Port of Damietta
Review and History

The Port of Damietta is an ancient city that lies on the east bank of the Damietta branch of the Nile River in Egypt. The Port of Damietta is about 40 nautical miles (56 kilometers or 35 miles) northwest of Port Said and about 112 nautical miles (184 kilometers or 114 miles) east-northeast of the Port of Alexandria. When the Mahmudiyyah Canal was built in 1819, much of the Port of Damietta's trade was diverted to Alexandria. Almost 77 thousand people live in the city and Port of Damietta.

The Port of Damietta is the capital of the Damietta Governate of Egypt, reported to be the most wealthy governate in the country. In modern days, the channel was dredged and port facilities were upgraded so that the Port of Damietta could relieve maritime congestion in Alexandria. Major industries in the Port of Damietta include the manufacture of clothing and furniture, leather working, fishing, and flour milling.

Port History

The Port of Damietta was called Tamiat when it was part of Ancient Egypt. During Pharaonic times, the Port of Damietta was Upper Egypt's 17th province. The Port of Damietta fell under the rule of Greece and the Ptolemies when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 BC. In 30 BC, the Romans assumed rule of Egypt and the Port of Damietta.

The Port of Damietta was important to the Romans because its agriculture provided them with many important crops. Roman taxes led to many revolts in the Port of Damietta. During the reign of Constantine, many Christian churches were built in the Port of Damietta.

The Arabs took over the Port of Damietta in the 7th Century AD. The Port of Damietta's residents began to convert to Islam and to learn the Arabic language. The Muslim Abbasid Empire ruled the Port of Damietta until about 1000 AD. During their rule, the Port of Damietta was both a maritime commercial center and a naval base. In 853, the Port of Damietta was attacked by the Byzantine Empire who sacked the city.

During the period of the Christian Crusades, the Port of Damietta was again an important city. In 1169, vessels from the Kingdom of Jerusalem attacked the port but were defeated by the great Saladin. During the 1217 Fifth Crusade, the Port of Damietta was the focus of Crusader attacks, as they believed they could control Egypt and the Nile if they controlled the Port of Damietta. In 1219, Frisian crusaders besieged the Port of Damietta, devastating the population. Francis of Assisi came to negotiate with the Muslim ruler of the Port of Damietta. When the Crusaders tried to march to Cairo from the Port of Damietta in 1221, they were destroyed by the combined Muslim defenders and the harsh climate.

During the 7th Crusade, Louis IX of France and his fleet easily captured the fort at the Port of Damietta and held it for a time. Recognizing the Port of Damietta's importance to the Crusaders, the Mamluk Sultan Baibars assaulted, destroyed, and rebuilt the city. The Baibars built fortifications at the Port of Damietta in the 1260s, making it impossible for ships to move into the Nile.

Today, a canal connects the Port of Damietta to the Nile, making it an important maritime center where containers make up much of the cargo volume. The Port of Damietta now contains a liquefied natural gas plant, and a methanol plant produces 1.3 million tons per year that reaches the global methanol market. The Port of Damietta is also a busy fishing port.

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