The ship in the background looks very much like either Al Sudan or Misr owned by United Arab Maritime and built in the USA in 1943/4. Egypt bought them in 1947 and used them for the periodic movement of pilgrims and large labour forces.
I did get the idea that she was a pilgrim ship.
The boatmen in the picture reminds me of the constant need to watch out for thieving of fixtures and fittings whilst they were on board. Right to the end they'd try it on to the point that when it came to casting off "our" painter they would gesticulate "no, your end." All the time the ship was gathering speed so it was a game of bluff which we always won.