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Egypt's first female sea captain blamed for blocking Suez Canal despite not being there

 Marwa Elselehdar (Photo courtesy)

Egypt's first female ship captain was blamed for blocking the Suez Canal and causing global delivery delays, despite being hundreds of miles away.

Marwa Elselehdar was not even on board the Ever Given mega-ship when it became wedged in the Suez Canal last month, causing huge queues of ships on either side.

Despite this, Ms Elselehdar was accused of being in charge of the vessel in online post which shared a fake news headline.

The 29-year-old believes she has been targeted because of her gender, with women making up just two per cent of the world's seafarers, according to the International Maritime Organisation.

Ms Elselehdar told the BBC: "I was shocked. 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.

"This fake article was in English so it spread in other countries. I tried so hard to negate what was in the article because it was affecting my reputation and all the efforts I exerted to be where I am now."

 Ms Elselehdar was the first femal ship captain in Egypt (Photo courtesy)

Ms Elselehdar was hundreds of miles away, commanding the Aida IV, when the Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal.

Posts showing a doctored headline blaming her for the crisis circulated on Twitter and Facebook.

The headline was taken from a genuine Arab News article which celebrated Ms Elselehdar becoming Egypt's first female ship captain.

She was inspired to join the merchant navy after her brother started at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.

At the time the academy only accepted men, however she applied and was granted permission by Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak.

Despite facing constant sexism on her journey to become a captain, she finally graduated and took command of Aida IV.

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