Port Said, located 225-km northeast of Cairo is a city with an exciting history. The Khedive Said Pasha founded it in 1859, when the excavation of the Suez Canal began. Much of the city is an island, created by filling in part of Lake Manzela, to the west, with sand from the canal site. Most of Port Said was bombed in 1956 when it became the target during the Suez Crisis. Discover Suez Canal video The crisis was the result of breakdown in relations between Egypt and the West towards the end of 1955, and early in 1956, when the United States, Britain and the World Bank withdrew their offer to finance the construction of the High Dam at Aswan President Nasser had strong hopes in it to raise production and people’s income by increasing the cultivated land and generating hydroelectric power to meet the needs of industry.
Reacting to such a rebuff from the West, Nasser declared on 26 July the nationalization of the Suez Canal, this led to the Suez War or the Tripartite Aggression (Britain, France and Israel) against Egypt. For Britain and France were determined to use force to punish Nasser’s seizure of the international waterway. The Suez War opened with the Israeli push in Sinai on 29 October, which was followed by Anglo-French landings in Port Said. Aerial bombardment of Egyptian airfields and other strategic targets began on 31 October. Worldwide pressure led to the end of hostilities and evacuation of all troops and a UN emergency force occupied the Canal Zone. Port Said suffered again during the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel. Damage can still be seen but most of the city has been rebuilt.
Its status as a duty-free port for the past 25 years also makes it the most flourishing of the canal cities. Its original wooden buildings vaguely suggest the colonial past. One shouldn’t miss the Suez Canal Building with its three shiny green domes, built in the 1860s that still hosts the administrative management of the Suez Canal, which is one of Egypt’s four main sources of revenue, besides tourism, agriculture, oil and natural reserves. Port Said “Video”