In an article titled Why Suez Still Matters, Cook (2013) regards the Suez Canal as a feature with significant historical importance. To this end, Cook cites the canal’s existence over the last 150 years. In the current paper, the author analyses Cook’s sentiments by examining the canal with regards to its history and influence in the region and the world as a whole.
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Also, the author of this paper discusses the social, geographical, and cultural implications of the Suez Canal. At the end of this essay, the author highlights the benefits of the Suez Canal. The current paper is structured around one major hypothesis. To this end, the author of this paper believes that the Suez Canal is still relevant to Egypt and the rest of the world.
A Summary of Cook’s Sentiments in the Article Why Suez Still Matters
The increase in maritime transport in the 1800s necessitated the construction of the Suez Canal. The passage was constructed between 1859 and 1869 (Shakur, Mehanna & Hopkins, 2005). The canal was constructed to serve several purposes. The major purpose was to enhance the maritime movement between Europe and Asia. Before its construction, maritime vessels used to go around the African continent to reach their destination.
The detour was time-consuming and affected international trade negatively. One of the major benefits of this passage is associated with a reduced distance between Europe and Asia.
Maritime vessels no longer have to navigate their way around Africa. As a result, the author of this paper argues that the canal has historical importance in maritime transport. Cook (2013) highlights this importance by talking about the 150 years of continued maritime service with regards to this passage.
The author of this paper argues that the significance of the canal is not limited to the economic sphere. The Suez Canal has various social and political implications on Egypt and the world at large. The implications are evident in the concerns raised by analysts with regards to the current political instability in the region.
For example, Cook (2013) illustrates the recent turmoil in Egypt and how the changes in political power have strained relations between this Arab nation and other western nations.
The strained relationships and the power struggles; notwithstanding, the canal continues with its operations. Both parties (Egypt on the one hand and the western nations, on the other hand) understand the significance of this canal to leave it out of their diplomatic differences.
The canal is also geographically significant to the region and the world as a whole. For example, the passage occupies a conspicuous geographical location between the Mediterranean and the Red seas. Lerner-Seggev (1972) shares this sentiment by stating that the geographical implications of this canal cannot be downplayed.
The author of this paper argues that the canal has impacted the culture of the people residing in the region. Cook (2013) thinks that the canal gives the Egyptians a sense of national pride. The national pride is illustrated in the nationalization of the canal that took place upon the ouster of King Farouk.
Huber (2013) is of the view that the canal illustrates a tenacious historical existence of the people in the region. Also, it exposes the locals to foreign cultures as they come into contact with people from different parts of the world as they transit from one part of the globe to the other.
The author of this paper believes that there is a significant link between the canal and technological advancements in the region. Cook (2013) supports this opinion by citing some technological advances in the canal. A case in point is the booming maritime business.
The canal has attracted technological investment from logistical firms operating in the region. As a result of these technological investments, the Suez Canal will continue to be a bastion of logistics in the world. The technological advancements in the canal spill over to the rest of the region, making the passage an important source of technology.
The Benefits of the Suez Canal
The author of this paper argues that one of the primary benefits of this canal is associated with its historical background. It is a heritage site for Egyptians. In supporting this historical importance, Huber (2013) suggests that the canal has significantly contributed to developments in the regions around the Red and Mediterranean seas. Cook (2013) also supports this historical significance, arguing that the canal was built by Egyptians over one decade.
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Another remarkable aspect of this passage is the fact that several conflicts in the region are tied to its ownership. To further highlight this importance, political scientists try to understand the history of the Suez Canal in analyzing diplomatic ties in the region. For example, according to Cook (2013), the long-standing diplomatic ties between Egypt and America are largely tied to the canal.
The Suez Canal is also important in the maritime sector. Huber (2013) points out that globalization and international trade thrive on maritime shipping. The implication here is that people in the West will always want to trade with those in the East. The Suez Canal enhances this trade by reducing the distance between these two regions (Held & McGrew, 2007).
Before the construction of the canal, vessels were forced to navigate around the African continent. Based on this observation, the author of this paper argues that the relevance of the Suez Canal will persist as long as maritime trade remains an important aspect of globalization.
When it comes to navigation, sailors prefer a route that is safe at all times. Held and McGrew (2007) point out that the Suez Canal allows for the safe passage of vessels at all times. The safety of this route is the reason why Cook (2013) holds the opinion that the American military prefers it over other passages in the region. The passage has a low record of accidents compared to other maritime routes. Consequently, maritime traffic is attracted to the region.
In recent years, scholars have regarded the Suez Canal as an important area of study. Such scholars include Lerner-Seggev (1972), who conducted a study on Ostracoda species in the region. Lerner-Seggev discovered 13 different species of Ostracoda around this area.
To this end, the author of this paper argues that the Suez Canal is an important aspect of the academic world. As aforementioned, the region has a rich historical background. Historical scholars continue to be drawn to this region to conduct studies.
Cook (2013) highlights the recent political conflicts and subsequent power shifts in Egypt as possible threats to the relevance of the canal. However, the author of this paper argues that the Suez Canal has withstood bigger perils in the past.
The benefits associated with the canal cannot be wished away on the strength of a localized political conflict. The Suez Canal remains relevant in the current global matrix. The relevance of the canal will increase as a result of the increased globalization. As a result, the veracity of the hypothesis of this essay stands.
Cook, A. (2013). Why Suez still matters: The canal that holds the Unites States and Egypt together. Retrieved from http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140310/steven-a-cook/why-suez-still-matters
Held, D., & McGrew, A. (2007). Globalisation/anti-globalisation: Beyond the great divide. Polity Press: Cornwall.
Huber, V. (2013). Channelling mobilities: Migration and globalisation in the Suez Canal region and beyond, 1869-1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lerner-Seggev, R. (1972). Contributions to the knowledge of Suez Canal migration: Ostracoda of the Suez Canal. Israel Journal of Zoology, 21(3), 239-248.
Shakur, M., Mehanna, S., & Hopkins, N. (2005). War and forced migration in Egypt: The experience of evacuation from the Suez Canal cities (1967-1976). Arab Studies Quarterly, 27(3), 21-39.