Just last week the eyes of the world were drawn towards the Suez Canal as a massive container ship got lodged between two banks - blocking the canal and putting a pause on countless trade.
The price of the blockage is astronomical. Apparently, the hold up of trade was worth around $10 billion.
Now, Egypt's first female ship captain, Marwa Elselehdar, has spoken out about being blamed for blocking the Suez Canal.
It all began on March 23.
When a golden class container ship, the Ever Given, accidentally grounded.
Strong winds diverted the course of the ship.
And the 1,300ft vessel got stuck.
Completely blocking the Suez Canal.
And in case you didn't know, the Suez Canal is one of the most important trade routes in the entire world...
For six days the canal was completely blocked.
During the six days the Ever Given remained stuck in the Suez Canal, more than 400 ships were stranded in one of the world's busiest waterways. By Saturday, the backlog of ships waiting to cross through the canal had been cleared. https://t.co/pJpYDUPURA— NPR (@NPR) April 3, 2021
And over 300 ships were queuing behind the ship waiting to get through.
As you can probably imagine...
The Suez Canal rn pic.twitter.com/vpM7LAUEmN— Biscuits The Cat (@BiscuitsTheCat) April 4, 2021
The price the blockage caused is completely astronomical...
The way in which Ever Given was blocked made it incredibly difficult to get out.
Wind ... or worse: was pilot error to blame for the Suez blockage? https://t.co/MVKcmLUPQh— The Guardian (@guardian) April 3, 2021
And also, Ever Given weighed around a whopping 200,000 tonnes... Yeah.
But eventually, the monstrous ship was freed.
What helped workers get the Ever Given out of the Suez Canal more than any machine: the moon and high tide pic.twitter.com/KpyYBlauBs— Insider News (@InsiderNews) April 2, 2021
After six full days of being lodged in the canal.
A crew of people from the Suez Canal Authority in Egypt and Dutch salvage firm Boskalis worked tirelessly on the ship.
Officials in Egypt say a traffic jam of cargo ships in the Suez Canal has been cleared. Over 420 ships were delayed after the Ever Given container vessel ran aground in the waterway https://t.co/pEm0R6ussG— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 3, 2021
And finally, on March 29th, the ship was freed.
After Ever Given was freed, the CEO of Boskalis, Peter Berdowski, said:
Shortly following the grounding of the Ever Given we were requested through SMIT Salvage to provide assistance with the salvage operation.
I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given on 29 March at 15:05 hrs local time, thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again.
Once free the hefty queue of ships was able to get moving again.
And trade beween Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, was able to resume through the Suez Canal.
So where does Marwa Elselehdar come into this...
Well, Marwa Elselehdar is Egypt's first female ship captain.
And did she have anything to do with the Suez Canal blockage?
No, absolutely not. Nothing at all...
But the internet doesn't necessarily care for facts these days.
Marwa Elselehdar: 'I was blamed for blocking the Suez Canal' https://t.co/rUmo1mQInf— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 3, 2021
And a fake headline was widely shared online claiming that Marwa was to blame for the blockage.
In fact, Marwa was hundreds of miles away when the blockage took place.
Men found a way to blame a woman -- Egypt's first female ship captain, working hundreds of miles away in Alexandria -- for the Suez Canal being blocked. 🙄— Heidi Moore: April 9 boycott on tw*tt*r harassment (@moorehn) April 4, 2021
So you can probably imagine how surprised she was to see she was being blamed for the blockage...
Speaking recently to the BBC, Marwa explained:
NO! She is not the canal blocking Ever Given's captain.— @BizColombo (@BizColombo) April 4, 2021
BUT YES! She is a ship's captain from Egypt
She is, Marwa Elselehdar (29), Egypt's first female ship's captain pic.twitter.com/7agA37aALS
I felt that I might be targeted maybe because I'm a successful female in this field or because I'm Egyptian, but I'm not sure.
She also opened up about sexism saying:
Egypt's first female ship's captain.— UNIMEX.org (@Unimex18) April 4, 2021
Marwa Elselehdar: 'I was blamed for blocking the Suez Canal' At the time of the Suez blockage, Ms Elselehdar was working as a first mate, in command of the Aida IV, hundreds of miles away in Alexandria.https://t.co/TUptjPVBF8 pic.twitter.com/3e6WFqP1uz
People in our society still don't accept the idea of girls working in the sea away from their families for a long time.
Marwa Elselehdar says she was working on the Aida IV, hundreds of miles away in Alexandria when she realized online rumors were blaming her for the mishap. https://t.co/8Wnaes03pc— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 4, 2021
But when you do what you love, it is not necessary for you to seek the approval of everyone.
When will women finally be treated with equality?
New: I spoke with Marwa Elselehdar - Egypt's first female ship's captain - who was falsely blamed for blocking the Suez Canal last month.— Josh Cheetham (@joshcheetham) April 4, 2021
#1 most read on the BBC News website this morning 🥳
Keep up the good work Marwa!
Don't believe everything you read on the internet folks.
Especially if you're taking your news from memes and fake headlines...