Department of Geography


Stranded in the Six-Day War

Wednesday 12 February 13:00 until 15:00
Arts C333
Speaker: Cath Senker (Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow, Sussex)
Part of the series: Geography Seminars – Spring Term 2020

Stranded in the six-day warCath Senker speaks about her book Stranded in the Six-Day War, based on research with crews of the fourteen merchant ships that became trapped in the Suez Canal during the Six-Day War in 1967 and were marooned there for eight years.

Tea, coffee and cake available

In June 1967, at the outbreak of the Six-Day War, 14 merchant ships were passing through the Suez Canal. As hostilities erupted, they were ordered to halt in the Great Bitter Lake. Although the war was brief, after it finished, the Egyptian government refused the ships permission to leave. Those ships were trapped in the Suez Canal for a full eight years, until June 1975. Over the period, 3,000 seafarers served on the trapped ships in the middle of a war zone, maintaining the vessels and protecting their valuable cargos. Despite coming from countries on opposing sides of the Cold War, the crews forged a strong community, exchanging supplies and skills, and coordinating social and sports activities through the Great Bitter Lake Association (GBLA).

Links below are for a podcast and film which will give some background to the subject.

Al Jazeera Suez: The Yellow Fleet. Film by Mohamed Kenawi

99% Invisible: Great Bitter Lake Association podcast about the Great Bitter Lake Association

Cath has 30 years’ experience in publishing and has written more than 160 books for children of all ages, specialising in history, global and social issues, world religions, human geography and environmental topics. She is also a teacher, currently working as an Academic Skills Consultant at the University of Sussex, and a former Royal Literary Fund Fellow. Cath teaches English to refugees and migrants at the Migrant English Project in a voluntary capacity. In recent years, Cath has started writing books for adults. Her first was Cybercrime and the Darknet (2016). In a new departure, in 2017 she self-published Stranded in the Six-Day War. Another of Cath’s books Far From Home: Refugees and Migrants Fleeing War, Persecution and Poverty won the Educational Writers’ Award in 2018.

Download a list of this term's seminars:
Geography Department Seminars – Spring Term 2020 [PDF 492.44KB]


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By: Martin Wingfield
Last updated: Tuesday, 11 February 2020

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