Suez (Arabic: السويس as-Suways ; Egyptian Arabic:
es-Sewēs, el-Sewēs pronounced [esseˈweːs]) is a seaport city
(population ca. 497,000) in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north
coast of the
Gulf of Suez
Gulf of Suez (a branch of the Red Sea), near the southern
terminus of the
Suez Canal, having the same boundaries as Suez
governorate. It has three harbors, Adabya,
Ain Sukhna and Port Tawfiq,
and extensive port facilities. Together they form a metropolitan area.
Railway lines and highways connect the city with Cairo, Port Said, and
Suez has a petrochemical plant, and its oil refineries have
pipelines carrying the finished product to Cairo.
1.1 Early Islamic era
1.2 Ottoman and Egyptian rule
1.3 Modern era
2 City districts
2.1 Arbaeen District
2.3 Ganayen District
2.4 Faisal District
2.5 Attaka District
5 International relations
5.1 Twin towns — Sister cities
6 Notable people
7 See also
10 External links
Painting of Suez, 1841
Early Islamic era
In the 7th century AD a town named "Kolzum" stood just north of the
site of present-day
Suez and served as eastern terminus of a canal
Amr ibn al-'As
Amr ibn al-'As linking the
Nile River and the Red Sea.
Kolzum's trade fell following the closure of the canal in 770 by the
Abbasid caliph al-Mansur to prevent his enemies in
accessing supplies from
Egypt and the lands north of it. Nonetheless,
the town benefited from the trade that remained between
Arabia. By 780 al-Mansur's successor al-Mahdi restored part of the
Qarmatians led by Hasan ibn Ahmad defeated a Fatimid
army headed by
Gawhar al-Siqilli at Kolzum in 971 and thereby captured
the town. Following his defeat in
Cairo by al-Siqilli at the end of
that year, Hasan and his forces retreated to
Arabia via Kolzum.
Suez was situated nearby and served as a source of drinking water for
Kolzum according to
Arab traveler al-Muqaddasi who visited in 986.
Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, Saladin, fortified both Kolzum and Suez
in to defend Egypt's eastern frontier from Crusader raids by Raynald
of Chatillon. Between 1183-84, Raynald had ships stationed in the
Red Sea to prevent the
Ayyubid garrison at Kolzum from accessing
water. In response, Saladin's brother al-Adil had Husam ad-Din Lu'lu
build a naval fleet which sailed to the southern port of
Aidab to end
Raynald's venture. By the 13th century it was recorded that Kolzum
was in ruins as was
Suez which had gradually replaced the former as a
population center. According to Muslim historians al-Maqrizi and
al-Idrisi, Kolzum had once been a prosperous town, until it was
occupied and plundered by Bedouins.
Arab geographer al-Dimashqi noted
that Kolzum belonged to the Mamluk province of al-Karak at the
Ottoman and Egyptian rule
To prevent Portuguese attacks against Egyptian coastal towns and the
Red Sea port of Jeddah,
Qansuh al-Ghawri the last Mamluk sultan
ordered a 6,000-man force headed by
Selman Reis to defend
1507, which in turn limited the Mamluk military's capabilities against
the Ottomans in the Mediterranean sea. Following the Ottoman's
Egypt at the beginning of the 16th century,
both a major naval and trading station. The Ottoman fleets at Suez
were instrumental in disputing control with the Portuguese over Indian
Carsten Niebuhr noted that in the 18th century a
20-vessel fleet sailed annually from
Suez to Jeddah—which served as
the Islamic holy city of Mecca's port and Egypt's gateway for trade
with India. However, by 1798, during Napoleonic invasion,
devolved into an unimportant town. Fighting between the French and the
British in 1800 left most of the town in ruins. Its importance as a
port increased after the
Suez Canal opened in 1869.
The city was virtually destroyed during battles in the late 1960s and
early 1970s between Egyptian and Israeli forces occupying the Sinai
Peninsula. The town was deserted following the
Six Day War
Six Day War in 1967.
Suez began soon after
Egypt reopened the
following the October War with Israel.
Suez was the first city to hold major protests against the government
Hosni Mubarak during the
2011 Egyptian revolution
2011 Egyptian revolution and was the scene
of the first fatality of that uprising. On account of this, it has
been called the
Sidi Bouzid of Egypt, recalling that small town's role
in the 2010–2011 Tunisian revolution.
Suez from the canal in 1982
The city is divided into five main districts:
It is most populous district of the city. It has most of the
government buildings and public institutions. It also has the city's
main fruit and vegetable markets in addition to other markets and
stores selling various commodities.
It is more modern than Arbaeen district in terms of how the buildings
look. The real estate there is significantly more expensive than any
other district in the city.
Suez district is considered the most
affluent area in the city. It includes the affluent neighborhood of
Port Tawfik, which directly overlooks the
Suez Canal. Port Tawfik
includes some old-style houses that date back to the English
colonization era. The district also includes two of Egypt's most
important oil refineries; El-Nasr Petroleum Company and
Suez Port, one of Egypt's main ports, lies within the
That district stretches all the way to the border with Ismailia
Governorate. It has all the rural areas of the city and can be thought
of as the city's "countryside".
It includes the newer neighborhoods of the city. Most of the areas at
Faisal District were established after the 1973 war, which had
destroyed vast areas of the city. Examples of Faisal District include
Al-Sabbah, Al-Amal and Al-Mushi, to name a few.
It is characterized by the existence of many industrial areas. Plants
and factories working in various fields are located in that District.
There are factories specialized in fertilizers, cement, steel, cooking
oil, flour products, oil rigs, ceramic tiles, sugar, and many other
products. There is also Attaka Power Plant. The district also includes
Ain Sokhna, one of Egypt's most important sea resorts, overlooking the
Gulf of Suez.
Ain Sokhna has got numerous high-class sea resorts and
is frequented by many tourists, Egyptians and foreigners, all over the
year due to its warm weather. The district is also home to Ain Sokhna
Sea Port, one of Egypt's main sea ports. The port is operated by the
Dubai-based DP World Company. Also, the district includes Al-Ataka
Fishing Port, which is the city's main fish production port.
Northernmost part of
Gulf of Suez
Gulf of Suez with town
Suez on map of 1856
Detail view of one of the main pylons.
There was a canal from the Nile delta to the
Gulf of Suez
Gulf of Suez in ancient
times, when the gulf extended further north than it does today. This
fell into disuse, and the present canal was built in the nineteenth
Sunset view from land to
Suez Canal Bridge, which links Africa with
Suez Canal offers a significantly shorter passage for ships than
passing round the Cape of Good Hope. The construction of the Suez
Canal was favoured by the natural conditions of the region: the
comparatively short distance between the Mediterranean and the Red
Sea, the occurrence of a line of lakes or depressions which became
Lake Manzala in the north, and depressions, Timsah and the
Bitter Lakes, part way along the route), and the generally flat
terrain. The construction of the canal was proposed by the engineer
and French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps, who acquired from Said Pasha
the rights of constructing and operating the canal for a period of 99
years. The Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de
Suez was formed.
Construction took 11 years, and the canal opened on 17 November 1869.
The canal had an immediate and dramatic effect on world trade.
In July 1956, just a few days after the fourth anniversary of the
Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the Egyptian government under President
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the
Suez Canal Company, which had been
run by the French and owned privately, with the British as the largest
shareholders. The Israeli-British-French invasion of
followed is known in
Egypt as the Tripartite Aggression but elsewhere
Suez Crisis. Following Israel's invasion and occupation of
Sinai Peninsula in the
Six Day War
Six Day War of 1967, the Canal was
closed, and did not reopen until 1975.
Today, the Canal is a vital link in world trade, and contributes
significantly to the Egyptian economy; in 2009 the income generated
from the canal accounted for 3.7% of Egypt's GDP.
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as
a hot desert (BWh).
The hottest recorded temperature was 49 °C (120 °F) on
June 14, 1965 while the coldest recorded temperature was 1 °C
(34 °F) on February 23, 2004.
Climate data for Suez
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Egypt
Twin towns — Sister cities
Suez is twinned with:
Djibouti City, Djibouti
Ismail Yassine (Arabic: إسماعيل ياسين IPA:
[esmæˈʕiːl jæˈsiːn]) (1912-1972) was an Egyptian singer,
comedian and actor
Battle of Suez
^ a b c d Chisholm, p.22.
^ Houtsma, p.498.
^ a b c Houtsma, p.1115.
^ Forgotten Books, p.61. Quotes al-Muqaddasi.
^ Houtsma, 1993, p.341.
^ Brummett, p.85 and p.115.
^ Suez: Cradle of Revolt. Al Jazeera English. 2012-01-17. Retrieved on
Suez be Egypt's Sidi Bouzid?. Reuters. 2011-01-27. Retrieved
^ The Economist, July 17–23, 2010, A Favored Spot:
Egypt is making
the most of its natural advantages.
Ismailia (Port Taufiq), Egypt". Voodoo Skies. Retrieved 5 July
Suez Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
^ "Official portal of City of
Skopje Sister Cities". ©
2006-2009 City of Skopje. Archived from the original on 2013-10-24.
Retrieved 2009-07-14. External link in publisher= (help)
^ Ismail Yasin at ElCinema.com (Arabic)
Chrisholm, Hugh (1911), The Encyclopædia Britannica: a dictionary of
arts, sciences, literature and general information, Encyclopædia
Forgotten Books, The Churches and Monasteries of
Egypt and Some
Neighbouring Countries, Forgotten Books, ISBN 1440060096
Houtsma, Martijn Theodoor; Wensinck, A.J. (1993), E.J. Brill's First
Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, BRILL
Suez canal photos
Media related to
Suez at Wikimedia Commons
Coordinates: 29°58′N 32°33′E / 29.967°N 32.550°E /
Governorates capitals of Egypt
Beni Suef (Beni Suef)
Kafr El Sheikh
Kafr El Sheikh (Kafr El Sheikh)
Matrouh (Mersa Matrouh)
New Valley (Kharga)
North Sinai (Arish)
Port Said (Port Said)
Red Sea (Hurghada)
South Sinai (El Tor)
Egyptian cities and towns by population
1,000,000 and more
Shubra El Kheima
El Mahalla El Kubra
6th of October
Kafr El Dawwar
Kafr El Sheikh
New Borg El Arab
Shibin El Kom
Sharm El Sheikh
Suez Canal Authority (SCA)
Port Said Port Authority
Port Said Governorate
Cities and ports
Suez Canal Container Terminal
Great Bitter Lake
Sweet Water Canal
Port Said Lighthouse
Suez Canal Bridge
El Ferdan Railway Bridge
Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel
Power line crossing
Canal expansion (2015)
Area Development Project
Canal of the Pharaohs
Société d'études du Canal de
Ferdinand de Lesseps
Suez Canal Company
Convention of Constantinople
Raid on the
Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 1936
Suez Crisis (1956)
Protocol of Sèvres
United Nations Security Council Resolution 118
United Nations Security Council Resolution 119