“Just below Aboukir there was a massive dike, erected by the ancients to separate the sea from the shore, and in the course of centuries a large tract of land was reclaimed. The splendid engineering skill of the English opened this obstruction, created the present vast expanse of waste, and covered it with destructive salt water, in the merciful attempt to drown the French out of Egypt, when these most Christian nations were so intent upon annihilating each other. No less than sixty villages were submerged by the ocean and their teeming population driven from their homes to starve. The waters still cover the once fertile fields. How much more magnanimous it would have been if England in our own time, instead of driving Ismail from his home and battling against Arabi Pacha, who fought for the liberties of his race, had paid into the Egyptian treasury the value of the great property and territory thus destroyed.”
From W.W. Loring's A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER IN EGYPT which I started looking at for research for a [far] future thing, but couldn't stop reading.