Connect with us

Entertainment

Egypt discreetly marks Suez Canal’s 150th anniversary

Published

on

Loading...

The man-made canal was excavated between 1859 and 1869, in an ambitious project to connect the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, and cut shipping times for growing international trade from Europe to Asia.

The Suez Canal is “not a prerogative of one nation,” declared Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French diplomat credited with masterminding the project, drawing from the dreams of the pharaohs who dredged a similar channel 4,000 years earlier.

“It owes its birth to, and belongs to, the aspirations of humanity,” he said in an 1864 speech.

A million Egyptians, using camels and mules as beasts of burden, laboured over the decade-long construction, according to official figures. And tens of thousands died in the process, experts say.

The first ships sailed down the 164-kilometre (102-mile) canal on November 17, 1869, with hopes that fair winds would permit a faster route to and from Asia, avoiding a lengthy and perilous circumvention via the tip of southern Africa.

But the waterway’s history has followed the turbulent ebbs and flows of the volatile Middle East region.

Its watershed moment came in July 1956. Egypt’s iconic late president Gamal Abdel Nasser, a staunch defender of Arab unity, defied British and French interests and nationalised the Suez Canal Company which ran the waterway.

The decision, which saw Nasser’s popularity rise at home, triggered an international crisis. France and Britain — countries which both controlled the company at that point — as well as Israel attacked Egypt around three months later.

The canal also served as a frontline during Arab-Israel wars in 1967 and 1973.

‘Record-breaking’ asset

Today the vital sea route is managed by the Suez Canal Authority and was expanded in 2015 to accommodate modern, larger vessels. It has grown into a major economic asset, providing passage for 10 percent of all international maritime trade.

But the region’s volatility is never far away. Running along the southern rim of the Sinai, the canal is today heavily secured by the Egyptian army which is battling a long-running insurgency against Islamist militants in northern Sinai.

Dug in the 19th century using “rudimentary tools”, today the waterway has become “a lifeline to Egypt,” Osama Rabie, head of the authority told AFP.

In 2015, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi staged a grand ceremony for the opening of a new 72-kilometre (43-mile) lane parallel to the canal after 12 months of excavations.

Loading...

The authority has since boasted new cargo and transit records saying the new lane has facilitated the crossing of larger shipping convoys and decreased transit times.

In August “a record breaking number” of 81 ships carrying a total of 6.1 million tonnes transited the canal in one day, the authority said.

“The tonnage has lept,” according to Jean-Marie Miossec, shipping specialist and professor at the University Paul Valery-Montpellier.

He believes the growth is linked to an “increase in container traffic between Asia and Europe as well as Europe and the Indian subcontinent”.

“By expanding the canal, Egyptian authorities offer augmented potential, especially with regard to vessel sizes and transit time,” he said.

Revenues for the fiscal year 2018-2019 reached $ 5.9 billion, up 5.4 percent from the previous year, the authority said in August.

And Egypt is planning for revenues to rocket to $13.2 billion in 2023.

Stamps, museum

Sumptuous feasts and banquets even attended by French Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, were held during the initial inauguration in 1869.

But in stark contrast, no celebrations are planned for the canal’s 150th anniversary.

Arnaud Ramiere de Fortanier, from the association in the memory of Ferdinand de Lesseps and the Suez Canal, believes the anniversary is “bit tricky”.

“The issue of 1956 went wrong,” he said, maintaining that for the company’s former shareholders the entire Suez crisis was mishandled by all sides and was a “disaster”.

Rather than highlighting the canal’s pre-1956 history, Egyptian authorities are preferring to underscore the canal’s current performance and its contributions to the country’s battered economy.

“Everyone writes history their own way,” said French ambassador Stephane Romatet, noting Egyptians only started benefiting from the canal after the 1956 nationalisation.

In Egypt and France, stamps bearing images resembling de Lesseps have been printed to mark the anniversary.

And a conference entitled “The Suez Canal: a place of memories” is to be held in Egypt’s famed Bibliotheca Alexandrina on November 13.

Egypt has also dedicated a museum, currently under construction, to the canal in the city of Ismailia at the historic premises of the Suez Canal Company. But no opening date has yet been set.

emp/mz/jkb

Loading...
Continue Reading

Entertainment

Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert

Published

on

Loading...


By Standard Entertainment



56 minutes ago

Controversial singer Gigy Money turned WCB signee Zuchu’s concert into a fight club, hurling shoes at her lover.

On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes. 

READ ALSO: I’m not behind Diamond, Tanasha split- WCB’s Zuchu sets record straight

However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.

READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money

Peaceful arrival, later chaos

Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment.  However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.

“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.

“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.

READ ALSO: I will get a baby with your eldest son – Gigy Money warns Zari

Loading...

At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.

Addresses incident

Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas.  In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”

‘Running over Ali Kiba’

Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.

“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba.  Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.

READ ALSO: Gigy Money under fire for dirty-dancing with married singer

Dating Kiba brothers

Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.

“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.

 

Loading...
Continue Reading

Entertainment

Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

Published

on

Loading...
Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true

Published

on

Loading...


By Diana Anyango



37 minutes ago

Jahmby Koikai is glad her dream of being a TV anchor never came true.

Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.

“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.

“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.

READ ALSO: Jahmby Koikai back in Kenya after a year of treatment abroad

According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.

“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.

“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.

READ ALSO: Why I’m walking around with a mask- Jahmby Koikai

Second audition

Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.

“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”

However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.

“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”

 

Loading...

 

There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11

A post shared by Jahmby Conqueror (@jahmbykoikai) on

Loading...
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Advertisement
Loading...

Trending