., Isaac Dabah, Ezra Friedlander, Sol Goldner, Jack Avital
CEO Stamm Celebrates the Passage of Senate Bill Awarding Congressional Gold Medal to Anwar Sadat
The US Senate made history on August 28, when it unanimously passed a bill to honor former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat with the Congressional Gold Medal. As a member of the Sadat Gold Medal Commission behind the initiative, NYCHSRO/MedReview CEO Joseph B. Stamm joins with fellow advocates to celebrate the award.
The late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is widely acknowledged as a visionary who, in partnership with the United States and late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, negotiated an unprecedented Mideast peace treaty in 1979. Sadat’s courageous action as the first Arab leader to visit Israel, address the Knesset and launch a peace initiative, culminated in Egypt’s official recognition of the State of Israel despite outspoken opposition by the Arab League and others around the world. In 1981, Sadat was assassinated for his role in making this peace.
The Sadat Gold Medal Commission is the joint initiative of prominent American Jewish leaders spearheaded by Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group, and Shafik Gabr, founder of the Shafik Gabr Foundation. Gabr’s mission to enhance understanding and cooperation through global exchanges among emerging young Arab and Western leaders has earned worldwide recognition. Along with Friedlander, Gabr and Stamm, Commission members include Rabbi Elie Abadie, Isaac and Ivette Dabah, US Ambassador to Egypt H.E. Yasser Rada, Sol Goldner, Jack Avital, Andrew Friedman, Leon Goldenberg, Gil Kapen, Stanley Treitel, and Russell Taub.
As International Chairman of the Commission, Shafik Gabr expressed his satisfaction with the achievement.
“Advocating for this bill to become law allowed us to remind the Congress of the United States that great statesmen do exist and that honoring Sadat meets the criteria for a Congressional Gold Medal,” he said. “The Camp David Accords and the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel continue to serve the national security interests of the United States by preserving peace and serving as a foundation for partnership and dialogue in a region fraught with conflict and division.”
At the time of Sadat’s assassination, then-President Reagan encapsulated his high regard for the world leader.
“There are moments in history when the martyrdom of a single life can symbolize all that’s wrong with an age and all that is right about humanity. The noble remnants of such lives,” Reagan said, “can gain the force and power that endures and inspires and wins the ultimate triumph over the forces of violence, madness, and hatred.”
On behalf of the Commission, Chairman Gabr acknowledged the Congressional leaders who led the charge to grant the award.
“As an Egyptian who understands the importance of a strong Egyptian-American relationship that serves both countries’ national security, I would like to thank Senators Hatch and Cardin for introducing and ensuring the passage of this truly historical legislation,” he said. “The late President Sadat was a man ahead of his time. He was not only a voice for peace, but also a person whose courage, conviction and dedication to achieve peace regardless of any obstacles was immense. He had the wisdom to bring nations and peoples together, and he was a man of sincere belief of what peace can bring.
“It is my hope that other leaders around the globe would understand the importance of peace and what it brings to their people, their region and the world. As we mark the 40th anniversary of signing the Camp David Accords and celebrate the centennial of Anwar Sadat’s birth, I am appreciative of the US Senate for bestowing upon him this great honor,” Gabr concluded.
S.266 is a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch and Ben Cardin to honor former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s courageous effort in 1979 to achieve peace with the State of Israel. Seventy-one senators cosponsored the legislation, exceeding the minimum requirement of 67 to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. The Congressional Gold Medal is granted only by a legislative bill and is the highest award bestowed by the United States government.