About Egypt

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, theGaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.

Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its estimated 80 million people[4] live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo,Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
 
Monuments in Egypt such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx were constructed by its ancient civilization. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes, and Karnak and the Valley of the Kings outsideLuxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study. The tourism industry and the Red Sea Riviera employ about 12% of Egypt's workforce. The economy of Egypt is one of the most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and service at almost equal production levels.
 

History

Pre-historic Egypt
In the 10th millennium BC, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers replaced a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes and/or overgrazing around 8000 BC began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralized society.
 
Ancient Egypt
A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BC by King Menes, leading to a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt for the next three millennia. The first two ruling dynasties of a unified Egypt set the stage for the Old Kingdom period, c. 2700–2200 BC., which constructed many pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and the Fourth Dynasty Giza Pyramids.
 
The Thirtieth Dynasty was the last native ruling dynasty during the Pharaonic epoch. It fell to the Persians in 343 BC after the last native Pharaoh, King Nectanebo II, was defeated in battle.
 
Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt
The Ptolemaic Kingdom was a powerful Hellenistic state, extending from southern Syria in the east, to Cyrene to the west, and south to the frontier with Nubia. Alexandria became the capital city and a center of Greek culture and trade. The last ruler from the Ptolemaic line was Cleopatra VII, who committed suicide with her lover Mark Antony, after Caesar Augustus had captured them. 
 
Christianity was brought to Egypt by Saint Mark the Evangelist in the 1st century. Diocletian's reign marked the transition from the Roman to the Byzantine era in Egypt, when a great number of Egyptian Christians were persecuted. 
 
Arab and Ottoman Egypt
The Byzantines were able to regain control of the country after a brief Persian invasion early in the 7th century, until in AD 639, Egypt was absorbed into the Islamic Empire by the Muslim Arabs. When they defeated the Byzantine Armies in Egypt, the Arabs brought Sunni Islam to the country. Early in this period, Egyptians began to blend their new faith with indigenous beliefs and practices, leading to various Sufi orders that have flourished to this day. These earlier rites had survived the period of Coptic Christianity
 
Muslim rulers nominated by the Islamic Caliphate remained in control of Egypt for the next six centuries, with Cairo as the seat of the Caliphate under the Fatimids. With the end of the Kurdish Ayyubid dynasty, the Mamluks, a Turco-Circassian military caste, took control about AD 1250. By the late 13th century, Egypt linked the Red Sea, India, Malaya, and East Indies. They continued to govern the country until the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517, after which it became a province of the Ottoman Empire. 
 
Egypt suffered six famines between 1687 and 1731. The 1784 famine cost it roughly one-sixth of its population. 
 

Kingdom

The new government drafted and implemented a constitution in 1923 based on a parliamentary system. Saad Zaghlul was popularly elected as Prime Minister of Egypt in 1924. 

Republic

On 18 June 1953, the Egyptian Republic was declared, with General Muhammad Naguib as the first President of the Republic. 
 

2011 revolution

On 25 January 2011, widespread protests began against Mubarak's regime. The objective of the protest was the removal of Mubarak from power. On 11 February 2011, Mubarak resigned and fled Cairo. On 13 February 2011, the high level military command of Egypt announced that both the constitution and the parliament of Egypt had been dissolved. 
 

Geography

At 1,001,450 square kilometers (386,660 sq mi), Egypt is the world's 30th-largest country. Egypt is bordered by Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east. Egypt's important role in geopolitics stems from its strategic position: a transcontinental nation, it possesses a land bridge (the Isthmus of Suez) between Africa and Asia, traversed by a navigable waterway (the Suez Canal) that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean by way of the Red Sea.
 

Climate

Most of Egypt's rain falls in the winter months. Temperatures average between 80 °F (27 °C) and 90 °F (32 °C) in summer, and up to 109 °F (43 °C) on the Red Sea coast. Winter temperatures average between 55 °F (13 °C) and 70 °F (21 °C). 
 

Administrative divisions

Egypt is divided into 27governorates. The governorates are further divided into regions. The regions contain towns and villages. Each governorate has a capital, sometimes carrying the same name as the governorate.
 

Human rights

Several local and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty  International and Human Rights Watch, have for many years criticized Egypt's human rights record as poor. In 2005, President Hosni Mubarak faced unprecedented public criticism when he clamped down on democracy activists challenging his rule. The Egyptian legal system only recognizes three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. 
 

Economy

Egypt's economy depends mainly on agriculture, media, petroleum exports, and tourism; there are also more than three million Egyptians working abroad, mainly in Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf and Europe. Egypt has received U.S. foreign aid (since 1979, an average of $2.2 billion per year) and is the third-largest recipient of such funds from the United States following the Iraq war. Its main revenues however come from tourism as well as traffic that goes through the Suez Canal. Egypt has huge reserves of gas, estimated at 1,940 cubic kilometres (470 cu mi), and LNG is exported to many countries.
 

Languages

The official language of the Republic is Modern Standard Arabic.  The main taught foreign languages in schools are English, French, German and sometimes Italian.
 

Religion

Egypt hosts two major religious institutions, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria established in the middle of the 1st century by Saint Mark the Evangelist, and Al-Azhar University founded in 970 CE by the Fatimids as the first Islamic University in the world.
 
Islam
Egypt is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country with Islam as its state religion. Around 90% are identified as Muslim. A significant number of Muslim Egyptians also follow native Sufi orders, and there is a minority of Shi'a. 
 
Christianity
There is a significant Christian minority in Egypt, who make up between 5% and 10% of the population. Over 90% of Egyptian Christians belong to the native Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, an Oriental Orthodox Church. 
 

Culture

Egyptian culture has six thousand years of recorded history. Ancient Egypt was among the earliest civilizations and for millennia, After the Pharaonic era, Egypt itself came under the influence of Hellenism, Christianity, and Islamic culture. Today, many aspects of Egypt's ancient culture exist in interaction with newer elements, including the influence of modern Western culture, itself with roots in ancient Egypt. Egypt is a recognized cultural trend-setter of the Arabic-speaking world, and contemporary Arab culture is heavily influenced by Egyptian literature, music, film and television.