LAND AND WATER
IN my visit to the Zeidab plantation something of the importance of the irrigation question, which is the question of questions for Egypt at all times, was borne in upon me. As you descend the course of the Nile you see this more and more at each stage, until the Delta itself is reached. And if you have come from the Sudan, you are also in a position to grasp the great cardinal truth that the key to the water-gates of Egypt is in this territory. Whoso controls the Sudan has the power to affect intimately the vital destinies of Egypt, to make it rich and prosperous, or to reduce it to scarcity and, under certain conditions, to starvation. All this on account of the geography and the hydrography of the Nile, which is the most wonderful river in the world, regulated by a natural mechanism unequalled in its delicacy and grandeur. And the power-sources and main working stations of this magnificent machinery are in the Sudan. Egypt lives on and by the results.
Four hundred and fifty years B.C. Herodotus said that Egypt was the Nile and the Nile was Egypt. Twentythree centuries later a great English engineer put the same thought into different words. ' Egypt,' says Sir