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Suez(so͞oĕz`), city (1996 pop. 417,610), NE Egypt, at the northern end of the Gulf of Suez and at the southern terminus of the Suez Canal. An important port with extensive facilities, it is also a refueling station, a holding area for ships entering the canal, and a center for the storage and refining of oil. Petroleum products, paper, and fertilizers are major manufactures. Suez is linked by rail with Ismailia and Cairo; oil is conveyed by pipelines to Cairo and Alexandria. The city is also a departure point for pilgrims on their way to Mecca.
Although the site of the city was occupied in antiquity, Suez was little more than a small village throughout most of its history. In the 16th cent. it became a naval and trading station under the Ottoman Turks. After the completion (1869) of the Suez Canal the city became a major port. Its economy suffered during the periods that the canal was closed following the Arab-Iraeli Wars. Suez became a tax-free industrial zone after the canal permanently reopened in 1975.
(also As Suways), a city in northeastern Egypt and capital of the province of Suez. Population, 315,000 (1970, estimate). Suez is a port on the Suez Canal at the entrance to the Red Sea. A junction of railroad lines, vehicular roads, and air routes, the city is an important transportation and industrial center. It has oil-refining and petrochemical industries.
A navigation canal was built near Suez, linking the Nile with the Red Sea, in the second millennium B.C. It was filled in A.D. 776. In ancient times, Suez, then the ancient Greek settlement of Clysma, was known as a trade center, but it lost its importance during the Middle Ages. The revival of Suez coincides with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. During the Israeli aggression of 1967 and military actions in the Near East in October 1973, Suez suffered severe destruction. Rebuilding was begun in 1974.