Suakin or Sawakin is a port in north-eastern Sudan, on the west coast of the Red Sea. In 1983 it had a population of 18,030 and the 2009 estimate is 43, 337. It was formerly the region's chief port, but is now secondary to Port Sudan, about 30 miles north. The old city built of coral is in ruins. Ferries run daily from Suakin to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
Sawakin is Arabic, meaning "dwellers" or "stillnesses." One legend connects it with the legends about King Solomon and the djinn, suggesting that when he banished them, Suakin was the place they were sent to (making the town's name a fanciful plural for sijn, prison.) The Beja name for Suakin was U Suk, possibly from the Arabic word suq, meaning market. In Beja, the locative case for this is isukib, whence Suakin might have derived.
Suakin was likely Ptolemy's Port of Good Hope, Limen Evangelis, which is similarly described as lying on a circular island at the end of a long inlet. Under the Ptolemies and Romans, though, the Red Sea's major port was Berenice to the north. The growth of the Muslim caliphate then shifted trade first to the Hijaz and then the Persian Gulf.