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Wednesday
Jun022010

Suez Canal

 

During a short trip to Cairo, I did two long drives for meetings in Suez and Alexandria. We returned the same day on both occasions. Last time, I managed to drive around Alexandria - to at least see it having done the drive. This time, I had a chance to see the Suez Canal, for about ten minutes, after our meeting. Ships are kept at either end and released in groups. We were lucky to arrive at a time when ships were sailing past.

Opened in 1869, it's nearly 200km long, 24m deep and about 200m wide. All I knew about its history was the the Suez crisis of the 1950s. Read its Wikipedia entry here to learn more. I was not surprised to learn that it was dug by forced labour. It made me laugh how the British opposed this - taking the moral high ground - only to seek to buy a large share a few years later.

To get a feel for the scale, have a look at the life-saving-tube thingy in the photo below. It's a bout a quarter of the way from the right.

The thing that impresses me most is not the way this place looks; nor is its rather horrible (and predictable) history intriguing in any way. What I do love about it is how simple it is, and how much it has changed the world.

Reader Comments (4)

Nice pictures Bu Yousef, and informative post. You are right, the simplicity makes a big difference in almost everything.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSami Malallah

whoa! thats a really big ship! Nice picture Bu Yousef. btw have you been to Aswan dam? I hear thats a massive piece of engineering.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMathai

Even with its history the Suez Canal is damn impressive! Its a man made structure, I wonder how they are going to improve it! Very nice shots!

June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarzouq

love the pics!

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSummer

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