Why is Sisi Expanding the Suez Canal?
Grand plans by modern-day Egyptian ruler motivated in great part by the same reasons as his predecessor 150 years ago.
An insecure Egyptian ruler, bullied as a child for his weight, was persuaded that a canal connecting the Mediterranean to the Red Sea would bring him glory – a monument rivaling those of his more illustrious predecessors.
Said Pasha, ruler of Egypt and Sudan from 1854 to 1863, never saw the completion of the canal, which opened six years after his death. He is remembered as the man who sold the rights to the waterway to the then-imperialist powers France and Britain.
A century and a half later, another Egyptian leader seeking to make his mark on history, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, decided to expand the Suez Canal.
Like Said Pasha before him, Sisi sees in the canal a symbol of Egypt’s glory and prosperity, and of independence since its nationalisation in 1956.
A canal from the Nile river to the Red Sea existed in the times of ancient Egypt, but was lost over
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