The Suez Canal is the most vital waterways for international trade, the narrow channel of water connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea. Passing through Egypt and separating the landmasses of Africa and Asia.
Before it’s operations from 1869 ships had to navigate go across South to Africa then north towards Europe.
Between 1967–1975, the canal was packed.
Egypt and Israel, the two ends of the canal, did not have cordial history. In 1967, the passive enmity grew into a fully-declared war. On June 5, 1967, unbeknownst to the war brewing, 15 ships entered the canal on a 12-hour journey to cross through. The chunk of the canal got littered by the debris of the war, sunken ships and mines, some intentionally put by Egypt to blockade the Israeli economy, some just collateral damage.
Then, the Egyptian government ordered a lockdown of the canal, marooning the fifteen ships from various countries to be halted where they were. Israel won the 6-day war but the new border was the Suez Canal itself. The other cargo ships took the longer route across Africa, making world trade and economy suffer tremendously by the longer commute.
Then, a second war broke out in 1973. Both sides incurred huge losses (human casualties and economic) and finally admitted to a ceasefire. The troops blocking entry and exit of the canal receded. The debris filled in the canal as blockage took two years to clear. Then, on June 5, 1975, exactly on the day of the initial fateful journey, the Suez Canal was reopened.
Now after the giant ship called Ever Given became wedged in the canal, blocking all traffic ahead and behind, experts are hopeful for the blockade to not last for eight years.