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Egypt’s First Female Shipmaster Participates In New Suez Canal Celebrations

Egypt’s First Female Shipmaster Participates In New Suez Canal Celebrations

Marwa el-Slehdar on board of Aida 4
Marwa el-Slehdar on board of Aida 4

Amid a wave of rising anticipation for Egypt’s multi-billion grand project opening, Egypt’s first and youngest female shipmaster, Marwa el-Slehdar, has proudly announced her participation in the new Suez Canal opening on Thursday, reported state-owned Al-Ahram.

“Even though I have been dreaming of taking part in the [New Suez Canal] opening ceremony, I never thought the dream would come true,” says Slehdar. “I was overjoyed when I learned that I would be on deck of ‘Aida 4’ as a second naval officer, making me the youngest and first Egyptian and Arab shipmaster to take part in a celebration that the whole world will be watching.”

Marwa el-Slehdar,24, is Egypt's first and youngest shipmaster
Marwa el-Slehdar,24, is Egypt’s first and youngest shipmaster

Marwa el-Slehdar, 24, is a graduate of the 73rd class of the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AAST) in the coastal city Alexandria, and is regarded the first Egyptian woman to study marine navigation at AAST.

Slehdary shared in an interview on the TV show, Masr Elnahrda (Egypt Today) that although the department only saw male applicants, there was no rule against the application of girls. However, after a female student from Djibouti was admitted into the program on a scholarship, Slehdar took the daring initiative, and approached the academy board, requesting to be transferred to the highly demanding department.

Nevertheless, her family’s support was a great motive for her not only to join the male-dominated field, but to excel at it as well.

Slehdar is overjoyed and proud about taking part in the new Suez Canal celebrations as a crew member of Aida 4
Slehdar is overjoyed and proud about taking part in the new Suez Canal celebrations as a crew member of Aida 4

Three years after her graduation, Slehdar has found a new family away from home on deck of the ships she serves on. “When I was informed of being accepted as part of the Aida 4 crew, I was both happy and afraid. But when I stepped on the ship, Captain Abdelhamid el-Qady, master of Aida 4, was very welcoming which washed away my fear. I soon blended in with the crew, and felt like they were my family.”

“When we sailed towards the new Suez Canal, I knew it was a grand project, but I hadn’t realized until [I saw it for myself] that we are before a unique event,” Slehdar added, expressing how proud she is of Egyptians who succeeded at defying many challenges in a single year to bring forth a grand project as such.

On July 25, less than two weeks prior to the official inauguration of the new Suez Canal, the new waterway saw the passage of three container ships as a test-run.

Under the patronage of the Egyptian army and president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the new waterway, an $US 8 billion mega-project that has been under construction since August 2014, is scheduled to be formally opened on August 6.

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  • EBI

    Dariush
    The art of Iranian Engineers in history was famous and the inheritances of Iranian, prove that
    The Importance matter that I want to say, is about Suez canal in Egypt. Dariush the Great ordered to his engineers (Artakhe : Persian Engineer) to build the Suez Canal. Dariush inaugurated the Suez Canal in spring of 497 B.C
    This canal connected the Mediterranean sea and Nile river
    Now only 3 inscriptions are available about this wonderful work from Iranian but may be they were more than this number
    Great Dariush was 53 years old when he inaugurated the Suez Canal and may be he was in the best age of his Imperial. We understand this point when read his inscriptions
    Let’s read his inscription
    Dariush
    The Great Shah (Shah in Persian : King), The King of Kings, The King of the Lands, King in this great land, son of Achaemenid Vishtasp
    Ahura Mazda is the great god, that created the sky, that created this land, that created the Human, that created the joy for Humans, that made Dariush the king, that offer this great Imperial to Dariush, With good Horses, with good peoples
    I am Dariush, the Great King, King of Kings (Persian : Shahe Shahan), King of the lands with various peoples, king in this great , wide and boundless land, the son of Achaemenid Vishtasp
    King Dariush said, I am Persian, I opened the Egypt from Pars(Iran), I commanded to make this canal from Nile River that is in Egypt, that this river goes to Persian Gulf, so this flood-channel established, as I commanded and ships in this canal from Pars went to Egypt, as I wanted
    After this, I must say a point about Horses in Iran. Always Iran has best generation of horses and Iranian traveled with these horses. Because of this, Horses are very important in Iran
    In Hieroglyph inscription, Dariush speaks about many old kings of Iran and Egypt. Kurosh was one of the kings that Dariush speaks about him. Mention the kings of defeated nations are very unique, gentlemanly and exceptional work in ancient age, even in this world that we live in

  • Aelialicinia

    Bravo!

  • kåre jakobsen

    Brilliant, more women into labourmarket. Good for absolutely all, individuals and country

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