Egypt’s female shipmaster blamed for Suez Canal blockage

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Marwa Elselehdar, the first female shipmaster in Egypt who was working as a first mate in command on a ship hundreds of miles away in Alexandria at the time of the Suez Canal blockage is being blamed by rumours for the blockage.


The Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal bringing the large population of the world’s shipping to a halt. The ship was dislodged last week and the backlog of ships got cleared.
The 29 year old Marwa found herself in the centre of an online conspiracy that she was the cause of the blockage. These rumours were reportedly spurred on by screenshots of fake news headlines showing that she was involved in the incident. Marwa said that she was unaware of who started the rumour and the reason behind it. However, she suspects that she may be targeted either because she was a successful woman in the field or because she was an Egyptian. She also disclosed about the sexism she endured ever since she joined the merchant navy and became one of the first women to enrol at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport. She said that it was extremely challenging to get along with all older men overboard without being able to find like-minded people to communicate with. She told the BBC that she was concerned about how the rumours about the Suez Canal would affect her work.

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