La crisi apertasi nei rapporti Israele-Egitto dopo l’uccisione di 4 soldati egiziani nel Sinai ha sfiorato anche noi… bella e impalpabile Suez, guardiana del Canale con Port Said, Ismailia e Port Tawfiq, la lotta di classe sui passages del Mediterraneo
The man sitting behind the long table had short black mustaches and a white striped bluse. “Please, can you introduce yourself?” he asked me with soft tone in the large boiserie-covered room of the Military Security hq in Suez, Egypt, after offering a bottle of ice water strangely tasting of sand. So it has happened: our road to Suez was stopped, probably due to renewed tensions between Egypt and Israel. Nothing serious (and they threated us kindly), but you can found an account of the small incident occurred to us over there on Davide’s blog, with some rare pic of the Channel itself. The good new is that we made it to get there despite warnings from colleagues and official meeting refusals. The bad one, is that the Canal itself is hardly to be seen in the area, even from Suez fortress.
Mubarak has always hated Suezians, say locals. And the feeling was mutual: “He never came to visit us, just took our money”. The january revolution started here, with protests and worker-strikes going on till recently, clashes and victims. Marxist canal workers – an old tradition of class fight. Today, along the 163 km of Suez Canal Area, from Port Said on Mediterranean Sea to Ismailia, home of the severe Canal Authority and of a museum exhibiting egiptian antiques, to Suez and Port Tawfiq, the true Canal with the Suez Golf, portraits of former egiptian leader Nasser (who nationalized the Canal on july 26, 1956) still dominate among huge military installations – the area is home to 3rd division of egiptian army, in an ultrasensitive zone bordering Sinai and Egypt-Israel border, today again tense after the killing of 4 Cairo officials on the mutual border (exactly while we were there around Canal). Today more than ever, after january revolution in Cairo, Suez Canal represent the main (and lone) source of income for egiptian economy. Therefore very strategic for national authorities… close to paranoia towards foreigners that try to approach it (officially it’s not forbidden).
(gallery: Museo Militare di Port Said, Suez Canal Area, Egitto)