Who is Marwa Elselehdar?
Marwa Elselehdar is the first Egyptian female ship captain. She works at the Arab Academy as the Business Development Coordinator. Elselehdar’s family has been her greatest pillars, as they support her through her career.
Marwa Elselehdar’s age is 30 years.
Marwa Elselehdar is taking her final exam in April 2021 to achieve the rank of captain. Marwa acquired her MBA degree from the Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2017. Marwa worked at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport as Marine Officer from 2013 to 2018.
It is unclear if Marwa Elselehdar is married and has a husband. Marwa rarely uploads pictures of her husband or boyfriend on her Instagram account.
She became Egypt’s first female ship captain when she captained the first vessel through the expanded Suez Canal in 2015, the MV Aida IV; she was the youngest and first Egyptian female captain to do so. She was honoured by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in 2017 during Egypt’s Women’s Day celebrations. She will take her final exam to attain the rank of Captain in May 2021.
She also has a Masters in Business Administration from Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Why in News?
Marwa Elselehdar, Egypt’s first female ship captain, has said she was shocked after a fake news article spread on social media which said she was behind the huge container ship getting stuck at Suez Canal. “I felt I might be targeted maybe because I’m a successful female in this field or because I’m Egyptian, but I’m not sure,” she said.
News had broken about a huge container ship, the Ever Given, that had become wedged across the Suez Canal, bringing one of world’s major shipping routes to a halt.
But as she checked her phone, online rumours were saying she was to blame.
“I was shocked,” says Marwa, Egypt’s first female ship’s captain.
At the time of the Suez blockage, Ms Elselehdar was working as a first mate, in command of the Aida IV, hundreds of miles away in Alexandria.
The vessel, owned by Egypt’s maritime safety authority, runs supply missions to a lighthouse in the Red Sea. It’s also used to train cadets from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), a regional university run by the Arab League.
Rumours about Marwa Elselehdar’s role on the Ever Given were largely spurred by screenshots of a fake news headline – supposedly published by Arab News – which said she was involved in the Suez incident.
Several Twitter accounts under her name have also spread false claims that she was in involved with the Ever Given.
“I felt that I might be targeted maybe because I’m a successful female in this field or because I’m Egyptian, but I’m not sure,” she said.
It’s not the first time she’s faced challenges in an industry historically dominated by men. At present, women only account for 2% of the world’s seafarers, according to the International Maritime Organisation.
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