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Egypt’s first female ship captain falsely accused of blocking Suez Canal

Egypt’s first female ship captain falsely accused of blocking Suez Canal

Egypt’s captain Marwa Elselehdar was miles away from canal when accident took place

Egypt’s first female ship’s captain says she became the victim of a fake news campaign blaming her for grounding the Ever Given container ship in the Suez Canal when she was on a ship that was hundreds of miles away.

Marwa Elselehdar was working as a first mate in command of the Aida IV in Alexandria when the 220,000-ton Ever Given got stuck, blocking one of the world’s busiest shipping routes for six days.

“I was shocked,” Elselehdar told BBC. “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 said.

The 29-year-old is a celebrated figure in Egypt as he became both the youngest and the first female Egyptian captain to navigate the newly-expanded Suez Canal in 2015. She was also honored by the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. 

Women only represent 2 per cent of the world’s seafarers, according to the International Maritime Organization.

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