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  • Writer's picture Ahmed Elkhouly

The City of Strangers..

If I had known what I would encounter during my day before heading out, the sounds, the scents and what conversations. I think today was the hardest. A basic sense of ambiguity was causing doubt and uncertainty. I can’t control the outcome, success and failure are uncontrollable products of something that I can control, which is doing my best, so I just let go.

Suez is a city that has contributed to writing history with its fair share or wars, invasions, economic importance and resilience. A city that has witnessed destruction a few times yet rebuilt by its people and still stands as proof of its past. This is history, but a small reason the legendary canal that links both the Mediterranean and Red Sea together was named the Suez Canal. History aside this city's present is a healthy guide for other Egyptian cities that should wisely follow along their footsteps.

Finding people whose ancestors date back to Suez is rare; mostly everyone living in Suez is a first or second generation descendent from an immigrant that left their home town somewhere in Egypt to work and eventually live in Suez. "The City of Strangers" that's what they call it and what's even more interesting, is the city's kindness to strangers; those who come to Suez never leave. They built homes in Suez, had families, and their kids made families and to them their hometowns are places where their extended families live.

There is nothing fancy about Suez, it looks just like most Egyptian cities, yet they have a strong card up their sleeve. Most people here are both socially and financially alike which is a huge achievement. They tend to all have decent jobs, good houses, and earn enough to make a good living, but there is a secret to this unusual phenomenon. Its a healthy mixture of having a pretty low population count of almost 750,000, along with a well developed extended area with enough housing units to cover their demand and a lot to spare. Finally the abundance of factories, government institutes and major industries that consume all the labour force that Suez has to offer.

Suez seems to not only have an abundance of labour demanding industries, but also their small population is challenged by the large number of crows wandering the streets- the smartest and most cunning of birds are generally considered as an omen of bad luck and misfortune. To no surprise a historical city like Suez must include one of the most historical birds in human history, as in the story of Cain and Abel, the crow was a messenger sent to Cain to teach him the ways of burying the dead.


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