Second Suez Canal a boost to Egypt’s national pride
Suez, Egypt, 3rd August 2015 – The Independent UK
Sunlight sparkles on the water as diggers and workers are still hard at work clearing the banks of the new Suez Canal channel. The odd plume of dust is kicked up into the hot summer air as the touring boats round the various statues being erected on the canal’s banks: Isis (the goddess of protection), a shiny silver metal globe and a 20ft-high rendering of a worker digging the soil.
At one point, another ship passes ours as its crew hold up two fingers in a symbol of peace and one holds a large Egyptian flag aloft. To Egyptians, the Suez Canal is a symbol of what their country is capable of – and a mega-project of this magnitude has stoked nationalist sentiment as a time when Egyptians hope to see the end of four years of economic turmoil. The head of the Suez Canal Authority, Admiral Mohab Mamish, described the Suez Canal as “a gift from the Egyptian people to the rest of the world” at a press conference following the tour of the new site.
The project has moved several hundred million cubic metres of soil in order to create a 35km (22-mile) second channel allowing parallel traffic through the Suez Canal. About 37km of existing waterways were also dredged to create extra space for traffic. Faster crossing times, according to the Egyptian government and the Suez Canal Authority, will increase traffic through this key waterway linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, part of a network of ambitious new economic projects designed to revitalise Egypt’s economy.
Read the full article here – VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal