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@ Suez Canal

Probably it was the time when I entered a primary school, I still remember that I read it in the then monthly magazine "Boy," we didn't have a weekly magazine for a child those days, the story of Lesseps who constructed the Suez Canal. I was astonished, rather than impressed, at the story. Since that time on, I have been longing for seeing the Suez Canal even once. By the way, the "Atom -Astro Boy-" of Osamu Tezuka was published in the "Boy."

As I have been working in Cairo nearly for one year, I could have visited the Suez Canal, however I couldn't because of the incredible business. Just the distance of 3 hour return drive from Cairo by car.

I could go there if I should have done so, however I couldn't meet it, I think. Even I intuitionally felt so, I didn't go, I think.

@

By a small chance I could find a one-day free time, the other day, I could meet the Suez Canal at last.

I couldn't find a chance to actually visit there, but even before visiting there, I had been thinking about where would be the best for me to meet the Suez Canal first. Suez, the Red sea side, the origin of the name of the Suez Canal, or Port Said, the Mediterranean Sea, where the canal opening ceremony was gloriously held. The Suez Canal for me, from my childhood on, had always been the combination of "sand," "water," "a big ship" and 'quietness," hence I finally decided to go to Ismailia which located almost the middle of the Suez Canal.

Ismailia is a town named after the Khedive Ismail, who was the client of the Suez Canal Construction Project, and a farming area with a plenty of green supported by canals from the Nile River, one of the special products is mango. During the construction time of the Canal, Lesseps also supervised the construction work placing his base in Ismailia.

After asking a lot of persons, I finally could find out the place which provided the quartet-set of "sand + water + a big ship + quietness."

There was a ferry port crossing over the Suez Canal, hence I could enjoy the supreme experience that I could actually go back and forth over the Suez Canal on a ship, although a ferry boat!

The scene in which a gigantic ship silently advanced on rich water provided in deserts was the one which I kept depicting in my brain since my child age, and it appeared before me just as it was. It was the silent but highest emotional time.

I have completely been involved the project which aims to develop one of the world-top-class museum, suitable for the opening of the 21st century, near the pyramids in Giza, however I felt that the simple but clear existence of the Suez Canal surpassed the pyramids and the sphinx furthermore.

I have to elaborate this matter thoroughly even for realising the world-top-class museum, although it may not make any primary sense to compare them.

The restaurant 'George' which the 'lonely planet' introduced as the 'best restaurant in Ismailia' was very much appreciated in both the taste and mood. They said that they had never changed their menu and interior after their opening in 1950.

The attached photo is a big ship going away on the water amidst the sand quietly. It looks small but the ship is a class of tens of thousands tonnes.

i10/7/2006j
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