Aswan-- On 15 January 1971, Egypt celebrated the completion of the High Dam, whose funding was the center of a Cold War dispute that led to the 1956 Suez War. Located on the Upper Nile, around 1000km downstream from Cairo, the gigantic mountain of concrete and steel is among the 20th century's most elaborate engineering work. Aswan High Dam on the Nile River is located at the north end of Lake Nasser.
The construction of the High Dam began in 1960, and it was officially inaugurated ten years later, at a cost of US$1 billion, much of which was provided by the former Soviet Union. The dam stores 160 billion cubic meters of water, and the reservoir behind it, named Lake Nasser, stretches some 350km into Egypt and 150km into Sudan. It is a symbol for Egyptians patience and challenge.
The Suez Crisis began on 26 July 1956 when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal. The move was in response to a decision by the United States and Britain to withdraw finance for the Aswan High Dam - a massive project to bring water to the Nile valley and electricity to develop Egypt's industry - because of Egypt's political and military ties to the Soviet Union.