Around the World in Eight Days – (Day 1: Suez)

Image kindly provided by Roke (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Jules Verne’s adventure story was published in 1873. Phileas Fogg of London and his French valet, Passepartout, attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager (roughly £2.25 million today) set by his friends at the Reform Club.

While we might have 80 days ahead of us in lock-down with the CoVid-19 coronavirus, this doesn’t mean we can’t travel – the internet at least.

The first major stop in Fogg’s journey was Suez, a seaport city in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north coast of the Gulf of Suez (a branch of the Red Sea), near the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, having the same boundaries as Suez Governorate. It has three harbours, Adabiya, Ain Sokhna and Port Tawfiq, and extensive port facilities. Together they form a metropolitan area.

Railway lines and highways connect the city with Cairo, Port Said, and Ismailia. Suez has a petrochemical plant, and its oil refineries have pipelines carrying the finished product to Cairo, in the flag of the governorate: the blue background refer to the sea, the gear refer to the fact that Suez an industrial governorate, and the flame refer to the petroleum firms in it. [Source: Wikipedia]

Sadly, broadcasting in Egypt is strictly controlled by the state. There are a few international stations that transmit to Cairo from Cyprus – the most obvious of which is Voice of America…  Of course, they too are state-controlled!  VoA recently rebranded its services for a younger audience – they are known as Radio Sawa.  To get a feel for what locals might listen to, why not enjoy a break from London (and the BBC) and listen to Radio Sawa for a day?  (

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