Port Said

Port Said is situated around 200km north of Cairo and is an entrance to the world-famous Suez Canal.  It was originally a working camp founded in 1859 by Said Pasha to house men working on the Canal. By the late 19th century, the number of inhabitants in the city was around 500,000.

It used to be the main commercial port for the country when it had the only free-zone area in Egypt In recent years it has suffered from a dramatic financial recession, with the most commercial location remaining in Palestine Street.

The main sights are the National Museum and the Military Museum. Across the canal from Port Said is Port Fouad, which is famous for its gardens and natural scenes.

Many may not know that the USA's very own Statue of Liberty was originally designed to be placed not in New York but in Port Said. The ancient towering Pharaonic sculptures at Abu Simbel temple in Luxor were in fact an inspiration for Auguste Bartholdi, the statue's designer who initially had the idea of Egypt carrying the light of Asia rather than the USA's Lady of Liberty. 

The city's main club is Al-Masry, which was founded in 1920 and enjoys the wild and passionate support of most of Port-Said's followers. Just like the majority of football clubs in Egypt it was founded for patriotic reasons mainly to fight colonists.  The name of the club, which means ‘The Egyptian', was chosen after a famous political song by Sayed Darweesh, and the green colours of the team actually originated from the old Egyptian flag.

Other clubs like El Marrikh and Port-Fouad play in lower divisions. The city's only domestic title was Al Masry's Egyptian Cup in 1998. The city's greatest all-time players include El Dozwe, Shaheen, Mohsen Saleh, Tarek Soliman and Mohamed Shawky.