Finally, some good new from the Middle East! While ISIS may continue to ravage parts of Northern Iraq, Syria and Tunisian beach resorts, the remaining 95% of Arab-speaking lands are actually enjoying fairly robust economic times. And nowhere was this more apparent than in Egypt. In fact, last Thursday was declared a National Holiday to celebrate an event 146 years in the making: The Grand Opening of the Second Suez Canal.
The old adage "The More Things Change.. The More They Stay The Same" is true. Even today, 93% of the world's trade is carried over oceans and seas, and the majority still goes from Asia to Europe. Only the cargo has changed. iPads and Smart-Phones have replaced spices and tea. Yet the routes are exactly the same and the Suez has been crowded for 150 years. Ships still queue up on both ends of the Suez Canal, waiting to pass through. Since the French canal isn't very wide, only one craft can travel in one direction. Once in, it's also slow going. Speeds average 7 KMP, as it takes 21 hours to sail 160 kilometers.