Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

The first container ships embark on their voyage on the New Suez Canal. Courtesy NMDC

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

The Isthmus of Suez with the plan of the Canal of two Seas and of the diverted auxiliary canal of the Nile. From the pilot study of Misters Linant Bey and Mougel Bey, engineers of viceroy of Egypt, 1855. In 1809 topographical data on the Suez Canal was published by French academics in Description de l’Égypte. Contained one of the first maps of the Suez Canal, and formed the basis for an early French plan to construct a canal, later abandoned.  Fieldwork was conducted during Napoleon’s 1798 – 1801 military campaign in Egypt. Napoleon’s surveyers incorrectly believed that the Red Sea was 9 metres higher than the Mediterranean sea, making construction impossible. Roger Viollet Collection / Getty Images

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

The inaugural ceremony of the Suez Canal in 1869. Frederic-Auguste Bartholodi pitched the Suez Canal Company on a large copper statue, modelled after the Colossus of Rhodes, of an 80 foot woman wearing Egyptian peasant robes and bearing a torch which would double as a lighthouse. The Suez Canal Company wasn’t interested – but the French government and New York state were. Bartholdi’s project became the Statue of Liberty. Getty Images


Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

English statesman and novelist, Benjamin Disraeli, (1804 – 1881) created Earl of Beaconsfield in 1876. In 1876, Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Israel, declared bankruptcy, and put his controlling stake in the Suez Canal Company up for sale. Disareli, the British prime minister, bought the Khedive’s stake. The canal became a major trade route and strategic waterway for Britain, and helped to facilitate the British Empire’s conquest and rule over its colonies in India and East Asia.  Jabez Hughes / Getty Images

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

A picture dated 1869 shows machinery during the construction of the Suez Canal in Egypt. AFP

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

An aerial view of the Suez Canal zone near Ismailia, Egypt taken in May 1953. Jim Pringle / AP Photo

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

The Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser announcing the nationalisation of the Suez Canal to a crowd of 250,000 people during a celebration of the fourth anniversary of the July 26, 1956 revolution. He also announced that the property of the Universal Suez Canal Company would be sequestrated. Britain, France and Israel launched a combined assault on the Suez Canal and Sinai in a bid to return the waterway to Western control and force Nasser to resign. The invasion was successful, but US pressure leads the three countries to withdraw.  Keystone-France / Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

An aerial view of the southern entrance of Egypt’s Suez Canal taken in 2007. Jack Guez / AFP

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

In August 2014, the Government of Abdul Fattah El-Sisi ordered the beginning of construction of the New Suez Canal – which adds a parallel route to part of the canal’s length, and widens and deepens some of the existing canal. The $8 billion project, funded by bonds issued to Egyptian citizens, was to be completed in a year, and would see traffic through the canal increase to 97 ships per day by 2023 – up from 49 ships per day currently. Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

The first container ship to use the New Suez Canal. The opening of the New Suez Canal, after exactly 12 months of construction work “was an epic,” said Admiral Moham Mamish, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, in reports. “It was a very hard job. We invited experts of dredging and we had no time to waste and we feel that we have succeeded.” Courtesy NMDC

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

A dredger at work on the New Suez Canal. Courtesy NMDC

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

A dredger at work on the New Suez Canal. Courtesy NMDC

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

Work on the New Suez Canal continues. Courtesy NMDC

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

Yasser Zaghloul, CEO of NMDC. The company worked alongside Belgium’s Jan De Nul and Dutch companies Boskalis and Van Oord on the dredging works. Courtesy NMDC

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

Bulldozers and trucks work on a new section of the New Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt. Hassan Ammar / AP Photo

Egypt’s Suez Canal through the years – in pictures

A dredger works on a section of the New Suez Canal during a media tour in Ismailia, Egypt. Hassan Ammar / AP Photo

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