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  • The Canal Zone Guide | Egypt Travel | Rough Guides
    Joseph Conrad described it a dismal but profitable ditch connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Except around the harbour mouths or where ships are glimpsed between sandbanks it s a pretty dull waterway relieved only by the interesting cities of Port Said and Ismailiya Foreigners generally unfairly overlook both Port Said and Ismailiya prejudging them on the basis of Suez a neglected and untidy city but a vital transport nexus between Cairo the Sinai and the Red Sea Coast The Canal scarcely impinges on the leafy villa lined streets of Ismailiya once the residence of the Suez Canal Company s European staff and now a popular honeymoon destination for Egyptians By contrast with its evocative waterfront beaches and duty free shopping Port Said feels like Alexandria minus its cultural baggage and a place that s somehow more authentic as a maritime city Brief history The first attempts to connect the Red Sea and the Mediterranean are usually attributed to Necho II 610 595 BC However it was Persian emperor Darius around 500 BC who completed the region s first canal linking the Red Sea and the Great Bitter Lake from where an older waterway connected with Bubastis on the Nile and from there on to the Mediterranean Refined by the Ptolemies and Trajan these waterways were restored by Amr following the Muslim conquest and used for shipping corn to Arabia until the eighth century when they were deliberately abandoned to starve out rebels in Medina The idea of a direct Red Sea Mediterranean canal was first mooted then vetoed by Napoleon s engineers who miscalculated a difference of ten metres between the two sea levels The later discovery of this error encouraged junior French consul Ferdinand de Lesseps to present his own plan to Said Pasha who approved it despite British objections Work began in 1859 and continued throughout the reign of Said s successor Ismail who went bankrupt attempting to finance his 19 million sterling investment In 1875 he was forced to sell his shares to Britain swooping before France could make an offer for 4 million sterling When the Canal opened in 1888 its vast profits went abroad with the Suez Canal Company while two world wars transformed the Canal Zone into the world s largest military base Post World War II In the wake of World War II guerrilla attacks in the Zone led to the British assault on Ismailiya s police barracks sparking Cairo s Black Saturday After the 1952 Revolution Egypt demanded the British army s withdrawal and a greater share of the Canal s revenue and when the West refused to make loans to finance the Aswan High Dam Nasser announced the Canal s nationalization July 26 1956 Britain and France agreed to use Israel s advance into Sinai that October as a pretext for safeguarding the Canal by bombarding and invading its cities But by standing firm and appealing to outraged world opinion Nasser emerged victorious from the Suez Crisis The 1967

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/egypt/canal-zone/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Sinai Guide | Egypt Travel | Rough Guides
    became a pawn in the Crusades the area between Aqaba and Rafah belonging to the Frankish Kingdom until its collapse at Acre After the Crusades the victorious Mamlukes reopened Sinai s trade routes but the peninsula remained Egypt s Achilles heel as the Ottoman Turks and Mohammed Ali demonstrated with their conquests of 1517 and 1831 Twentieth century Sinai Sinai s strategic importance increased with the completion of the Suez Canal and in 1892 Britain compelled Turkey to cede it as a buffer zone Backed by Germany the Turks retook it in 1914 Anglo Egyptian forces only dislodged them after a prolonged campaign During World War II Sinai saw little fighting but the creation of Israel brought it back into the front line In 1948 the Israelis repulsed Arab attacks from all sides and took the Gaza Strip and El Arish before an armistice was signed only withdrawing under British pressure Nasser brought together British and Israeli interests by closing the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping and nationalizing the Suez Canal Israel s advance into Sinai in October 1956 was the agreed pretext for Anglo French intervention in the Suez Crisis the three states though militarily successful were compelled to quit by international opposition and UN peacekeeping forces established a buffer zone in Gaza and guaranteed free passage through the Gulf of Aqaba However when Egypt ordered the UN to leave and resumed its blockade in 1967 Israel launched a pre emptive strike and captured the entire peninsula which it retained after the Six Day War In the October War of 1973 Egypt broke into Sinai but then suffered a devastating counterattack across the Suez Canal The Camp David Accords and after US sponsored peace negotiations culminated in President Sadat s historic visit to Jerusalem the Camp David Accords and a peace treaty signed in 1979 Under its terms Israel evacuated all settlements founded during the occupation of Sinai and the territory reverted to Egypt The phased transition was completed in 1982 except for the disputed enclave of Taba finally resolved in 1989 The Multinational Force and Observers MFO based at Na ama Bay monitors Sinai s demilitarized zones Tourism introduced to Sinai by the Israelis initially suffered from the handover as the Camp David Accords forbade any development for five years Since 1988 however its recovery has shifted into overdrive While the areas of Ras Mohammed Abu Galum and Nabeq are protected as nature reserves the entire coastline north of Nuweiba and from Sharm el Sheikh to Nabeq is highly developed with new resorts springing up all the time and innumerable charter flights from Europe into Sharm el Sheikh airport The mercurial nature of Middle Eastern politics however means tourism along the Sinai coast is a fickle business Unrest in the West Bank and Gaza has greatly slowed tourist traffic from Israel while the 2004 terrorist attacks in Taba with more attacks in Sharm el Sheikh and Dahab in 2005 and 2006 respectively have worsened the situation further

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/egypt/sinai/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Red Sea Coast Guide | Egypt Travel | Rough Guides
    as Muslim pilgrims from as far away as Central Asia sailed to Arabia from its ports Though piracy and slavery ceased towards the end of the nineteenth century smuggling still drew adventurers and explorers long after the Suez Canal had sapped the vitality of the Red Sea ports Decades later the coastline assumed new significance with the discovery of oil and its vulnerability to Israeli commando raids The latter led to large areas being mined which is one reason why tourism didn t arrive until the 1980s although it has boomed since then fuelled by the region s good value resorts and superlative dive sites Along the coast turquoise waves lap rocky headlands and windswept beaches while inland the Nile Valley is divided from the coast by the arid hills and mountains of the Eastern Desert home to the Red Sea monasteries Cairenes appreciate the beaches at Ain Sukhna south of Suez but the region s real lure are the fabulous island reefs near the brash resort of Hurghada and the less touristy settlements of Port Safaga El Quseir and Marsa Alam to the south Read More More about Egypt Itineraries Features Where Next Check out The Canal Zone Book a hostel in Egypt Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours Explore South from Suez to Ain Sukhna The Red Sea monasteries El Gouna Hurghada and around South of Hurghada Find out more Rock art Rock art The rock art of the Eastern Desert is one of Egypt s best kept secrets Spread over 24 000 square kilometres of desert east of Luxor and Edfu the sites vary from a single boulder to cliff walls dotted with pictures of people and animals flotillas of boats and herds of giraffes ostriches and elephants They are difficult to reach however

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/egypt/red-sea-coast/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Hostels | Rough Guides
    Rentals Follow Us Facebook Twitter Newsletter Log in Flights Accommodation Tours Car Rentals Travel Insurance Hostels Hostels Get the best price guaranteed on hostels in every continent Search all destinations Most popular destinations Thailand Sri Lanka Vietnam Italy France Spain Japan Iceland Portugal Australia Find hostels by continent South East Asia Western Europe Eastern Europe North America South America India Central Asia Search all destinations About us Contact us Write

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/hostels/?country=Egypt (2016-02-16)
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  • Map of Egypt | Egypt Regions | Rough Guides
    the country than antiquities From Egypt s southernmost city of Aswan on the banks of The Nile to remote desert oases Egypt s contrasts embody human history from prehistoric times up to the present day Cairo is a seething megalopolis whose bazaars mosques and medieval fortifications jostle for attention with the Nile Valley and its ancient monuments and timeless river vistas This beautiful country surrounded by history sculpted by religion and imbued with a timeless majesty will leave you breathless Whether you dream of flying over the ancient temples and tombs of the Theban Necropolis in a hot air balloon exploring the bizarre rock formations of the White Desert or diving among the coral reefs of the Red Sea our map of Egypt will help you plan your next adventure Find out more about Egypt Interactive Egypt Map Regions of Egypt Click the links below to find out about your chosen region 1 Cairo and the Pyramids 2 The Nile Valley 3 The Western Desert Oases 4 Alexandria the Mediterranean coast and the Delta 5 The Canal Zone 6 Sinai 7 The Red Sea Coast Related Ebooks Cairo and the Pyramids Rough Guides Snapshot Egypt View Guide The Rough Guide

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/maps/africa/egypt/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Places to Visit in Egypt | Where to go in Egypt | Rough Guides
    Safari Circuit View Guide Egypt is the oldest tourist destination on earth Ancient Greeks and Romans started the trend coming to goggle at the cyclopean scale of the Pyramids and the Colossi of Thebes During colonial times Napoleon and the British looted Egypt s treasures to fill their national museums sparking off a trickle of Grand Tourists that eventually became a flood of travellers taken on Nile cruises and Egyptological lectures by the enterprising Thomas Cook Today the most popular places to visit are not only the monuments of the Nile Valley and the souks mosques and madrassas of Islamic Cairo but also fantastic coral reefs and tropical fish dunes ancient fortresses monasteries and prehistoric rock art The land itself is a freak of nature its lifeblood the River Nile From the Sudanese border to the shores of the Mediterranean the Nile Valley and its Delta are flanked by arid wastes the latter as empty as the former are teeming with people This stark duality between fertility and desolation is fundamental to Egypt s character and has shaped its development since prehistoric times imparting continuity to diverse cultures and peoples over seven millennia It is a sense of permanence and timelessness that is buttressed by religion which pervades every aspect of life Although the pagan cults of ancient Egypt are as moribund as its legacy of mummies and temples their ancient fertility rites and processions of boats still hold their place in the celebrations of Islam and Christianity The result is a multi layered culture which seems to accord equal respect to ancient and modern The peasants of the Nile and the Bedouin tribes of the desert live much as their ancestors did a thousand years ago Other communities include the Nubians of the far south and the Coptic Christians

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/egypt/?wpfpaction=add&postid=51721 (2016-02-16)
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  • Explore Destinations | Travel Guides | Rough Guides
    Getting there Getting around Accommodation Food and drink The media Festivals Sports and outdoor activities Culture and etiquette Shopping Travelling with children Travel essentials Inspiration Things not to miss Itineraries Features Gallery Explore Cairo and the Pyramids The Nile Valley The Western Desert Oases Alexandria the Mediterranean coast and the Delta The Canal Zone Sinai The Red Sea Coast Shop Ebooks Travel Insurance Hostels Explore Explore Egypt Cairo and the

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/egypt/explore/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Morocco Facts | About Morocco | Rough Guides
    View Guide The Rough Guide to Tanzania View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Tanzania The Northern Safari Circuit View Guide The Rough Guide to First Time Africa View Guide The Rough Guide to South Africa Lesotho Swaziland View Guide Cairo and the Pyramids Rough Guides Snapshot Egypt View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa The Eastern Cape View Guide Morocco Fact file Morocco s area of 446 550 square kilometres 722 550 sq km including the Western Sahara makes it slightly smaller than France or Spain slightly larger than California The population of just over 32 million compares with just eight million at independence in 1956 Nearly 99 percent of Moroccans are Muslim with 1 percent Christian and a tiny minority an estimated 6000 people Jewish The literacy rate is 56 1 percent 68 9 percent for men 43 9 percent for women The main languages are Arabic Berber Tarfit Tamazight and Tashelhaït and French English is increasingly spoken by young people especially in tourist areas Morocco gained independence from French and Spanish rule on March 2 1956 The head of state is King Mohammed VI who succeeded his father Hassan II on July 30 1999 The government is chosen from an elected legislature and is currently run by Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane of the moderate Islamist PJD Party of Justice and Development The main opposition parties are the Istiqlal Independence Party Morocco s oldest political group and the RNI National Rally of Independents Such is the importance of date palms in the Moroccan south that oases are traditionally measured by the number of their palms rather than their population and it was once illegal to sell a date tree a historically vital source of food Despite the beauty

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/morocco/fact-file/ (2016-02-16)
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