Sweet Water Canal

Sweet Water Canal, also known as Fresh Water Canal and currently known as Ismaïlia Canal, is a canal which was dug by thousands of Egyptian fellahin to facilitate the construction of the Suez Canal. The canal travels east-west across Ismailia Governorate.[1]

It was dug to provide fresh water to the arid area, from Lake Timsah to Suez and Port Said.[2][3](p267)[4] The canal facilitated the growth of agriculture settlements along the Suez Canal, and it is particularly important for supplying water to the city of Port Said. Like the Suez Canal, it was designed by French engineers; construction lasted from 1861 until 1863. It runs through the now-dry distributary of the Wadi Tumilat,[5] incorporating portions of an ancient Suez Canal that existed between Old Cairo and the Red Sea.[3](pp251–257)

Sweet Water Canal
Suez Canal Ismailia2 courtesy copy
Construction began1861
Date completed1863
Start pointLake Timsah
End pointPort Said


In February 1862, after thousands of workers excavated 1.1 million cubic meters, the canal reached Lake Timsah. As soon as the fresh water reached the area, more laborers could be (and were) hired for the Suez Canal construction project. The canal also allowed for the easy transportation of materials and food with ferries traveling along its narrow ways.[2][6]

Battle of Kassassin Lock

The Battle of Kassassin Lock was fought near Sweet Water Canal, on August 28, 1882.[7]

Anglo-Egyptian War

Less than 100 years later, the canal[8] no longer provided clean, fresh water but was disturbingly polluted. During the 1950s when British soldiers were stationed in the area, some referred to the canal as an open sewer. Royal Air Force personnel were advised to avoid contact with the water and were warned that the canal was where deserters would end up.[9] When the war became especially bloody, between national, Egyptian, resistance movements and British soldiers, from October 1951 to January 1952, the remains of some of the British soldiers who were tortured and killed, ended up in the canal.[4][10][11]

See also

Tell El Kabir


  1. ^ "Al-Ismailiyyah". Britannica. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b Karabell, Zachary (2003). Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal. A.A. Knopf. p. 172. ISBN 9780375408830. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b Rappoport S. "Chapter V: "The Waterways of Egypt"". History of Egypt (Project Gutenberg). Volume 12, Part B. London: The Grolier Society. Archived from the original on 2017-08-01. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Simon C. (2016). Reassessing Suez 1956: New Perspectives on the Crisis and Its Aftermath. Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 9781317070696. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  5. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th edition, s.v. "Suez Canal" Archived 2016-11-19 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 19 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Photo of ferry in canal". Suez Canal Zone. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  7. ^ Arthur, Sir George (1909). The story of the Household Cavalry. London,: A. Constable. pp. 676–679. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  8. ^ Woolley, Richard (Dick). "Suez Canal Zone Map". Suez Canal Zone. Archived from the original on 2 November 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  9. ^ Richards, Colin (November 3, 2012). New Skeletons (2nd ed.). Colin Archer-Richards. ISBN 9781291925623. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  10. ^ Delta, Charlie. "Photos of the Sweet Water Canal in the 1950's". Suez Canal Zone. Archived from the original on 2016-10-29.
  11. ^ Tait, James H. One Day At A Time: My Lfe And Times (Ch. 41 Service in Suez). AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781456793029. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade

The 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade was a brigade-sized formation that served alongside British Empire forces in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, during World War I. Originally called the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade it was formed from Imperial Service Troops provided by the Indian Princely States of Hyderabad, Mysore, Patiala, Alwar and Jodhpur, which each provided a regiment of lancers. A maximum of three regiments served in the brigade at any one time. The states of Bhavnagar, Kashmir, Kathiawar and Idar provided smaller detachments for the brigade, which was at times reinforced by other British Empire regiments and artillery batteries when on operations.

In October 1914, the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade was moved by sea to Egypt to become part of the Force in Egypt defending the Suez Canal. In the first three years of the war, the soldiers were involved in several small-scale battles connected to the First Suez Offensive, but spent most of their time patrolling in the Sinai Desert and along the west bank of the canal. It was not until November 1917 as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force that the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade was involved in the Third Battle of Gaza. The following year the brigade joined the 5th Cavalry Division when it became the 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade and played an active role in the British victory over Turkish forces in Palestine.

In total, eighty-four men from the brigade were killed in action or died of their wounds and another 123 were wounded. Several memorials were erected to commemorate the brigade in the Middle East and in India. The anniversary of the brigade's most famous victory, the Battle of Haifa, is still celebrated today by its successors in the Indian Army.

Anglo-Egyptian War

The Anglo-Egyptian War (Arabic: الاحتلال البريطاني لمصر‎ al-iḥtilāl al-Brīṭānī li-Miṣr) occurred in 1882 between Egyptian and Sudanese forces under Ahmed ‘Urabi and the United Kingdom. It ended a nationalist uprising against the Khedive Tewfik Pasha. It established firm British influence over Egypt at the expense of the Egyptians, the French and the Ottoman Empire, which retained only nominal authority.

Archibald Murray

General Sir Archibald James Murray, (23 April 1860 – 21 January 1945) was a British Army officer who served in the Second Boer War and the First World War. He was Chief of Staff to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in August 1914 but appears to have suffered a physical breakdown in the retreat from Mons, and was required to step down from that position in January 1915. After serving as Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff for much of 1915, he was briefly Chief of the Imperial General Staff from September to December 1915. He was subsequently Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force from January 1916 to June 1917, in which role he laid the military foundation for the defeat and destruction of the Ottoman Empire in the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant.

Battle of Kafr El Dawwar

The Battle of Kafr El Dawwar was a conflict during the Anglo-Egyptian War near Kafr El Dawwar, Egypt. The battle took place between an Egyptian army, headed by Ahmed ‘Urabi, and British forces headed by Sir Archibald Alison. As a result, the British abandoned any hope they may have had of reaching Cairo from the north, and shifted their base of operations to Ismailia instead.

Battle of Katia

The Battle of Katia, also known as the Affair of Qatia by the British, was an engagement fought east of the Suez Canal and north of El Ferdan Station, in the vicinity of Katia and Oghratina, on 23 April 1916 during the Defence of the Suez Canal Campaign of World War I. An Ottoman force led by the German General Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein made a surprise attack on three and a half squadrons of the British 5th Mounted Brigade, which was widely scattered to the east of Romani. The mounted brigade had been ordered to the area to protect the new railway and water pipeline being built from Kantara on the Suez Canal, as this infrastructure extended out past the Canal's zone of defences into the Sinai Peninsula towards Romani. Kress Von Kressenstein's attack was completely successful, decimating the equivalent of little more than a regiment. On the same day, an associated Ottoman attack on Duidar, very close to the Suez Canal, failed when it met with strong British opposition.

Kress von Kressenstein's force had been active in the area since the First Suez Offensive of early 1915, when three columns attacked the Canal along the northern, central, and southern routes across the Sinai Peninsula. The growing Imperial strength made attacks on the Suez Canal difficult, and ended the dominance of the Ottoman force in the area. The Ottoman Empire's attacks on 23 April demonstrated their intention to continue opposing the British Empire in the region.However, the Imperial reaction to these attacks was to double the strength of their forces. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade, and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, were sent to Katia and Romani and established a strong Imperial presence over the contested ground. Soon after, the Australian 1st Light Horse Brigade was also sent forward, and the 52nd (Lowland) Division arrived at Romani not long after. At the beginning of August, the Battle of Romani was fought over much of the same ground as that at Katia.

Battle of Tell El Kebir

The Battle of Tel El Kebir was fought between the Egyptian army led by Ahmed Urabi and the British military near Tell El Kebir. After discontented Egyptian officers under Urabi rebelled in 1882, the United Kingdom reacted to protect its interests in the country, and in particular the Suez Canal.

First Battle of Gaza

The First Battle of Gaza was fought on 26 March 1917, during the first attempt by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) to invade the south of Palestine in the Ottoman Empire during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. Fighting took place in and around the town of Gaza on the Mediterranean coast when infantry and mounted infantry from the Desert Column, a component of the Eastern Force, attacked the town. Late in the afternoon, on the verge of capturing Gaza, the Desert Column was withdrawn due to concerns about the approaching darkness and large Ottoman reinforcements. This British defeat was followed a few weeks later by the even more emphatic defeat of the Eastern Force at the Second Battle of Gaza in April 1917.

In August 1916 the EEF victory at Romani ended the possibility of land-based attacks on the Suez Canal, first threatened in February 1915 by the Ottoman Raid on the Suez Canal. In December 1916, the newly created Desert Column's victory at the Battle of Magdhaba secured the Mediterranean port of El Arish and the supply route, water pipeline, and railway stretching eastwards across the Sinai Peninsula. In January 1917 the victory of the Desert Column at the Battle of Rafa completed the capture of the Sinai Peninsula and brought the EEF within striking distance of Gaza.

In March 1917, two months later, Gaza was attacked by Eastern Force infantry from the 52nd (Lowland) Division reinforced by an infantry brigade. This attack was protected from the threat of Ottoman reinforcements by the Anzac Mounted Division and a screen from the Imperial Mounted Division. The infantry attack from the south and southeast on the Ottoman garrison in and around Gaza was strongly resisted. While the Imperial Mounted Division continued to hold off threatening Ottoman reinforcements, the Anzac Mounted Division attacked Gaza from the north. They succeeded in entering the town from the north, while a joint infantry and mounted infantry attack on Ali Muntar captured the position. However, the lateness of the hour, the determination of the Ottoman defenders, and the threat from the large Ottoman reinforcements approaching from the north and north east, resulted in the decision by the Eastern Force to retreat. It has been suggested this move snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.


Kassassin (Arabic: القصاصين‎) is a village of Lower Egypt 22 miles (35 km) by rail, west of Ismailia on the Suez Canal.

Port Said

Port Said (Egyptian Arabic: بورسعيد‎ Borsaʿīd or Porsaʿīd) is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about 30 kilometres (19 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Suez Canal, with an approximate population of 603,787 (2010). The city was established in 1859 during the building of the Suez Canal.

There are numerous old houses with grand balconies on all floors, giving the city a distinctive look. Port Said's twin city is Port Fuad, which lies on the eastern bank of the canal. The two cities coexist, to the extent that there is hardly any town centre in Port Fuad. The cities are connected by free ferries running all through the day, and together they form a metropolitan area with over a million residents that extends both on the African and the Asian sides of the Suez Canal. The only other metropolitan area in the world that also spans two continents is Istanbul.

Port Said acted as a global city since its establishment and flourished particularly during the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century when it was inhabited by various nationalities and religions. Most of them were from Mediterranean countries, and they coexisted in tolerance, forming a cosmopolitan community. Referring to this fact Rudyard Kipling once said "If you truly wish to find someone you have known and who travels, there are two points on the globe you have but to sit and wait, sooner or later your man will come there: the docks of London and Port Said".

Raid on the Suez Canal

The Raid on the Suez Canal, also known as Actions on the Suez Canal, took place between 26 January and 4 February 1915 after a German-led Ottoman Army force advanced from Southern Palestine to attack the British Empire-protected Suez Canal, before the beginning of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I.

Substantial Ottoman forces crossed the Sinai peninsula, but their attack failed mainly because of strongly held defences and alert defenders.

Red Sea

The Red Sea (also the Erythraean Sea, Arabic: البحر الأحمر‎) is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. To the north lie the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal). The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift which is part of the Great Rift Valley.

The Red Sea has a surface area of roughly 438,000 km2 (169,100 mi2), is about 2250 km (1398 mi) long and, at its widest point, 355 km (220.6 mi) wide. It has a maximum depth of 3,040 m (9,970 ft) in the central Suakin Trough, and an average depth of 490 m (1,608 ft). However, there are also extensive shallow shelves, noted for their marine life and corals. The sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species, and 200 soft and hard corals. It is the world's northernmost tropical sea.

Sinai and Palestine Campaign

The Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I was fought by the Arab Revolt and the British Empire, against the Ottoman Empire and its Imperial German allies. It started with an Ottoman attempt at raiding the Suez Canal in 1915, and ended with the Armistice of Mudros in 1918, leading to the cession of Ottoman Syria and Palestine.

Fighting began in January 1915, when a German-led Ottoman force invaded the Sinai Peninsula, then part of the British Protectorate of Egypt, to unsuccessfully raid the Suez Canal. After the Gallipoli Campaign, British Empire veterans formed the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) and Ottoman Empire veterans formed the Fourth Army, to fight for the Sinai Peninsula in 1916. During this campaign the Anzac Mounted Division and the 52nd (Lowland) Division succeeded in pushing German-led Ottoman Army units out of the area, beginning with the Battle of Romani and pursuit in August, the Battle of Magdhaba in December, and in January 1917 the newly formed Desert Column completed the recapture of the Sinai at the Battle of Rafa. These three victories, resulting in the recapture of substantial Egyptian territory, were followed in March and April, by two EEF defeats on Ottoman territory, at the First and Second Battles of Gaza in southern Palestine.

After a period of stalemate in Southern Palestine from April to October 1917, General Edmund Allenby captured Beersheba from the III Corps. Having weakened the Ottoman defences, which had stretched almost continually from Gaza to Beersheba, they were finally captured by 8 November, after the Battle of Tel el Khuweilfe, the Battle of Hareira and Sheria and the Third Battle of Gaza, when the pursuit began. During the subsequent operations, about 50 miles (80 km) of formerly Ottoman territory was captured as a result of the EEF victories at the Battle of Mughar Ridge, fought between 10 and 14 November, and the Battle of Jerusalem, fought between 17 November and 30 December. Serious losses on the Western Front in March 1918, during Erich Ludendorff's German Spring Offensive, forced the British Empire to send reinforcements from the EEF. During this time, two unsuccessful attacks were made to capture Amman and to capture Es Salt in March and April 1918, before Allenby's force resumed the offensive during the manoeuvre warfare of the Battle of Megiddo. The successful infantry battles at Tulkarm and Tabsor created gaps in the Ottoman front line, allowing the pursuing Desert Mounted Corps to encircle the infantry fighting in the Judean Hills and fight the Battle of Nazareth and Battle of Samakh, capturing Afulah, Beisan, Jenin and Tiberias. In the process the EEF destroyed three Ottoman armies during the Battle of Sharon, the Battle of Nablus and the Third Transjordan attack, capturing thousands of prisoners and large quantities of equipment. Damascus and Aleppo were captured during the subsequent pursuit, before the Ottoman Empire agreed to the Armistice of Mudros on 30 October 1918, ending the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. The British Mandate of Palestine and the French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon were created to administer the captured territories.

The campaign was generally not well known or understood during the war. The English people thought of it as a minor operation, a waste of precious resources which would be better spent on the Western Front, while the peoples of India were more interested in the Mesopotamian campaign and the occupation of Baghdad. Australia did not have a war correspondent in the area until Captain Frank Hurley, the first Australian Official Photographer, arrived in August 1917 after visiting the Western Front. Henry Gullett, the first Official War Correspondent, arrived in November 1917. The long-lasting effect of this campaign was the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, when France won the mandate for Syria and Lebanon, while the British Empire won the mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine. The Republic of Turkey came into existence in 1923 after the Turkish War of Independence ended the Ottoman Empire. The European mandates ended with the formation of the Kingdom of Iraq in 1932, the Lebanese Republic in 1943, the State of Israel in 1948, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan and Syrian Arab Republic in 1946.

Suez Canal

The Suez Canal (Arabic: قناة السويس‎ qanāt as-suwēs) is a sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. Constructed by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869, it was officially opened on 17 November 1869. The canal offers watercraft a more direct route between the North Atlantic and northern Indian Oceans via the Mediterranean and Red Seas, thus avoiding the South Atlantic and southern Indian Oceans and thereby reducing the journey distance from the Arabian Sea to, for example, London by approximately 8,900 kilometres (5,500 mi). It extends from the northern terminus of Port Said to the southern terminus of Port Tewfik at the city of Suez. Its length is 193.30 km (120.11 mi), including its northern and southern access channels. In 2012, 17,225 vessels traversed the canal (an average of 47 per day).The original canal was a single-lane waterway with passing locations in the Ballah Bypass and the Great Bitter Lake. It contains no locks system, with seawater flowing freely through it. In general, the canal north of the Bitter Lakes flows north in winter and south in summer. South of the lakes, the current changes with the tide at Suez.The Canal was owned by the United Kingdom and France until 1956 when Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized it, an event which lead to the Suez Crisis. The canal is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of Egypt. Under the Convention of Constantinople, it may be used "in time of war as in time of peace, by every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag".In August 2014, construction was launched to expand and widen the Ballah Bypass for 35 km (22 mi) to speed the canal's transit time. The expansion was planned to double the capacity of the Suez Canal from 49 to 97 ships a day. At a cost of $8.4 billion, this project was funded with interest-bearing investment certificates issued exclusively to Egyptian entities and individuals. The "New Suez Canal", as the expansion was dubbed, was opened with great fanfare in a ceremony on 6 August 2015.On 24 February 2016, the Suez Canal Authority officially opened the new side channel. This side channel, located at the northern side of the east extension of the Suez Canal, serves the East Terminal for berthing and unberthing vessels from the terminal. As the East Container Terminal is located on the Canal itself, before the construction of the new side channel it was not possible to berth or unberth vessels at the terminal while the convoy was running.

Sweetwater Canal

Sweetwater Canal can mean:

The Sweet Water Canal in Egypt running eastwards from the Nile near Cairo to the south end of the Suez Canal

A canal near Basra in Iraq

Timeline of Port Said

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Port Said, Egypt.

Water resources management in Egypt

Water resources management in modern Egypt is a complex process that involves multiple stakeholders who use water for irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, hydropower generation and navigation. In addition, the waters of the Nile support aquatic ecosystems that are threatened by abstraction and pollution. Egypt also has substantial fossil groundwater resources in the Western Desert.

A key problem of water resources management in Egypt is the imbalance between increasing water demand and limited supply. In order to ensure future water availability coordination with the nine upstream Nile riparian countries is essential. The Nile Basin Initiative provides a forum for such cooperation. In the 1990s the government launched three mega-projects to increase irrigation on "new lands". They are located in the Toshka area (the "New Valley"), on the fringe of the Western Nile Delta, and in the Northern Sinai. These projects all require substantial amounts of water that can only be mobilized through better irrigation efficiency on already irrigated "old lands" as well as the reuse of drainage water and treated wastewater.


Zagazig (Arabic: الزقازيق‎ az-Zaqāzīq Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [ez.zæʔæˈziːʔ], rural: [ez.zæɡæˈziːɡ], Coptic: ϫⲱⲕⲉϫⲓⲕ) is a city in Lower Egypt. Situated in the eastern part of the Nile delta, it is the capital of the governorate of Sharqia.

In 1999, its population was approximately 279,000, which increased to 529,100 in 2018. It is built on a branch of the Sweet Water Canal and on al-Muˤizz Canal (the ancient Tanaitic channel of the Nile), and is 47 miles by rail north-northeast of Cairo. Situated on the Nile Delta in the midst of a fertile district, Zagazig is a centre of the cotton and grain trade of Egypt. It has large cotton factories and used to have offices of numerous European merchants.

It is located on the Muweis Canal and is the chief hub of the corn and cotton trade. There is a museum of antiquities, the Sharkeya National Museum (sometimes called the Amed Orabi Museum, at Herriat Raznah) that contains many important archaeological exhibits (currently closed for restoration).Zagazig University, one of the largest universities in Egypt, is also located in the city, with colleges in different fields of science and arts. The Archaeological Museum of the University of Zagazig exhibits significant finds from the nearby sites, Bubastis (Tell Basta) and Kufur Nigm. Also there is a branch for Al-Azhar University, the largest Islamic university in the world.

Zagazig is the birthplace of famous Coptic Egyptian journalist, philosopher and social critic, Salama Moussa.

The most notable streets in Zagazig are Farouk St., Government St. and El Kawmia St.

Cities and ports
Marine life

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