The Physical Setting

From Keeping Faith, President Carter describes the retreat and sets the scene:

All of the physical arrangements had been made and they taxed the capacity of the small mountain camp. It had not been designed to accommodate so many people, especially when they came from three different nations and represented three distinct cultures. Each of us had his own secretarial staff, communications facilities for managing the affairs of his respective government, personal physicians, cooks trained in the preparation of American, Egyptian, or kosher foods, and major advisers who were expert in the subjects we were to discuss. Sadat, Begin, and I had private cabins within a stone's throw of each other. None of the other cottages was more than a few hundred yards from us, and all of them were packed to the limit with people. These constraints were a blessing in disguise, because hundreds of other bureaucrats and would-be advisors from all three countries were struggling to find an excuse to join the historic deliberations. We were remarkably successful in keeping them out and in minimizing visits to and from our private place.

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