By Islam El Shazly
There’s a long history behind the Suez Canal that goes back to Pharaonic times. Even millennia ago the same logistic nightmare existed: how to bring essential goods and trade from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea?
The only way to do it at the time was dig a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea. Boats laden with goods would come in from the Mediterranean or Red Sea, travel through the canal and the Nile and get out the other side. The ancient Egyptians maintained one for a long time, then it was re-dug by Amro ibn Al-‘Aas, only to be eventually reclaimed by the desert.
Centuries later the French would dig the Suez Canal for Khedive Ismail, and a long its path they would build two picturesque cities; Port Said at the northern entrance to the Canal, and Ismailiya at the midway point between Port Said and Suez to the south. Port Said would be the major port-of-call from the Mediterranean, and Ismailiya with its leafy boulevards would be the residence for all the engineers, pilots, and navigators who worked the Canal.
The Suez Canal became a life vein for marine transport.
Three images in this set are from the Canal Zone, but what about the others? We have farmers ploughing away in a field with their ancient ploughing companion, appears to be in Remlet Boulaq perhaps. The lifeblood of Egypt, the Nile, as ever carrying goods and people, the jungle of masts is testament to what this great river means to Egyptians.
But the one that takes the cake is the little donkey standing, utterly out of place between these two gigantic camels, probably wondering “where’s mummy?“. One comment was very apt: unbearably adorable!
Tags: Cairo, Camels, Conservation, donkey, Farmers, Featured, Felucca, Heritage, Ismailiya, Nile, Port Said, Suez Canal