Arabic: (ASWAN HIGH DAM:) ‘as-saddu l-¢āliyy
Arabic: (OLD DAM:) khazzān ‘aswān
The embankment is 111 meters high, with a width of near 1,000 meters. Lake Nasser is 480 km long and up to 16 km wide. The power station has a yearly output capacity of 2.1 gigawatts, but the full capacity cannot be realized because Lake Nasser’s water level is lower than optimum.
About 6 km north of the High Dam, lies another, smaller and older dam, the Aswan Dam, finished 1902. This was modernized in 1960 and is also producing electricity.
The Aswan High Dam became an expression of political tensions in the 1960’s — financed by the help of the Soviet Union, a few years after the war inflicted upon Egypt by Israel, France, and Britain (see Suez-Sinai War). Of the total cost of US$1 billion, about 1/3 seems to have been a gift from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union provided 400 technicians for the work.
1960: Construction begins.
1970: The dam complex is completed.