Egypt’s new Suez Crisis

The violent epicenter of protests in Egypt is an industrial city few outsiders know much about: the seaport town of Suez, which sits astride the Suez Canal as it opens southward into the Red Sea. Suez has seen its share of blood over the years. In 1967, the coastal town was nearly wiped out during ...

Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images
Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images
Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

The violent epicenter of protests in Egypt is an industrial city few outsiders know much about: the seaport town of Suez, which sits astride the Suez Canal as it opens southward into the Red Sea.

Suez has seen its share of blood over the years. In 1967, the coastal town was nearly wiped out during the Six Day War with Israel and thereafter was the scene of sporadic guerrilla fighting between the two sides. The canal remained closed for nearly eight years, reopening only in 1975.

In recent years, Suez has seen growing prosperity, sending billions in tax revenue from its factories and workers to the government in Cairo. But as in the rest of Egypt, that prosperity hasn't been widely shared, leading to the same sort of dashed hopes that proved so explosive in Tunisia.

The violent epicenter of protests in Egypt is an industrial city few outsiders know much about: the seaport town of Suez, which sits astride the Suez Canal as it opens southward into the Red Sea.

Suez has seen its share of blood over the years. In 1967, the coastal town was nearly wiped out during the Six Day War with Israel and thereafter was the scene of sporadic guerrilla fighting between the two sides. The canal remained closed for nearly eight years, reopening only in 1975.

In recent years, Suez has seen growing prosperity, sending billions in tax revenue from its factories and workers to the government in Cairo. But as in the rest of Egypt, that prosperity hasn’t been widely shared, leading to the same sort of dashed hopes that proved so explosive in Tunisia.

This week, Suez erupted in anger as protesters took to the streets to complain about economic conditions and their lack of freedom under Hosni Mubarak’s government. It got ugly fast, with several deaths and reports of demonstrators hurling Molotov cocktails in response to a harsh police crackdown. (To get a feel for the chaos, check out journalist Ian Lee’s gripping tweets from earlier today.) 

Photographs of the mayhem are now coming out. Here are a few of the latest:

More from Foreign Policy

A closeup of Russian President Vladimir Putin
A closeup of Russian President Vladimir Putin

What Russia’s Elites Think of Putin Now

The president successfully preserved the status quo for two decades. Suddenly, he’s turned into a destroyer.

A member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police is seen in front of an electoral poster of President Emmerson Mnangagwa
A member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police is seen in front of an electoral poster of President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Cafe Meeting Turns Into Tense Car Chase for U.S. Senate Aides in Zimbabwe

Leading lawmaker calls on Biden to address Zimbabwe’s “dire” authoritarian turn after the incident.

Steam rises from cooling towers at the Niederaussem coal-fired power plant during the coronavirus pandemic near Bergheim, Germany, on Feb. 11, 2021.
Steam rises from cooling towers at the Niederaussem coal-fired power plant during the coronavirus pandemic near Bergheim, Germany, on Feb. 11, 2021.

Putin’s Energy War Is Crushing Europe

The big question is whether it ends up undermining support for Ukraine.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres attends a press conference.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres attends a press conference.

A Crisis of Faith Shakes the United Nations in Its Big Week

From its failure to stop Russia’s war in Ukraine to its inaction on Myanmar and climate change, the institution is under fire from all sides.