Egypt's Suez Canal hits record high on its 58 nationalisation anniversary

Ahram Online, Sunday 27 Jul 2014

The front page headline of Al-Ahram newspaper, The headline reads: Nationalisation of Suez Canal, 26 July 1956

Egypt saw on Saturday a record high in the tonnage of cargo passed through its vital Suez Canal waterway, Al-Ahram daily newspaper reported on Sunday.

The artificial canal witnessed a passing of 50 ships carrying 3.8 million tonnes on the same day it celebrated its 58 anniversary of nationalisation, added Al-Ahram citing canal authority head Mohab Memish.

On 26 July 1956, then Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser announced in Alexandria that the International Suez Canal Company would become Societe Anonyme Egyptienne (SAE), thus ending the colonialist hegemony over Egypt's main tap of foreign currencies.

"The nationalisation of the Suez Canal did not only represent the recovery of property and money that had been forcefully wrested from Egypt, and it was not only a slap in the face of the US for having reneged on financing the construction of the High Dam. Instead, it was, in every sense, an act of self- fulfillment," the prominent Egyptian law professor Hossam Eissa described Nasser's decree in Ahram Weekly some years ago.

"The nationalisation of the canal ushered in a process of regaining control over the economic and political keys to national self-determination, which had been gradually seized from Egypt's hands since the end of Muhammad Ali's reign." Eissa added.

The artificial waterway which connects the Mediterranean and Red Sea saw its highest annual revenue since its opening in 1869 in fiscal year 2013/14, bringing in a whopping $5.3 billion (LE37 billion), representing a 5.5 percent increase from the prior fiscal year.                                                                                                                       

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