Tartous, Coastal Region- After a 26-month journey, Phoenicia Ship on Saturday arrived in the Port of Arwad Island, finishing its 17,000- mile trip around Africa.
The ship sailed through the Red Sea, the Cape of Good Hope and Gibraltar Strait in an attempt to revive the Phoenician heritage dating back to2600 years ago, carrying the message of peace and cultural communication that Syria has always been keen to spread throughout time.
The ship's captain, Philip Bill talked about the two-year voyage and the difficulties it went through such as the storms and high waves in South Africa, noting that the ship was once chased by a small boat in Somalia until a bigger ship helped them reach a safer place.
Bill added that the ship passed 20,000 miles, carrying 50 sailors from different nationalities, with 14 people from USA, Britain and Indonesia continued the whole trip until it reached Arwad.
He explained that the 21.5 m long and 5.75 m wide ship is a replica of 600 BC vessel. It was constructed in nine months in the style of a wreck of an ancient Phoenician ship found near Gibraltar Strait in the Mediterranean .The ship was built by five local ship makers from Arwad Island using the wood of walnut, pine and olive trees.
The 21-meter long ship, which is a replica of 600 BC vessel, was constructed in nine months according to the design of a wreck of Ancient Phoenician ship found near Gibraltar Strait in the Mediterranean.
The idea of building 'Phoenicia' came in an attempt to recreate the first circumnavigation of Africa achieved by the Phoenicians 2,600 years ago through which they spread their culture and expertise.
The ship carried a clear message to the world about Syria and its role in enhancing the culture of dialogue among all the nations of the world.
The trip was launched in August 2008 in commemoration of the great achievements of the Phoenicians who gave humanity the first alphabet, showing the global dimension of their civilization.
There were 13 sailors onboard the vessel from USA, Britain and Indonesia, including 4 women.
Phoenicia expresses the continued cultural ties binding the successive Syrian generations since it was made by Arwad people who inherited their Phoenician ancestors' trade and excelled in manufacturing this type of ship which forms an important part of our history and heritage.
A large reception was held for Phoenicia Ship at Arwad Port which included artistic shows and performances by Aradous dance group for folkloric arts of Tartous.