New canal finished on time
Egypt’s new Suez Canal, a 72-kilometer stretch running parallel to the original waterway, was completed on schedule, canal authority head Mohab Mameesh announced July 29. Mameesh compared the achievement to the digging of the first canal in the 1800s, which for the first time enabled ships to travel from Europe to Asia without having to navigate all the way around the African continent. Mameesh said a trial run with a small flotilla of cargo ships traversing the new canal was completed July 25, and he equated their successful passage with the “passing of the nation from darkness to light,” according to independent news website Mada Masr. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi unveiled the project a year ago almost to the day, on Aug. 5, 2014, and ordered the project’s original timeline of three years sped up to just one. Although the accelerated schedule necessitated the hiring of foreign dredging firms in addition to Egyptian companies, work has been completed in time for a gala opening on Aug. 6. Mameesh promised the event would be “dazzling.” announced that tourism was up 16.5 percent year-on-year in May, with 894,600 foreign visitors arriving during the month. Despite the annual increase, however, May numbers were below those of April, which saw 923,900 tourist arrivals. investors by giving better value for the dollar. Many economists believe the pound is still overvalued and anticipate it will ultimately depreciate to at least LE 8 to the dollar. Although not officially pegged to the U.S. currency, the pound generally tracks its movements. As the dollar has strengthened during the past year, the pound has risen with it, causing it to outperform currencies like the euro— the currency of the European Union, Egypt’s biggest trading partner.