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Suez History, Egypt

Suez has been a major seaport in Egypt and the construction of Suez Canal has made it more popular and convenient among traders. Suez is a town of seaport in the north-east part of Egypt, situated on the northern coast of Gulf of Suez. It is located near southern terminus of Suez Canal and has the same boundaries as the Suez governorate. It has extensive port facilities and two harbors that are Port Tawfiq and Port Ibrahim, which together form the metropolitan area.

Highways and railway lines connect the town with Port Said and Cairo. There is a petrochemical plant in the town and the oil refineries there have pipelines which carry finished products to Cairo. Suez is the way station for the Muslim pilgrims who travel to and from Mecca.

The Historical Adventures: During the 7th century, one of the towns situated near the present day Suez served as the eastern terminal for a canal that linked Red Sea and Nile River. During the 16th century, the town of Suez became the naval station for Turks. The importance of the town as a seaport increased manifolds after 1869, when the Suez Canal was opened.

The city had been virtually ruined during the battles that took place between Israeli and Egyptian forces in late 1960s and the early 1970s for occupying Sinai Peninsula. The town of Suez was deserted after Third Arab-Israeli War of 1967. The town’s reconstruction began after the Suez Canal was reopened by Egypt, following the war of October 1973 with Israel.

Construction of the Suez Canal: Suez Canal provides a shorter passage for the ships than sailing round Cape of Good Hope. Construction of the Suez Canal had been favored by natural setting of the area: the shorter distance between Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, a line of lakes and a terrain that is generally flat. The French diplomat and engineer, Ferdinand de Lesseps, proposed the construction of Suez Canal. He had also acquired the rights to construct and operate the canal from Said Pasha for around 99 years. The construction of the canal took eleven years and it was opened on November 17, 1869. After its opening, the canal immediately and dramatically affected the world trade. During 1956, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Egyptian president nationalized the canal and provoked the Suez Crisis. After the Arab-Israeli war in 1967, the Suez Canal was closed down and then reopened in 1975. Today, the Suez Canal serves as an important link for the world trade and significantly contributed to the economy of Egypt. 

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