Port Said

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Port Said

Port Said (sīd, sād, säēd´) or Bur Said (bŏŏr), city (1986 pop. 469,533), NE Egypt, a port on the Mediterranean Sea at the entrance to the Suez Canal. It is a fueling point for ships using the canal and is the site of the main workshops of the canal administration. Salt is produced in Port Said by evaporating seawater, and there is a fishing industry. The construction of Aswan High Dam in the 1960s cut off the flow of nutrients into the Mediterranean Sea from the delta. This resulted in a lack of food for the sardines that were the basis of the Port Said fishing industry, which has since virtually disappeared. The city is a principal port for steamer service on the Nile. Situated on a narrow peninsula between Lake Manzala and the sea, Port Said was founded in 1859 by the builders of the Suez Canal and named for Said Pasha, then khedive of Egypt. In 1904 a railroad to Cairo was completed. In 1956, French and British paratroops landed at Port Said during the Suez campaign. Port Said came under Israeli attack during the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli Wars. Its harbor was closed to shipping from 1967 to 1975. The city was refurbished in the mid-1970s. New housing was built and a tax-free industrial zone was instituted. There are now electric generation plants and computer and technical manufacturing. The railroad was expanded to link Port Said with other important cities.

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