The Guy Driving The Suez Canal Digger Didn’t Like Becoming A Meme

by : Julia Banim on : 08 Apr 2021 08:18
The Guy Driving The Suez Canal Digger Didn't Like Becoming A MemePA Images

The guy who drove the Suez Canal digger has spoken out about his feelings on becoming one of the biggest memes of the year so far.

As you will have undoubtedly seen, the image of the tiny digger trying to shift the enormous Ever Given ship proved ripe for metaphor. For example, a typical one would see the digger labelled ‘dopamine from posting interesting content’, with the ship labelled ‘procrastination’.


However, the man driving the excavator apparently wasn’t too happy about the meme-ification of his gruelling six-day plight, failing to see the funny side of his bizarrely relatable struggle.

Speaking with Business Insider, 28-year-old Abdullah Abdel-Gawad revealed that he didn’t like people joking about his arduous endeavour, although the worldwide attention did make him work harder.

Abdullah explained that from inside his excavator, he hadn’t see a photographer snapping the now-famous photograph, which the Suez Canal Authority sent from the scene on March 25.


He added:

I really wasn’t paying attention to any of this.

However, very quickly, the eyes of the world were on Abdullah and his excavator, and the memes poured in from far and wide. It’s understandable that this might be quite an unnerving experience for someone who was simply doing their job.


Abdullah said that he had felt that his hard work was being laughed at, pointing out one particular meme that read ‘green tea’ (the excavator) and ‘my cellulite’ (the Ever Given):

Well, the thing is, they were making fun of it. The Suez Canal Authority took action but sent equipment the size of a grain of rice.

He continued:

I was a little bit upset. But I was really so motivated because I wanted the world to say: ‘He did it’.


Abdullah was so acutely aware of being scrutinised across the world, that he didn’t want anyone to know he was driving the excavator until after the Ever Given was finally freed.

His response was to get on with the job at hand, all working on about three hours of sleep each night:

I thought, I can only respond by actions, and that’s kind of how I’ve operated all my life. I don’t respond with words. I respond with actions.


All jokes and memes aside, absolutely fair play to Abdullah for cracking on with his job under such unprecedented workplace pressure.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Viral, Egypt, Ever Given, Evergreen, meme, Now, Suez Canal


Business Insider
  1. Business Insider

    The guy driving the Suez Canal excavator didn't like becoming a meme star but said the attention made him work harder