The captain was miles away when news broke that a large cargo ship was stranded in the Suez Canal. Still, he was blamed on social media for the incident.
Egypt’s first female captain, Marwa Elseldar, 29, is accused of writing when the giant cargo ship “Ever Given” sank in the Suez Canal BBC.
The 29-year-old said he was miles away. She was aboard the ship “Ida IV” from Alexandria, Egypt, when she discovered rumors that she was the one who had sunk the ship.
“I was shocked,” Elseldar told the BBC.
The rumors are said to have started when the film, which was handled with a fake news headline, started spreading. This photo appeared from an article published by the Arab News claiming that the young captain was involved in the photo.
In a short time, it was shared by thousands on both Twitter and Facebook.
Simple goal in a male dominated business
In addition to the manipulated image, several fake Twitter profiles were created in Elselare’s name. There, too, she was blamed for the incident.
The 29-year-old tells the BBC it is not yet known who first started the rumors. However, in an environment where men have dominated for a long time, she believes it has something to do with her status as a successful female captain. Numbers from International Maritime Organization (IMO) Two percent of the world’s naval team are women.
– I think it could have been an easy target because I’m successful in this business and a woman, or because I’m Egyptian, but I’m not sure, he says.
“Ever Given” is completely torn – the Suez Canal opens
First female captain in Egypt
When Elseldar first applied to the Arab Academy of Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), initially women were not allowed to apply. However, then-President Hosni Mubarak issued a 29-year-old request for captain training.
Thus, the BBC writes that El Zeldar became the first Egyptian to leave the academy as captain.
“People in the community here still don’t accept the notion that little girls work at sea and stay away from home and family for long,” the captain says.
Already as a student, Elseldar was aware of the challenges as a woman in a historically male-dominated environment.
– It’s only older men with different mentalities, so it’s challenging to find like – minded people, he tells the channel.
– It’s hard to stand alone without letting it affect my mental health.
After graduating from Elseldar, he became the first companion on the “Ida IV” boat. Thus in 2015 she became the first and youngest Egyptian woman to carry a boat across the Suez Canal.
On Women’s Day 2017, she was honored by President Abdel Fattah L-CC for leading a female captaincy.