What is the Suez Canal?

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The Suez Canal is a man-made waterway that connects that Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. It is 119 miles (192 km) long, and almost fifty ships travel through it every day that's almost 8% of the world's sea traffic!

When Egypt was occupied by the French  in the 18th and 19th centuries, a private group called the Suez Canal Company was formed to oversee a canal project, an idea that had been attempted in Egypt for centuries (see "Did you know?"). Work on the Canal began on April 25, 1859 but problems with money and politics kept it from being finished until November 11, 1869. The Canal opened to shipping six days later, and the event was marked with a large party, attended by world leaders from around the globe!

So why is the Suez Canal so important? Take a look at a map of Africa if somebody wanted to sail from Europe to Asia, they would have to travel all the way around Africa if it didn't exist!



by   (whyzz writer)
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