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The Suez Canal (Arabic: قناة السويس, Qanā al-Suways, French: Le Canal de Suez) is a canal in Egypt. It lies west of the Sinai Peninsula. It is 190 kilometers long, 350 meters wide and 22,5 meters deep.
It links the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. It runs between Port Said (Būr Sa'īd) on the Mediterranean Sea, and Suez (al-Suways) on the Red Sea. The canal was started in 1859 and finished in 1869. Thanks to the Suez Canal, ships can travel from Europe to Asia without going around Africa.
Uses[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
In 1859, the Suez Canal was built by the Universal Suez Ship Canal Company, and took 10 years to build. The first ship to pass through the canal did so on 17 February 1867; Giuseppe Verdi wrote the famous opera Aida for this ceremony.
The canal made it possible to easily transport goods across the world. The canal also allowed Europeans to travel to East Africa, and this area was soon controlled by European powers.
The success of the Suez Canal encouraged the French to try to build the Panama Canal. But they did not finish it. The Panama Canal was finished later.
Long after its building, the French, the English, and the Egyptians still didn't agree on who the canal belonged to. Finally in 1956 Nasser, then Egypt's president, nationalised the canal.
About 15,000 ships pass through the canal each year, which is about 14% of world shipping. Each ship takes up to 16 hours to cross the canal. en:Suez Canal