Ahmed Zewail awarded Suez Canal Shield honor
Ahmed Zewail was given the Suez Canal Shield award during his visit to the Suez Canal Authority in Ismailia - Photo courtesy of Authority media office

CAIRO: Nobel Chemistry Laureate Ahmed Zewail Thursday was given the Suez Canal Shield award during his visit to the Suez Canal Authority in Ismailia.

Accompanied by a scientific delegation, Zewail paid a visit to the Suez Canal to review what his Zewail City for Science and Technology could provide for the two ongoing Suez Canal projects—the Suez Canal Development project and the Suez Canal expansion.

Before granting Zewail the honorary shield, Suez Canal Authority chief Mohab Mamish updated Zewail and his delegation on the latest developments on the projects and presented a documentary on them.

Egypt aims to dig a new 72-kilometer canal parallel to the current Suez Canal to facilitate increased shipping and traffic revenue. The development project aims to establish industrial cities along the two passages.

Mamish noted that the authority dredges begun removing mud in the new passage of the canal 36 days after launching the project on July 26.

“It is Egyptian history and no Egyptian opposes such great projects,” said Zewail in a press conference for his tour.

“There is a big difference between digging the new and old passages, as more than a million Egyptians—25 percent of Egyptians at that time—participated in digging the old canal, but today knowledge and science do the same job without causing death to any worker, unlike in the past,” Zewail added.

He noted that Ismailia governor Ahmed al-Qasas called for cooperation between the governorate’s scientific centers and Zewail City. Zewail said studies on such cooperation will be conducted.

At the end of his visit to the Suez Canal, Zewail wrote in the visitor’s book: “It is my pleasure to visit the Suez Canal Authority on a historic day when the Egyptian people unite to build a new civilization and future. May God be with you to serve Egypt and the whole of humanity.”

According to information presented by the Army Corps of Engineers’ Gen. Kamel al-Wazeer during Zewail’s tour, 40 million cubic meters of sand have been lifted from the new canal branch so far.

Wazeer added that there are 15,000 workers from 66 contracting companies working to dig the new waterway.

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