Emad Barsoum writes: The Suez Canal… and Covid
While the whole world was watching the developments of Covid 19, its vaccines, quarantines, a serious incident happened that did not draw the attention of the world for two days at the beginning. It was a Golden-class type container ship, one of eleven largest container ships ever built – that ran aground in the Suez Canal, and led to a blockage of the Canal for the marine transport.
To many, nowadays, Suez Canal is just a water passage for marine transport, that runs into Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, and separating mainland Africa from Asia. However, its importance is far beyond a water passage, this Canal had started the major conflict between Egypt on one side, and Britain France and Israel on the other side in 1956. Where those three countries had invaded Egypt from the north and north east to impose control on the Suez Canal, after it has been nationalized by Egypt post the 1952 Revolution.
Nevertheless, and due to the efforts of both Canada and the ex Soviet Union the three invading countries had withdrawn from the Suez Canal Area and Sinai, which led to the awarding the Noble peace prize to Lester Pearson the Canadian Prime Minister during the Suez Canal and Sinai crisis, known as “The Triple Aggression”.
The importance of Suez Canal is about the volume of commodities, especially Crude Oil, and goods that are moved around the world in shorter periods, and what does this represent on the steadiness of supply chain, economy, world markets and trade.
The Suez Canal is the fastest route that could be used by naval forces of the major fleets in the world to be deployed to hot zones around Middle East and Asia when they are needed to intervene.
During the blockage of the Suez Canal, many experts around the world turned to be very pessimistic and came out to doubt that Egypt and the Suez Canal Authority would be able to free the mega ship and resume the navigation again in the Canal, and they added that such operation might take over three weeks, even many countries offered help.
However, the engineers and the work force of the Suez Canal were able to end this situation in less than a week and opened the passage again to the world.
Although the world was kept occupied by the incident, it did not differ much from the world’s behaviour towards Covid.
A pessimistic world, declarations that eradicate hope from people, authorities that instead of building aspiration for the future they force people to forget life as we knew it. We hear all time that masks will be part of our daily life, social distance is more preferred than human interactions, no more concerts or movie theatres, our children cannot have birthday parties again.
Such melancholy and despair will never help the world to recover life again. It will not help to fight hard against the virus and win the battle as humanity had won many battles through its entire history.
We need hope, support, a belief in our humanity and above all governments must trust that its people want to go back to life again more than those governments think, and we have the will to do it.
We are survivals.