Coordinates: 26°N 30°E / 26°N 30°E / 26; 30
Republic of Egypt
جمهورية مصر العربية
Jumhūrīyat Miṣr al-ʿArabīyah
Gomhoreyet Maṣr El ʿArabeyah
Coat of arms
Anthem: "Bilady, Bilady, Bilady"
"بلادي، بلادي، بلادي"
"My country, my country, my country"
and largest city
30°2′N 31°13′E / 30.033°N 31.217°E / 30.033; 31.217
9% Orthodox Christian
1% Other Christian
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
• Prime Minister
House of Representatives
• Unification of Upper
and Lower Egypt[b]
c. 3150 BC
Muhammad Ali dynasty
Muhammad Ali dynasty inaugurated
9 July 1805
• Independence from
28 February 1922
• Revolution Day
23 July 1952
18 June 1953
• Current constitution
18 January 2014
1,010,408 km2 (390,121 sq mi) (29th)
• Water (%)
• 2017 estimate
• 2017 census
96/km2 (248.6/sq mi) (118th)
$1.173 trillion (21st)
• Per capita
$408.045 billion (32nd)
• Per capita
medium · 111th
Egyptian pound (E£) (EGP)
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
Arabic is the sole official language. Egyptian Arabic
is the national spoken language. Other dialects and minority languages
are spoken regionally.
"Among the peoples of the ancient Near East, only the
stayed where they were and remained what they were, although they have
changed their language once and their religion twice. In a sense, they
constitute the world's oldest nation". Arthur Goldschmidt Jr.
^ See Daylight saving time in Egypt.
Egypt (/ˈiːdʒɪpt/ ( listen) EE-jipt; Arabic: مِصر
Miṣr, Egyptian Arabic: مَصر Maṣr, Coptic: Ⲭⲏⲙⲓ
Khēmi), officially the Arab
Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental
country spanning the northeast corner of
Africa and southwest corner
Asia by a land bridge formed by the
Egypt is a
Mediterranean country bordered by the
Gaza Strip and
Israel to the
Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the
Red Sea to the east and
Sudan to the south, and
Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of
Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the
Sinai Peninsula lies Saudi
Saudi Arabia do not share a land border
Egypt emerged as one of the world's first nation states in the tenth
millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt
saw some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture,
urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic
monuments such as the
Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well
the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings,
reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and
popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an
integral part of its national identity, which has endured, and often
assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Persian,
Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and European.
Egypt was an early and important
centre of Christianity, but was largely Islamised in the seventh
century and remains a predominantly
Muslim country, albeit with a
significant Christian minority.
Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained independence from the
British Empire as a monarchy. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt
declared itself a republic, and in 1958 it merged with
Syria to form
the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the
second half of the 20th century,
Egypt endured social and religious
strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts
Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, and occupying the Gaza Strip
intermittently until 1967. In 1980,
Egypt signed the Camp David
Accords, withdrawing from the
Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The
country continues to face challenges from terrorism, political unrest,
and economic underdevelopment.
With over 95 million inhabitants,
Egypt is the most populous country
North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa
Nigeria and Ethiopia), and the fifteenth-most populous in the
world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the
Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres
(15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The
large regions of the
Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's
territory, 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
Egypt is considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle
East and the
Muslim world, and a middle power worldwide. Egypt's
economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East,
and is projected to become one of the largest in the 21st century. In
South Africa and became Africa's second largest
Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations,
Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of
2.1 Prehistory and Ancient Egypt
2.2 Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt
2.3 Middle Ages (7th century – 1517)
Fatimid Caliphate and the Mamluks
2.4 Early modern: Ottoman
2.4.1 The Muhammad Ali dynasty
2.5 The European intrusion (1867–1914)
2.6 British protectorate (1882–1952)
2.7.1 Reign of president Nasser (1956–1970)
2.7.2 Reign of president Sadat (1970–1981)
2.7.3 Reign of president Mubarak (1981–2011)
2.7.4 Revolution and aftermath (2011–2014)
4.1.1 Human rights
4.1.2 Freedom of the press
4.2 Military and foreign relations
4.3 Administrative divisions
Water supply and sanitation
5.5 Irrigated land and crops
6.1 Ethnic groups
6.4 Largest cities
11 See also
15 External links
The English name
Egypt is derived from the
Ancient Greek Aígyptos
Middle French Egypte and
Latin Aegyptus. It
is reflected in early Greek
Linear B tablets as a-ku-pi-ti-yo. The
adjective aigýpti-, aigýptios was borrowed into Coptic as gyptios,
and from there into
Arabic as qubṭī, back formed into قبط
qubṭ, whence English Copt. The Greek forms were borrowed from Late
Egyptian (Amarna) Hikuptah "Memphis", a corruption of the earlier
(⟨ḥwt-kȝ-ptḥ⟩), meaning "home of the ka (soul) of Ptah", the
name of a temple to the god
Ptah at Memphis.
Strabo attributed the
word to a folk etymology in which Aígyptos (Αἴγυπτος)
evolved as a compound from Aigaiou huptiōs (Aἰγαίου
ὑπτίως), meaning "below the Aegean".
Miṣr (IPA: [mi̠sˤr] or Egyptian Arabic
pronunciation: [mesˤɾ]; Arabic: مِصر) is the Classical
Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while Maṣr or
Masar (IPA: [mɑsˤɾ]; Egyptian Arabic: مَصر) is the
local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic
origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for
Egypt such as
the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם (Mitzráyim). The oldest attestation
of this name for
Egypt is the Akkadian mi-iṣ-ru miṣru,
related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or
The ancient Egyptian name of the country was
km.t, which means black land, likely referring to the fertile black
soils of the
Nile flood plains, distinct from the deshret
(⟨dšṛt⟩), or "red land" of the desert. This name is
commonly vocalised as Kemet, but was probably pronounced [kuːmat] in
ancient Egyptian. The name is realised as kēme and kēmə in the
Coptic stage of the Egyptian language, and appeared in early Greek as
Χημία (Khēmía). Another name was ⟨tꜣ-mry⟩ "land of
the riverbank". The names of
Upper and Lower Egypt
Upper and Lower Egypt were
Ta-Sheme'aw (⟨tꜣ-šmꜥw⟩) "sedgeland" and Ta-Mehew (⟨tꜣ
mḥw⟩) "northland", respectively.
Main article: History of Egypt
Temple of Derr
Temple of Derr ruins in 1960
Prehistory and Ancient Egypt
Prehistoric Egypt and Ancient Egypt
There is evidence of rock carvings along the
Nile terraces and in
desert oases. In the 10th millennium BC, a culture of hunter-gatherers
and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes
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
By about 6000 BC, a
Neolithic culture rooted in the
Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed
independently in Upper and Lower Egypt. The
Badarian culture and the
Naqada series are generally regarded as precursors to
dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, Merimda,
Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous
Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts
for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but
maintaining frequent contact through trade. The earliest known
evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the
predynastic period on
Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200
Giza Necropolis is the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only
one still in existence.
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.
Egyptian culture flourished during this long period and remained
distinctively Egyptian in its religion, arts, language and customs.
The first two ruling dynasties of a unified
Egypt set the stage for
Old Kingdom period, c. 2700–2200 BC., which constructed many
pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and the
The First Intermediate Period ushered in a time of political upheaval
for about 150 years. Stronger
Nile floods and stabilisation of
government, however, brought back renewed prosperity for the country
in the Middle Kingdom c. 2040 BC, reaching a peak during the reign of
Pharaoh Amenemhat III. A second period of disunity heralded the
arrival of the first foreign ruling dynasty in Egypt, that of the
Semitic Hyksos. The
Hyksos invaders took over much of Lower Egypt
around 1650 BC and founded a new capital at Avaris. They were driven
out by an Upper Egyptian force led by Ahmose I, who founded the
Eighteenth Dynasty and relocated the capital from Memphis to Thebes.
New Kingdom c. 1550–1070 BC began with the Eighteenth Dynasty,
marking the rise of
Egypt as an international power that expanded
during its greatest extension to an empire as far south as Tombos in
Nubia, and included parts of the
Levant in the east. This period is
noted for some of the most well known Pharaohs, including Hatshepsut,
Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti,
Ramesses II. The first historically attested expression of monotheism
came during this period as Atenism. Frequent contacts with other
nations brought new ideas to the New Kingdom. The country was later
invaded and conquered by Libyans, Nubians and Assyrians, but native
Egyptians eventually drove them out and regained control of their
In 525 BC, the powerful Achaemenid Persians, led by Cambyses II,
began their conquest of Egypt, eventually capturing the pharaoh
Psamtik III at the battle of Pelusium. Cambyses II then assumed the
formal title of pharaoh, but ruled
Egypt from his home of
Persia (modern Iran), leaving
Egypt under the control of a satrapy.
The entire Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt, from 525 BC to 402 BC,
save for Petubastis III, was an entirely Persian ruled period, with
the Achaemenid Emperors all being granted the title of pharaoh. A few
temporarily successful revolts against the Persians marked the fifth
century BC, but
Egypt was never able to permanently overthrow the
The Thirtieth Dynasty was the last native ruling dynasty during the
Pharaonic epoch. It fell to the Persians again in 343 BC after the
last native Pharaoh, King Nectanebo II, was defeated in battle. This
Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt, however, did not last long, for the
Persians were toppled several decades later by Alexander the Great.
The Macedonian Greek general of Alexander, Ptolemy I Soter, founded
the Ptolemaic dynasty.
Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt
The Ptolemaic Queen
Cleopatra VII and her son by Julius Caesar,
Caesarion, at the Temple of Dendera.
History of Ptolemaic Egypt
History of Ptolemaic Egypt and
Egypt (Roman province)
Ptolemaic Kingdom was a powerful Hellenistic state, extending from
Syria in the east, to Cyrene to the west, and south to the
frontier with Nubia.
Alexandria became the capital city and a centre
of Greek culture and trade. To gain recognition by the native Egyptian
populace, they named themselves as the successors to the Pharaohs. The
later Ptolemies took on Egyptian traditions, had themselves portrayed
on public monuments in Egyptian style and dress, and participated in
Egyptian religious life.
The last ruler from the Ptolemaic line was Cleopatra VII, who
committed suicide following the burial of her lover
Mark Antony who
had died in her arms (from a self-inflicted stab wound), after
Octavian had captured
Alexandria and her mercenary forces had fled.
The Ptolemies faced rebellions of native
Egyptians often caused by an
unwanted regime and were involved in foreign and civil wars that led
to the decline of the kingdom and its annexation by Rome.
Hellenistic culture continued to thrive in
Christianity was brought to
Saint Mark the Evangelist
Saint Mark the Evangelist in the
1st century. Diocletian's reign (from 284 to 305 AD) marked the
transition from the Roman to the Byzantine era in Egypt, when a great
number of Egyptian Christians were persecuted. The
New Testament had
by then been translated into Egyptian. After the Council of Chalcedon
in AD 451, a distinct Egyptian Coptic Church was firmly
Middle Ages (7th century – 1517)
Egypt in the Middle Ages
The Byzantines were able to regain control of the country after a
brief Sasanian Persian invasion early in the 7th century amidst the
Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628
Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 during which they established a
new short-lived province for ten years known as Sasanian Egypt, until
Egypt was invaded and conquered by the Islamic Empire
Muslim Arabs. When they defeated the Byzantine Armies in Egypt,
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
Fatimid Caliphate and the Mamluks
Fatimid Caliphate and
Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo)
Al-Hakim Mosque in Cairo, of Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the sixth
caliph, as renovated by Dawoodi Bohra
Muslim rulers nominated by the
Caliphate remained in control of Egypt
for the next six centuries, with
Cairo as the seat of the Fatimid
Caliphate. With the end of the Kurdish Ayyubid dynasty, the Mamluks, a
Turco-Circassian military caste, took control about 1250. By the late
Egypt linked the Red Sea, India, Malaya, and East
Indies. The mid-14th-century
Black Death killed about 40% of the
Early modern: Ottoman
Egypt was conquered by the
Ottoman Turks in 1517, after which it
became a province of the Ottoman Empire. The defensive militarisation
damaged its civil society and economic institutions. The weakening
of the economic system combined with the effects of plague left Egypt
vulnerable to foreign invasion. Portuguese traders took over their
trade. Between 1687 and 1731,
Egypt experienced six famines.
The 1784 famine cost it roughly one-sixth of its population.
Egypt was always a difficult province for the Ottoman
control, due in part to the continuing power and influence of the
Egyptian military caste who had ruled the country for
Napoleon defeated the
Mamluk troops in the Battle of the Pyramids, 21
July 1798, painted by Lejeune.
Egypt remained semi-autonomous under the
Mamluks until it was invaded
by the French forces of
Napoleon Bonaparte 1798 (see French campaign
Egypt and Syria). After the French were defeated by the British, a
power vacuum was created in Egypt, and a three-way power struggle
ensued between the Ottoman Turks, Egyptian
Mamluks who had ruled Egypt
for centuries, and Albanian mercenaries in the service of the
The Muhammad Ali dynasty
History of Egypt
History of Egypt under the Muhammad Ali dynasty
Egypt under Muhammad Ali dynasty
Muhammad Ali was the founder of the
Muhammad Ali dynasty
Muhammad Ali dynasty and the first
Egypt and Sudan.
After the French were expelled, power was seized in 1805 by Muhammad
Ali Pasha, an Albanian military commander of the Ottoman army in
Egypt. While he carried the title of viceroy of Egypt, his
subordination to the Ottoman porte was merely nominal.[citation
needed] Muhammad Ali massacred the
Mamluks and established a dynasty
that was to rule
Egypt until the revolution of 1952.
The introduction in 1820 of long-staple cotton transformed its
agriculture into a cash-crop monoculture before the end of the
century, concentrating land ownership and shifting production towards
Muhammad Ali annexed Northern
Syria (1833), and
parts of Arabia and Anatolia; but in 1841 the European powers, fearful
lest he topple the
Ottoman Empire itself, forced him to return most of
his conquests to the Ottomans. His military ambition required him to
modernise the country: he built industries, a system of canals for
irrigation and transport, and reformed the civil service.
He constructed a military state with around four percent of the
populace serving the army to raise
Egypt to a powerful positioning in
Ottoman Empire in a way showing various similarities to the Soviet
strategies (without communism) conducted in the 20th century.
Muhammad Ali Pasha evolved the military from one that convened under
the tradition of the corvée to a great modernised army. He introduced
conscription of the male peasantry in 19th century Egypt, and took a
novel approach to create his great army, strengthening it with numbers
and in skill. Education and training of the new soldiers was not an
option; the new concepts were furthermore enforced by isolation. The
men were held in barracks to avoid distraction of their growth as a
military unit to be reckoned with. The resentment for the military way
of life eventually faded from the men and a new ideology took hold,
one of nationalism and pride. It was with the help of this newly
reborn martial unit that Muhammad Ali imposed his rule over Egypt.
The policy that Mohammad Ali Pasha followed during his reign explains
partly why the numeracy in
Egypt compared to other North-African and
Middle-Eastern countries increased only at a remarkably small rate, as
investment in further education only took place in the military and
Muhammad Ali was succeeded briefly by his son Ibrahim (in September
1848), then by a grandson Abbas I (in November 1848), then by Said (in
1854), and Isma'il (in 1863) who encouraged science and agriculture
and banned slavery in Egypt.
The European intrusion (1867–1914)
The battle of Tel el-Kebir in 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War
Main article: Khedivate of Egypt
Egypt under the
Muhammad Ali dynasty
Muhammad Ali dynasty remained nominally an Ottoman
province. It was granted the status of an autonomous vassal state or
Khedivate in 1867, a status which was to remain in place until 1914.
Suez Canal, built in partnership with the French, was completed in
1869. Its construction led to enormous debt to European banks, and
caused popular discontent because of the onerous taxation it required.
In 1875 Ismail was forced to sell Egypt's share in the canal to the
British government. Within three years this led to the imposition of
British and French controllers who sat in the Egyptian cabinet, and,
"with the financial power of the bondholders behind them, were the
real power in the Government."
Other circumstances like epidemic diseases (cattle disease in the
1880s), floods and wars drove the economic downturn and increased
Egypt's dependency on foreign debt even further.
In later years, the dynasty became a British puppet. Isma'il and
Tewfik Pasha governed
Egypt as a quasi-independent state under Ottoman
suzerainty until the British occupation of 1882.
Female nationalists demonstrating in Cairo, 1919
Local dissatisfaction with Ismail and with European intrusion led to
the formation of the first nationalist groupings in 1879, with Ahmad
Urabi a prominent figure. Fearing a reduction of their control, the UK
France intervened militarily, bombarding
Alexandria and crushing
the Egyptian army at the battle of Tel El Kebir. They reinstalled
Ismail's son Tewfik as figurehead of a de facto British
In 1906, the
Dinshaway Incident prompted many neutral
join the nationalist movement.
British protectorate (1882–1952)
History of Egypt
History of Egypt under the British
Khedivate of Egypt
Khedivate of Egypt remained a de jure Ottoman province until 5
November 1914, when it was declared a British protectorate in
reaction to the decision of the
Young Turks of the
Ottoman Empire to
World War I
World War I on the side of the Central Powers.
In 1914, the
Protectorate was made official, and the title of the head
of state was changed to sultan, to repudiate the vestigial suzerainty
of the Ottoman sultan, who was backing the
Central powers in World War
I. Abbas II was deposed as khedive and replaced by his uncle, Hussein
Kamel, as sultan.
After World War I,
Saad Zaghlul and the
Wafd Party led the Egyptian
nationalist movement to a majority at the local Legislative Assembly.
When the British exiled Zaghlul and his associates[dubious –
Malta on 8 March 1919, the country arose in its first
modern revolution. The revolt led the UK government to issue a
unilateral declaration of Egypt's independence on 22 February
British infantry near El Alamein, 17 July 1942
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
Prime Minister of Egypt in 1924. In 1936, the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty
was concluded. Continued instability due to remaining British
influence and increasing political involvement by the king led to the
dissolution of the parliament in a military coup d'état known as the
1952 Revolution. The Free Officers Movement forced King Farouk to
abdicate in support of his son Fuad. British military presence in
Egypt lasted until 1954.
Main article: History of the
Republic of Egypt
Following the 1952 Revolution by the Free Officers Movement, the rule
Egypt passed to military hands. On 18 June 1953, the Egyptian
Republic was declared, with General
Muhammad Naguib as the first
President of the Republic.
Egypt (Arabic: جمهورية مصر, Gumhūrīyat
Maṣr), was the official name of
Egypt from the abolition of the
Egyptian and Sudanese monarchy in 1953 until Egypt's union with Syria
in the United Arab
Republic in 1958. The declaration of the republic
followed the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, prompted by the unpopularity
of King Farouk, who was seen as being too weak in the face of the
British, coupled with the defeat in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
With the declaration of the Republic,
Muhammad Naguib was sworn in as
Egypt's first President, serving in that capacity for a little under
one and a half years, before being forced to resign by his fellow
Reign of president Nasser (1956–1970)
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser in Mansoura, 1960
Naguib was forced to resign in 1954 by Gamal Abdel Nasser – a
Pan-Arabist and the real architect of the 1952 movement – and
was later put under house arrest. After Naguib's resignation, the
position of President was vacant until the election of Gamal Abdel
Nasser in 1956.
Nasser assumed power as President in June 1956. British forces
completed their withdrawal from the occupied
Suez Canal Zone on 13
June 1956. He nationalised the
Suez Canal on 26 July 1956, prompting
Syria formed a sovereign union known as the United
Arab Republic. The union was short-lived, ending in 1961 when Syria
seceded, thus ending the union. During most of its existence, the
Republic was also in a loose confederation with North
Yemen (or the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen), known as the United
Arab States. In 1959, the
All-Palestine Government of the Gaza Strip,
an Egyptian client state, was absorbed into the United Arab Republic
under the pretext of Arab union, and was never restored.
In the early 1960s,
Egypt became fully involved in the North Yemen
Civil War. The Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, supported the
Yemeni republicans with as many as 70,000 Egyptian troops and chemical
weapons. Despite several military moves and peace conferences, the war
sank into a stalemate. Egyptian commitment in
Yemen was greatly
In mid May 1967, the
Soviet Union issued warnings to Nasser of an
impending Israeli attack on Syria. Although the chief of staff Mohamed
Fawzi verified them as "baseless", Nasser took three
successive steps that made the war virtually inevitable: On 14 May he
deployed his troops in
Sinai near the border with Israel, on 19 May he
expelled the UN peacekeepers stationed in the
Sinai Peninsula border
with Israel, and on 23 May he closed the
Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran to Israeli
shipping. On 26 May Nasser declared, "The battle will be a general
one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel".
Israel re-iterated that the
Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran closure was a Casus
belli. In the 1967 Six Day War,
Israel attacked Egypt, and occupied
Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, which
Egypt had occupied since the
1948 Arab–Israeli War. During the 1967 war, an Emergency Law was
enacted, and remained in effect until 2012, with the exception of an
18-month break in 1980/81. Under this law, police powers were
extended, constitutional rights suspended and censorship
At the time of the fall of the Egyptian monarchy in the early 1950s,
less than half a million
Egyptians were considered upper class and
rich, four million middle class and 17 million lower class and
poor. Fewer than half of all primary-school-age children attended
school, most of them being boys. Nasser's policies changed this. Land
reform and distribution, the dramatic growth in university education,
and government support to national industries greatly improved social
mobility and flattened the social curve. From academic year 1953–54
through 1965–66, overall public school enrolments more than doubled.
Millions of previously poor Egyptians, through education and jobs in
the public sector, joined the middle class. Doctors, engineers,
teachers, lawyers, journalists, constituted the bulk of the swelling
middle class in
Egypt under Nasser. During the 1960s, the Egyptian
economy went from sluggish to the verge of collapse, the society
became less free, and Nasser's appeal waned considerably.
Reign of president Sadat (1970–1981)
Egyptian tanks advancing in the
Sinai desert during the Yom Kippur
In 1970, President Nasser died and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat. Sadat
Cold War allegiance from the
Soviet Union to the
United States, expelling Soviet advisors in 1972. He launched the
Infitah economic reform policy, while clamping down on religious and
secular opposition. In 1973, Egypt, along with Syria, launched the
October War, a surprise attack to regain part of the
Israel had captured 6 years earlier. It presented Sadat with a victory
that allowed him to regain the
Sinai later in return for peace with
Celebrating the signing of the 1978 Camp David Accords: Menachem
Begin, Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat
In 1975, Sadat shifted Nasser's economic policies and sought to use
his popularity to reduce government regulations and encourage foreign
investment through his program of Infitah. Through this policy,
incentives such as reduced taxes and import tariffs attracted some
investors, but investments were mainly directed at low risk and
profitable ventures like tourism and construction, abandoning Egypt's
infant industries. Even though Sadat's policy was intended to
Egypt and assist the middle class, it mainly benefited the
higher class, and, because of the elimination of subsidies on basic
foodstuffs, led to the 1977 Egyptian Bread Riots.
Sadat made a historic visit to
Israel in 1977, which led to the 1979
peace treaty in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. Sadat's
initiative sparked enormous controversy in the
Arab world and led to
Egypt's expulsion from the Arab League, but it was supported by most
Egyptians. Sadat was assassinated by an Islamic extremist in
Reign of president Mubarak (1981–2011)
Hosni Mubarak came to power after the assassination of Sadat in a
referendum in which he was the only candidate.
Hosni Mubarak reaffirmed Egypt's relationship with
Israel yet eased
the tensions with Egypt's Arab neighbours. Domestically, Mubarak faced
serious problems. Even though farm and industry output expanded, the
economy could not keep pace with the population boom. Mass poverty and
unemployment led rural families to stream into cities like
they ended up in crowded slums, barely managing to survive.
In the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, terrorist attacks in
numerous and severe, and began to target Christian Copts, foreign
tourists and government officials. In the 1990s an
Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, engaged in an extended campaign of violence,
from the murders and attempted murders of prominent writers and
intellectuals, to the repeated targeting of tourists and foreigners.
Serious damage was done to the largest sector of Egypt's
economy—tourism—and in turn to the government, but it also
devastated the livelihoods of many of the people on whom the group
depended for support.
During Mubarak's reign, the political scene was dominated by the
National Democratic Party, which was created by Sadat in 1978. It
passed the 1993 Syndicates Law, 1995 Press Law, and 1999
Nongovernmental Associations Law which hampered freedoms of
association and expression by imposing new regulations and draconian
penalties on violations. As a result, by the late
1990s parliamentary politics had become virtually irrelevant and
alternative avenues for political expression were curtailed as
Cairo grew into a metropolitan area with a population of over 20
On 17 November 1997, 62 people, mostly tourists, were massacred near
In late February 2005, Mubarak announced a reform of the presidential
election law, paving the way for multi-candidate polls for the first
time since the 1952 movement. However, the new law placed
restrictions on the candidates, and led to Mubarak's easy re-election
victory. Voter turnout was less than 25%. Election observers
also alleged government interference in the election process.
After the election, Mubarak imprisoned Ayman Nour, the runner-up.
Human Rights Watch's 2006 report on
Egypt detailed serious human
rights violations, including routine torture, arbitrary detentions and
trials before military and state security courts. In 2007, Amnesty
International released a report alleging that
Egypt had become an
international centre for torture, where other nations send suspects
for interrogation, often as part of the War on Terror. Egypt's
foreign ministry quickly issued a rebuttal to this report.
Constitutional changes voted on 19 March 2007 prohibited parties from
using religion as a basis for political activity, allowed the drafting
of a new anti-terrorism law, authorised broad police powers of arrest
and surveillance, and gave the president power to dissolve parliament
and end judicial election monitoring. In 2009, Dr. Ali El Deen
Hilal Dessouki, Media Secretary of the National Democratic Party
Egypt as a "pharaonic" political system, and
democracy as a "long-term goal". Dessouki also stated that "the real
center of power in
Egypt is the military".
Revolution and aftermath (2011–2014)
Main article: Egyptian crisis (2011–14)
Top: Celebrations in
Tahrir Square after the announcement of Hosni
Mubarak's resignation; Bottom: Protests in
Tahrir Square against
Morsi on 27 November 2012.
On 25 January 2011, widespread protests began against Mubarak's
government. On 11 February 2011, Mubarak resigned and fled Cairo.
Jubilant celebrations broke out in Cairo's
Tahrir Square at the
Egyptian military then assumed the power to
govern. Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, chairman of the Supreme
Council of the Armed Forces, became the de facto interim head of
state. On 13 February 2011, the military dissolved the
parliament and suspended the constitution.
A constitutional referendum was held on 19 March 2011. On 28 November
Egypt held its first parliamentary election since the previous
regime had been in power. Turnout was high and there were no reports
of major irregularities or violence.
Mohamed Morsi was elected
president on 24 June 2012. On 2 August 2012, Egypt's Prime
Hisham Qandil announced his 35-member cabinet comprising 28
newcomers including four from the
Liberal and secular groups walked out of the constituent assembly
because they believed that it would impose strict Islamic practices,
Muslim Brotherhood backers threw their support behind Morsi.
On 22 November 2012, President
Morsi issued a temporary declaration
immunising his decrees from challenge and seeking to protect the work
of the constituent assembly.
The move led to massive protests and violent action throughout
Egypt. On 5 December 2012, tens of thousands of supporters and
opponents of president
Morsi clashed, in what was described as the
largest violent battle between Islamists and their foes since the
Mohamed Morsi offered a "national dialogue"
with opposition leaders but refused to cancel the December 2012
On 3 July 2013, after a wave of public discontent with autocratic
excesses of Morsi's
Muslim Brotherhood government, the military
Morsi from power in a coup d'état and installed an
On 4 July 2013, 68-year-old Chief Justice of the Supreme
Constitutional Court of
Adly Mansour was sworn in as acting
president over the new government following the removal of Morsi. The
military-backed Egyptian authorities cracked down on the Muslim
Brotherhood and its supporters, jailing thousands and killing hundreds
of street protesters. Many of the
Muslim Brotherhood leaders
and activists have either been sentenced to death or life imprisonment
in a series of mass trials.
On 18 January 2014, the interim government instituted a new
constitution following a referendum in which 98.1% of voters were
supportive. 38.6% of registered voters participated in the
referendum a higher number than the 33% who voted in a referendum
during Morsi's tenure. On 26 March 2014
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi the
head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, who at this time was in control of
the country, resigned from the military, announcing he would stand as
a candidate in the 2014 presidential election. The poll, held
between 26 and 28 May 2014, resulted in a landslide victory for
el-Sisi. Sisi was sworn into office as
President of Egypt
President of Egypt on 8
June 2014. The
Muslim Brotherhood and some liberal and secular
activist groups boycotted the vote. Even though the
military-backed authorities extended voting to a third day, the 46%
turnout was lower than the 52% turnout in the 2012 election.
Main article: Geography of Egypt
Nile valley near Luxor.
Rocky landscape in Marsa Alam.
Egypt lies primarily between latitudes 22° and 32°N, and longitudes
25° and 35°E. At 1,001,450 square kilometres
(386,660 sq mi), it is the world's 30th-largest
country. Due to the extreme aridity of Egypt's climate, population
centres are concentrated along the narrow
Nile Valley and Delta,
meaning that about 99% of the population uses about 5.5% of the total
land area. 98% of
Egyptians live on 3% of the territory.
Egypt is bordered by
Libya to the west, the
Sudan to the south, and
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
that connects the
Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean by way of
the Red Sea.
Apart from the
Nile Valley, the majority of Egypt's landscape is
desert, with a few oases scattered about. Winds create prolific sand
dunes that peak at more than 100 feet (30 m) high.
parts of the
Sahara desert and of the Libyan Desert. These deserts
protected the Kingdom of the Pharaohs from western threats and were
referred to as the "red land" in ancient Egypt.
Towns and cities include Alexandria, the second largest city; Aswan;
Asyut; Cairo, the modern Egyptian capital and largest city; El Mahalla
El Kubra; Giza, the site of the Pyramid of Khufu; Hurghada; Luxor; Kom
Ombo; Port Safaga; Port Said; Sharm El Sheikh; Suez, where the south
end of the
Suez Canal is located; Zagazig; and Minya. Oases include
Bahariya, Dakhla, Farafra, Kharga and Siwa.
Protectorates include Ras
Mohamed National Park, Zaranik
Protectorate and Siwa.
On 13 March 2015, plans for a proposed new capital of
Main article: Climate of Egypt
Saint Catherine in southern Sinai, on a snowy winter morning.
Most of Egypt's rain falls in the winter months. South of Cairo,
rainfall averages only around 2 to 5 mm (0.1 to 0.2 in) per
year and at intervals of many years. On a very thin strip of the
northern coast the rainfall can be as high as 410 mm
(16.1 in), mostly between October and March.
Snow falls on
Sinai's mountains and some of the north coastal cities such as
Baltim and Sidi Barrani, and rarely in Alexandria. A very
small amount of snow fell on
Cairo on 13 December 2013, the first time
in many decades.
Frost is also known in mid-
Sinai and mid-Egypt.
Egypt is the driest and the sunniest country in the world, and most of
its land surface is desert.
Qattara Depression in Egypt's north west.
Egypt has an unusually hot, sunny and dry climate. Average high
temperatures are high in the north but very to extremely high in the
rest of the country during summer. The cooler Mediterranean winds
consistently blow over the northern sea coast, which helps to get more
moderated temperatures, especially at the height of the summertime.
Khamaseen is a hot, dry wind that originates from the vast deserts
in the south and blows in the spring or in the early summer.
It bringing scorching sand and dust particles, and usually brings
daytime temperatures over 40 °C (104 °F) and sometimes
over 50 °C (122 °F) more in the interior, while the
relative humidity can drop to 5% or even less. The absolute highest
Egypt occur when the
Khamaseen blows. The weather is
always sunny and clear in Egypt, especially in cities such as Aswan,
Luxor and Asyut. It is one of the least cloudy and least rainy regions
Prior to the construction of the
Aswan Dam, the
Nile flooded annually
(colloquially The Gift of the Nile) replenishing Egypt's soil. This
Egypt a consistent harvest throughout the years.
The potential rise in sea levels due to global warming could threaten
Egypt's densely populated coastal strip and have grave consequences
for the country's economy, agriculture and industry. Combined with
growing demographic pressures, a significant rise in sea levels could
turn millions of
Egyptians into environmental refugees by the end of
the 21st century, according to some climate experts.
Main article: Wildlife of Egypt
Egypt signed the Rio
Convention on Biological Diversity
Convention on Biological Diversity on 9 June
1992, and became a party to the convention on 2 June 1994. It has
subsequently produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action
Plan, which was received by the convention on 31 July 1998. Where
many CBD National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans neglect
biological kingdoms apart from animals and plants, Egypt's plan
was unusual in providing balanced information about all forms of life.
The plan stated that the following numbers of species of different
groups had been recorded from Egypt: algae (1483 species), animals
(about 15,000 species of which more than 10,000 were insects), fungi
(more than 627 species), monera (319 species), plants (2426 species),
protozoans (371 species). For some major groups, for example
lichen-forming fungi and nematode worms, the number was not known.
Apart from small and well-studied groups like amphibians, birds, fish,
mammals and reptiles, the many of those numbers are likely to increase
as further species are recorded from Egypt. For the fungi, including
lichen-forming species, for example, subsequent work has shown that
over 2200 species have been recorded from Egypt, and the final figure
of all fungi actually occurring in the country is expected to be much
higher. For the grasses, 284 native and naturalised species have
been identified and recorded in Egypt.
Main article: Politics of Egypt
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the current President of Egypt.
Sherif Ismail is the current Prime Minister of Egypt.
The House of Representatives, whose members are elected to serve
five-year terms, specialises in legislation. Elections were last held
between November 2011 and January 2012 which was later dissolved. The
next parliamentary election was announced to be held within 6 months
of the constitution's ratification on 18 January 2014, and were held
in two phases, from 17 October to 2 December 2015. Originally,
the parliament was to be formed before the president was elected, but
Adly Mansour pushed the date. The Egyptian
presidential election, 2014, took place on 26–28 May 2014. Official
figures showed a turnout of 25,578,233 or 47.5%, with Abdel Fattah
el-Sisi winning with 23.78 million votes, or 96.91% compared to
757,511 (3.09%) for Hamdeen Sabahi.
After a wave of public discontent with autocratic excesses of the
Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi, on 3
July 2013 then-General
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced the removal of
Morsi from office and the suspension of the constitution. A 50-member
constitution committee was formed for modifying the constitution which
was later published for public voting and was adopted on 18 January
Freedom House rated political rights in
Egypt at 5 (with 1
representing the most free and 7 the least), and civil liberties at 5,
which gave it the freedom rating of "Partly Free".
Egyptian nationalism predates its Arab counterpart by many decades,
having roots in the 19th century and becoming the dominant mode of
expression of Egyptian anti-colonial activists and intellectuals until
the early 20th century. The ideology espoused by Islamists such
Muslim Brotherhood is mostly supported by the lower-middle
strata of Egyptian society.
Egypt has the oldest continuous parliamentary tradition in the Arab
world. The first popular assembly was established in 1866. It was
disbanded as a result of the British occupation of 1882, and the
British allowed only a consultative body to sit. In 1923, however,
after the country's independence was declared, a new constitution
provided for a parliamentary monarchy.
Main article: Law of Egypt
The High Court of Justice in Downtown Cairo.
The legal system is based on Islamic and civil law (particularly
Napoleonic codes); and judicial review by a Supreme Court, which
International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice jurisdiction only
Islamic jurisprudence is the principal source of legislation. Sharia
courts and qadis are run and licensed by the Ministry of Justice.
The personal status law that regulates matters such as marriage,
divorce and child custody is governed by Sharia. In a family court, a
woman's testimony is worth half of a man's testimony.
On 26 December 2012, the
Muslim Brotherhood attempted to
institutionalise a controversial new constitution. It was approved by
the public in a referendum held 15–22 December 2012 with 64%
support, but with only 33% electorate participation. It replaced
the 2011 Provisional Constitution of Egypt, adopted following the
The Penal code was unique as it contains a "Blasphemy Law." The
present court system allows a death penalty including against an
absent individual tried in absentia. Several Americans and Canadians
were sentenced to death in 2012.
On 18 January 2014, the interim government successfully
institutionalised a more secular constitution. The president is
elected to a four-year term and may serve 2 terms. The parliament
may impeach the president. Under the constitution, there is a
guarantee of gender equality and absolute freedom of thought. The
military retains the ability to appoint the national Minister of
Defence for the next two full presidential terms since the
constitution took effect. Under the constitution, political
parties may not be based on "religion, race, gender or
Main article: Human rights in Egypt
See also: Sudanese refugees in Egypt, August 2013 Rabaa Massacre, and
Persecution of Copts
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights is one of the
longest-standing bodies for the defence of human rights in Egypt.
In 2003, the government established the National Council for Human
Rights. Shortly after its foundation, the council came under
heavy criticism by local activists, who contend it was a propaganda
tool for the government to excuse its own violations and to give
legitimacy to repressive laws such as the Emergency Law.
Protesters from the
Third Square movement, which supports neither the
Morsi government nor the Armed Forces, 31 July 2013
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life ranks
Egypt as the fifth
worst country in the world for religious freedom. The United
States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan
independent agency of the US government, has placed
Egypt on its watch
list of countries that require close monitoring due to the nature and
extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by
the government. According to a 2010 Pew Global Attitudes survey,
Egyptians polled supported the death penalty for those who
leave Islam; 77% supported whippings and cutting off of hands for
theft and robbery; and 82% support stoning a person who commits
In February 2016 Giulio Regeni, an Italian Ph.D student from the
University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge studying trade unions and worker's rights in
the country, was found brutally murdered in
Cairo after he went
missing in January of the same year. Subsequently,
Italy withdrew its
ambassador to Egypt. Egyptian law enforcement produced conflicting
information on the fate of the Italian citizen, which was unacceptable
to Italian investigators. As a result, the Italian press and foreign
ministry pointed at the systematic human right violations in Egypt,
and threatened with political sanctions unless police leadership and
practices undergo significant revisions.
Coptic Christians face discrimination at multiple levels of the
government, ranging from disproportionate representation in government
ministries to laws that limit their ability to build or repair
churches. Intolerance of Bahá'ís and non-orthodox
such as Sufis,
Shi'a and Ahmadis, also remains a problem. When the
government moved to computerise identification cards, members of
religious minorities, such as Bahá'ís, could not obtain
identification documents. An Egyptian court ruled in early 2008
that members of other faiths may obtain identity cards without listing
their faiths, and without becoming officially recognised.
Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated pro-
Morsi protesters holding the Rabia
sign in a protest in September 2013.
Clashes continued between police and supporters of former President
Mohamed Morsi, at least 595 civilians were killed in
Cairo on 14
August 2013, the worst mass killing in Egypt's modern
Egypt actively practices capital punishment. Egypt's authorities do
not release figures on death sentences and executions, despite
repeated requests over the years by human rights organisations.
United Nations human rights office and various NGOs
expressed "deep alarm" after an Egyptian Minya Criminal Court
sentenced 529 people to death in a single hearing on 25 March 2014.
Sentenced supporters of former President
Mohamed Morsi will be
executed for their alleged role in violence following his ousting in
July 2013. The judgment was condemned as a violation of international
law. By May 2014, approximately 16,000 people (and as high as
more than 40,000 by one independent count), mostly Brotherhood
members or supporters, have been imprisoned after the coup  after
Muslim Brotherhood was labelled as terrorist organisation by the
post-coup interim Egyptian government.
Morsi was ousted by the military, the judiciary system aligned
itself with the new government, actively supporting the repression of
Muslim Brotherhood members. This resulted in a sharp increase in mass
death sentences that arose criticism from then-U.S. president Barack
Obama and the General Secretary of the UN, Ban Ki Moon.
Homosexuality is illegal in Egypt According to 2013 survey by the
Pew Research Center, 95% of
Egyptians believe that homosexuality
should not be accepted by society.
Cairo was voted the most dangerous megacity for women with
more than 10 million inhabitants in a poll by Thomson Reuters
Foundation. Sexual harassment was described as occurring on a daily
Freedom of the press
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders ranked
Egypt in their 2017 World Press
Freedom Index at no. 160 out of 180 nations. At least 18 journalists
were imprisoned in Egypt, as of August 2015. A new anti-terror law was
enacted in August 2015 that threatens members of the media with fines
ranging from about US$25,000 to $60,000 for the distribution of wrong
information on acts of terror inside the country "that differ from
official declarations of the Egyptian Department of Defense".
Military and foreign relations
Egyptian Armed Forces
Egyptian Armed Forces and Foreign relations of Egypt
Egyptian honor guard soldiers during a visit of U.S. Navy Adm. Mike
The military is influential in the political and economic life of
Egypt and exempts itself from laws that apply to other sectors. It
enjoys considerable power, prestige and independence within the state
and has been widely considered part of the Egyptian "deep
According to the former chair of Israel's Knesset
Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee, Yuval Steinitz, the
Egyptian Air Force
Egyptian Air Force has roughly
the same number of modern warplanes as the
Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force and far
more Western tanks, artillery, anti-aircraft batteries and warships
than the IDF.
Egypt is speculated by
Israel to be the second
country in the region with a spy satellite, EgyptSat 1 in
EgyptSat 2 launched on 16 April 2014.
Top: Former President
Hosni Mubarak with former US President George W.
Bush at Camp David in 2002; Bottom: President
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and
Vladimir Putin in Sochi, August 2014.
The United States provides
Egypt with annual military assistance,
which in 2015 amounted to US$1.3 billion. In 1989,
designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States.
Nevertheless, ties between the two countries have partially soured
since the July 2013 overthrow of
Islamist president Mohamed
Morsi, with the
Obama administration denouncing
Egypt over its
crackdown on the
Muslim Brotherhood, and cancelling future military
exercises involving the two countries. There have been recent
attempts, however, to normalise relations between the two, with both
governments frequently calling for mutual support in the fight against
regional and international terrorism. However,
following the election of Republican
Donald Trump as the President of
the United States, the two countries are looking to improve the
Egyptian-American relations. al-Sisi and Trump had met during the
opening of the seventy-first session of the
United Nations General
Assembly in September 2016. The absence of
Egypt in President
Trump's travel ban towards seven
Muslim countries was noted in
Washington although the Congress has voiced human rights concerns over
the handling of dissidents. On 22 March 2017 it was reported that
al-Sisi would be traveling to Washington to meet with Trump on 3 April
Egyptian military has dozens of factories manufacturing weapons as
well as consumer goods. The Armed Forces' inventory includes equipment
from different countries around the world. Equipment from the former
Soviet Union is being progressively replaced by more modern US,
French, and British equipment, a significant portion of which is built
under license in Egypt, such as the
M1 Abrams tank.
Russia have improved significantly following Mohamed
Morsi's removal and both countries have worked since then to
strengthen military and trade ties among other aspects of
bilateral co-operation. Relations with
China have also improved
considerably. In 2014,
China established a bilateral
"comprehensive strategic partnership".
The permanent headquarters of the
Arab League are located in
the body's secretary general has traditionally been Egyptian. This
position is currently held by former foreign minister Ahmed Aboul
Arab League briefly moved from
Tunis in 1978 to
protest the Egypt–
Israel Peace Treaty, but it later returned to
Cairo in 1989. Gulf monarchies, including the United Arab
Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have pledged billions of dollars
Egypt overcome its economic difficulties since the July 2013
President el-Sisi with US President Donald Trump, 21 May 2017
Following the 1973 war and the subsequent peace treaty,
the first Arab nation to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
Israel is still widely considered as a hostile state by
the majority of Egyptians.
Egypt has played a historical role as
a mediator in resolving various disputes in the Middle East, most
notably its handling of the
Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the
peace process. Egypt's ceasefire and truce brokering efforts in
Gaza have hardly been challenged following Israel's evacuation of its
settlements from the strip in 2005, despite increasing animosity
Hamas government in Gaza
Hamas government in Gaza following the ouster of Mohamed
Morsi, and despite recent attempts by countries like
Qatar to take over this role.
Egypt and other non-Arab Middle Eastern nations,
Iran and Turkey, have often been strained. Tensions with
Iran are mostly due to Egypt's peace treaty with
Israel and Iran's
rivalry with traditional Egyptian allies in the Gulf. Turkey's
recent support for the now-banned
Muslim Brotherhood in
Egypt and its
alleged involvement in
Libya also made of both countries bitter
Egypt is a founding member of the
Non-Aligned Movement and the United
Nations. It is also a member of the Organisation internationale de la
francophonie, since 1983. Former Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister
Boutros Boutros-Ghali served as Secretary-General of the United
Nations from 1991 to 1996.
Egypt was estimated to have two million African refugees,
including over 20,000 Sudanese nationals registered with UNHCR as
refugees fleeing armed conflict or asylum seekers.
"harsh, sometimes lethal" methods of border control.
Governorates of Egypt
Governorates of Egypt and Subdivisions of Egypt
Governorates of Egypt
Egypt is divided into 27 governorates. 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
Kafr El Sheikh
Main article: Economy of Egypt
Egypt Exports by Product (2014) from Harvard Atlas of Economic
Egypt's economy depends mainly on agriculture, media, petroleum
imports, natural gas, and tourism; there are also more than three
Egyptians working abroad, mainly in Libya, Saudi Arabia, the
Persian Gulf and Europe. The completion of the
Aswan High Dam in 1970
and the resultant
Lake Nasser have altered the time-honoured place of
Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly
growing population, limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile
all continue to overtax resources and stress the economy.
The government has invested in communications and physical
Egypt has received
United States 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
Egypt's economy mainly relies on these sources of income: tourism,
Egyptians working abroad and revenues from the Suez
Egypt has a developed energy market based on coal, oil, natural gas,
and hydro power. Substantial coal deposits in the northeast
mined at the rate of about 600,000 tonnes (590,000 long tons; 660,000
short tons) per year. Oil and gas are produced in the western desert
regions, the Gulf of Suez, and the
Egypt has huge reserves
of gas, estimated at 2,180 cubic kilometres
(520 cu mi), and LNG up to 2012 exported to many
countries. In 2013, the Egyptian General Petroleum Co (EGPC) said the
country will cut exports of natural gas and tell major industries to
slow output this summer to avoid an energy crisis and stave off
Reuters has reported.
Egypt is counting on top
liquid natural gas (LNG) exporter
Qatar to obtain additional gas
volumes in summer, while encouraging factories to plan their annual
maintenance for those months of peak demand, said EGPC chairman, Tarek
Egypt produces its own energy, but has been a net oil
importer since 2008 and is rapidly becoming a net importer of natural
San Stefano Grand Plaza
San Stefano Grand Plaza in
Alexandria (left) and view from Cairo.
Economic conditions have started to improve considerably, after a
period of stagnation, due to the adoption of more liberal economic
policies by the government as well as increased revenues from tourism
and a booming stock market. In its annual report, the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) has rated
Egypt as one of the top countries in the
world undertaking economic reforms. Some major economic reforms
undertaken by the government since 2003 include a dramatic slashing of
customs and tariffs. A new taxation law implemented in 2005 decreased
corporate taxes from 40% to the current 20%, resulting in a stated
100% increase in tax revenue by the year 2006.
Smart Village, a business district in 6th of October established in
2001 to facilitate the growth of high-tech businesses.
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in
Egypt increased considerably before
the removal of Hosni Mubarak, exceeding $6 billion in 2006, due to
economic liberalisation and privatisation measures taken by minister
of investment Mahmoud Mohieddin. Since the fall of
Hosni Mubarak in 2011,
Egypt has experienced a drastic fall in both
foreign investment and tourism revenues, followed by a 60% drop in
foreign exchange reserves, a 3% drop in growth, and a rapid
devaluation of the Egyptian pound.
Although one of the main obstacles still facing the Egyptian economy
is the limited trickle down of wealth to the average population, many
Egyptians criticise their government for higher prices of basic goods
while their standards of living or purchasing power remains relatively
stagnant. Corruption is often cited by
Egyptians as the main
impediment to further economic growth. The government
promised major reconstruction of the country's infrastructure, using
money paid for the newly acquired third mobile license ($3 billion) by
Etisalat in 2006. In the
Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, Egypt
was ranked 114 out of 177.
Egypt's most prominent multinational companies are the Orascom Group
and Raya Contact Center. The information technology (IT) sector has
expanded rapidly in the past few years, with many start-ups selling
outsourcing services to North America and Europe, operating with
companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and other major corporations, as
well as many small and medium size enterprises. Some of these
companies are the Xceed Contact Center, Raya, E Group Connections and
C3. The IT sector has been stimulated by new Egyptian entrepreneurs
with government encouragement.
An estimated 2.7 million
Egyptians abroad contribute actively to the
development of their country through remittances (US$7.8 billion in
2009), as well as circulation of human and social capital and
investment. Remittances, money earned by
Egyptians living abroad
and sent home, reached a record US$21 billion in 2012, according to
the World Bank.
Egyptian society is moderately unequal in terms of income
distribution, with an estimated 35–40% of Egypt's population earning
less than the equivalent of $2 a day, while only around 2–3% may be
Main article: Tourism in Egypt
Muizz Street. Old
Cairo has the greatest concentration of medieval
architectural treasures in the Islamic world.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Egypt's economy. More
than 12.8 million tourists visited
Egypt in 2008, providing revenues
of nearly $11 billion. The tourism sector employs about 12% of Egypt's
workforce. Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou told industry
professionals and reporters that tourism generated some $9.4 billion
in 2012, a slight increase over the $9 billion seen in 2011.
Sahl Hasheesh, a resort town near Hurghada.
Giza Necropolis is one of Egypt's most well-known tourist
attractions; it is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient
World still in existence.
Egypt's beaches on the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, which extend to
over 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles), are also popular tourist
Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba beaches, Safaga, Sharm El Sheikh,
Hurghada, Luxor, Dahab, Ras Sidr, and
Marsa Alam are popular cites.
Main article: Energy in Egypt
An offshore platform in the Darfeel Gas Field.
Egypt produced 691,000 bbl/d of oil and 2,141.05 Tcf of
natural gas in 2013, making the country the largest non-
of oil and the second-largest dry natural gas producer in Africa. In
Egypt was the largest consumer of oil and natural gas in Africa,
as more than 20% of total oil consumption and more than 40% of total
dry natural gas consumption in Africa. Also,
Egypt possesses the
largest oil refinery capacity in
Africa 726,000 bbl/d (in
Egypt is currently planning to build its first nuclear power plant in
El Dabaa, in the northern part of the country, with $25 billion in
Main article: Transport in Egypt
Transport in Egypt
Transport in Egypt is centred around
Cairo and largely follows the
pattern of settlement along the Nile. The main line of the nation's
40,800-kilometre (25,400 mi) railway network runs from Alexandria
Aswan and is operated by Egyptian National Railways. The vehicle
road network has expanded rapidly to over 21,000 miles, consisting of
28 line, 796 stations, 1800 train covering the
Nile Valley and Nile
Delta, the Mediterranean and
Red Sea coasts, the Sinai, and the
Cairo Metro (line 2)
Cairo Metro in
Egypt is the first of only two full-fledged metro
Africa and the Arab World. It is considered one of the most
important recent projects in
Egypt which cost around 12 billion
Egyptian pounds. The system consists of three operational lines with a
fourth line expected in the future.
EgyptAir, which is now the country's flag carrier and largest airline,
was founded in 1932 by Egyptian industrialist Talaat Harb, today owned
by the Egyptian government. The airline is based at Cairo
International Airport, its main hub, operating scheduled passenger and
freight services to more than 75 destinations in the Middle East,
Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The Current
includes 80 aeroplanes.
Suez Canal Bridge.
Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in
the most important centre of the maritime transport in the Middle
East, connecting the
Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in
November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows ship
Asia without navigation around Africa.
The northern terminus is
Port Said and the southern terminus is Port
Tawfiq at the city of Suez.
Ismailia lies on its west bank, 3
kilometres (1.9 miles) from the half-way point.
The canal is 193.30 kilometres (120.11 miles) long, 24 metres (79
feet) deep and 205 metres (673 feet) wide as of 2010[update]. It
consists of the northern access channel of 22 kilometres (14 miles)
(14 mi), the canal itself of 162.25 kilometres (100.82 miles) and
the southern access channel of 9 kilometres (5.6 miles). The canal is
a single lane with passing places in the Ballah By-Pass and the Great
Bitter Lake. It contains no locks; seawater flows freely through the
canal. In general, the canal north of the Bitter Lakes flows north in
winter and south in summer. The current south of the lakes changes
with the tide at Suez.
On 26 August 2014 a proposal was made for opening a New
Work on the New
Suez Canal was completed in July 2015. The
channel was officially inaugurated with a ceremony attended by foreign
leaders and featuring military flyovers on 6 August 2015, in
accordance with the budgets laid out for the project.
Water supply and sanitation
Water supply and sanitation in Egypt
The piped water supply in
Egypt increased between 1990 and 2010 from
89% to 100% in urban areas and from 39% to 93% in rural areas despite
rapid population growth. Over that period,
Egypt achieved the
elimination of open defecation in rural areas and invested in
infrastructure. Access to an improved water source in
Egypt is now
practically universal with a rate of 99%. About one half of the
population is connected to sanitary sewers.
Partly because of low sanitation coverage about 17,000 children die
each year because of diarrhoea. Another challenge is low cost
recovery due to water tariffs that are among the lowest in the world.
This in turn requires government subsidies even for operating costs, a
situation that has been aggravated by salary increases without tariff
increases after the Arab Spring. Poor operation of facilities, such as
water and wastewater treatment plants, as well as limited government
accountability and transparency, are also issues.
Green irrigated land along the
Nile amidst the desert and in the delta
Irrigated land and crops
Due to the absence of appreciable rainfall, Egypt's agriculture
depends entirely on irrigation. The main source of irrigation water is
Nile of which the flow is controlled by the high dam at
Aswan. It releases, on average, 55 cubic kilometres (45,000,000
acre·ft) water per year, of which some 46 cubic kilometres
(37,000,000 acre·ft) are diverted into the irrigation canals.
Nile valley and delta, almost 33,600 square kilometres (13,000
sq mi) of land benefit from these irrigation waters producing on
average 1.8 crops per year.
Demographics of Egypt
Demographics of Egypt and Egyptians
Egypt's population density (people per km2).
Historical populations in thousands
Source: Population in Egypt
Egypt is the most populated country in the Middle East, and the third
most populous on the African continent, with about 95 million
inhabitants as of 2017[update]. Its population grew rapidly from
1970 to 2010 due to medical advances and increases in agricultural
productivity  enabled by the Green Revolution. Egypt's
population was estimated at 3 million when
Napoleon invaded the
country in 1798.
Egypt's people are highly urbanised, being concentrated along the Nile
Cairo and Alexandria), in the Delta and near the
Egyptians are divided demographically into those who live in the major
urban centres and the fellahin, or farmers, that reside in rural
While emigration was restricted under Nasser, thousands of Egyptian
professionals were dispatched abroad in the context of the Arab Cold
War. Egyptian emigration was liberalised in 1971, under President
Sadat, reaching record numbers after the 1973 oil crisis. An
estimated 2.7 million
Egyptians live abroad. Approximately 70% of
Egyptian migrants live in Arab countries (923,600 in Saudi Arabia,
332,600 in Libya, 226,850 in Jordan, 190,550 in
Kuwait with the rest
elsewhere in the region) and the remaining 30% reside mostly in Europe
and North America (318,000 in the United States, 110,000 in
90,000 in Italy). The process of emigrating to non-Arab states
has been ongoing since the 1950s.
Egyptians are by far the largest ethnic group in the country,
constituting 91% of the total population. Ethnic minorities
include the Abazas, Turks, Greeks,
Bedouin Arab tribes living in the
eastern deserts and the
Sinai Peninsula, the Berber-speaking Siwis
(Amazigh) of the Siwa Oasis, and the Nubian communities clustered
along the Nile. There are also tribal Beja communities concentrated in
the south-eastern-most corner of the country, and a number of Dom
clans mostly in the
Nile Delta and
Faiyum who are progressively
becoming assimilated as urbanisation increases.
Some 5 million immigrants live in Egypt, mostly Sudanese, "some of
whom have lived in
Egypt for generations." Smaller numbers of
immigrants come from Iraq, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and
The Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
estimated that the total number of "people of concern" (refugees,
asylum seekers, and stateless people) was about 250,000. In 2015, the
number of registered
Syrian refugees in Egypt
Syrian refugees in Egypt was 117,000, a decrease
from the previous year. Egyptian government claims that a
half-million Syrian refugees live in
Egypt are thought to be
exaggerated. There are 28,000 registered Sudanese refugees in
The once-vibrant and ancient Greek and Jewish communities in Egypt
have almost disappeared, with only a small number remaining in the
country, but many Egyptian Jews visit on religious or other occasions
and tourism. Several important Jewish archaeological and historical
sites are found in Cairo,
Alexandria and other cities.
Main article: Languages of Egypt
The official language of the
Republic is Arabic. The spoken
Egyptian Arabic (68%), Sa'idi
Arabic (29%), Eastern
Arabic (1.6%), Sudanese
Arabic (0.6%), Domari (0.3%),
Nobiin (0.3%), Beja (0.1%), Siwi and others. Additionally, Greek,
Armenian and Italian, and more recently, African languages like
Amharic and Tigrigna are the main languages of immigrants.
The main foreign languages taught in schools, by order of popularity,
are English, French, German and Italian.
Historically Egyptian was spoken, of which the latest stage is Coptic
Egyptian. Spoken Coptic was mostly extinct by the 17th century but may
have survived in isolated pockets in
Upper Egypt as late as the 19th
century. It remains in use as the liturgical language of the Coptic
Orthodox Church of Alexandria. It forms a separate branch
among the family of Afroasiatic languages.
Main article: Religion in Egypt
Mosque of Muhammad Ali
Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo.
Egypt is a predominantly
Muslim country with
Islam as its state
religion. The percentage of adherents of various religions is a
controversial topic in Egypt. An estimated 90% are identified as
Muslim, 9% as Coptic Christians, and 1% as other Christian
denominations, although without a census the numbers cannot be known.
Estimates put the Christian population as high as 15–20%.[citation
needed] [nb 1]
Non-denominational Muslims form roughly 12% of the
Egypt was a Christian country before the 7th Century, after
Islam arrived, the country was gradually Islamised into a
Muslim country. It is not known when Muslims
reached a majority variously estimated from ca. 1000 A.D. to as late
as the 14th century.
Egypt emerged as a centre of politics and culture
Muslim world. Under Anwar Sadat,
Islam became the official
state religion and
Sharia the main source of law. It is estimated
that 15 million
Egyptians follow Native Sufi orders,
with the Sufi leadership asserting that the numbers are much greater
as many Egyptian Sufis are not officially registered with a Sufi
order. At least 305 people were killed during a November 2017
attack on a Sufi mosque in Sinai.
There is also a
Shi'a minority. The Jerusalem Center for Public
Affairs estimates the Shia population at 1 to 2.2 million and
could measure as much as 3 million. The
Ahmadiyya population is
estimated at less than 50,000, whereas the Salafi
(ultra-conservative) population is estimated at five to six
Cairo is famous for its numerous mosque minarets and has
been dubbed "The City of 1,000 Minarets".
St. Mark Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria
Of the Christian population in
Egypt over 90% belong to the native
Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, an
Oriental Orthodox Christian
Church. Other native Egyptian Christians are adherents of the
Coptic Catholic Church, the Evangelical Church of
Egypt and various
other Protestant denominations. Non-native Christian communities are
largely found in the urban regions of
Cairo and Alexandria, such as
the Syro-Lebanese, who belong to Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and
Maronite Catholic denominations.
Greeks also made up a large
Greek Orthodox population in the
past. Likewise, Armenians made up the then larger Armenian Orthodox
and Catholic communities.
Egypt also used to have a large Roman
Catholic community, largely made up of Italians and Maltese. These
non-native communities were much larger in
Egypt before the Nasser
regime and the nationalisation that took place.
Egypt hosts the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. It was founded
back in the first century, considered to be the largest Church in the
Middle East and North Africa.
Egypt is also the home of
Al-Azhar University (founded in 969 CE,
began teaching in 975 CE), which is today the world's "most
influential voice of establishment
Sunni Islam" and is, by some
measures, the second-oldest continuously operating university in
Egypt recognises only three religions: Islam, Christianity, and
Judaism. Other faiths and minority
Muslim sects practised by
Egyptians, such as the small
Bahá'í and Ahmadi community, are not
recognised by the state and face persecution by the government, which
labels these groups a threat to Egypt's national security.
Individuals, particularly Baha'is and atheists, wishing to include
their religion (or lack thereof) on their mandatory state issued
identification cards are denied this ability (see Egyptian
identification card controversy), and are put in the position of
either not obtaining required identification or lying about their
faith. A 2008 court ruling allowed members of unrecognised faiths to
obtain identification and leave the religion field blank.
See also: List of cities in Egypt
Largest cities or towns in Egypt
world-gazetteer Estimates for 2012
Shubra El Kheima
Shubra El Kheima
El Mahalla El Kubra
Culture of Egypt
Al-Azhar Park is listed as one of the world's sixty great public
spaces by the Project for Public Spaces
Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a commemoration of the ancient Library of
Egypt is a recognised cultural trend-setter of the Arabic-speaking
Arabic and Middle-Eastern culture is heavily
influenced by Egyptian literature, music, film and television. Egypt
gained a regional leadership role during the 1950s and 1960s, giving a
further enduring boost to the standing of Egyptian culture in the
Egyptian identity evolved in the span of a long period of occupation
to accommodate Islam,
Christianity and Judaism; and a new language,
Arabic, and its spoken descendant,
Egyptian Arabic which is also based
on many Ancient Egyptian words.
The work of early 19th-century scholar
Rifa'a al-Tahtawi renewed
interest in Egyptian antiquity and exposed Egyptian society to
Enlightenment principles. Tahtawi co-founded with education reformer
Ali Mubarak a native
Egyptology school that looked for inspiration to
medieval Egyptian scholars, such as
Suyuti and Maqrizi, who themselves
studied the history, language and antiquities of Egypt.
Egypt's renaissance peaked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
through the work of people like Muhammad Abduh, Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed,
Muhammad Loutfi Goumah, Tawfiq el-Hakim, Louis Awad, Qasim Amin,
Taha Hussein and Mahmoud Mokhtar. They forged a liberal
Egypt expressed as a commitment to personal freedom,
secularism and faith in science to bring progress.
The weighing of the heart scene from the
Book of the Dead.
Egyptians were one of the first major civilisations to codify
design elements in art and architecture. Egyptian blue, also known as
calcium copper silicate is a pigment used by
Egyptians for thousands
of years. It is considered to be the first synthetic pigment. The wall
paintings done in the service of the Pharaohs followed a rigid code of
visual rules and meanings. Egyptian civilisation is renowned for its
colossal pyramids, temples and monumental tombs.
Well-known examples are the
Pyramid of Djoser
Pyramid of Djoser designed by ancient
architect and engineer Imhotep, the Sphinx, and the temple of Abu
Simbel. Modern and contemporary Egyptian art can be as diverse as any
works in the world art scene, from the vernacular architecture of
Hassan Fathy and Ramses Wissa Wassef, to Mahmoud Mokhtar's sculptures,
to the distinctive Coptic iconography of Isaac Fanous. The
House serves as the main performing arts venue in the Egyptian
Main article: Egyptian literature
Naguib Mahfouz, the first Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel
Prize in Literature.
Egyptian literature traces its beginnings to ancient
Egypt and is some
of the earliest known literature. Indeed, the
Egyptians were the first
culture to develop literature as we know it today, that is, the
book. It is an important cultural element in the life of Egypt.
Egyptian novelists and poets were among the first to experiment with
modern styles of
Arabic literature, and the forms they developed have
been widely imitated throughout the Middle East. The first modern
Egyptian novel Zaynab by
Muhammad Husayn Haykal was published in 1913
in the Egyptian vernacular. Egyptian novelist
Naguib Mahfouz was
the first Arabic-language writer to win the
Nobel Prize in Literature.
Egyptian women writers include Nawal El Saadawi, well known for her
feminist activism, and
Alifa Rifaat who also writes about women and
Vernacular poetry is perhaps the most popular literary genre among
Egyptians, represented by the works of
Ahmed Fouad Negm (Fagumi),
Salah Jaheen and Abdel Rahman el-Abnudi.
Main article: Media of Egypt
Egyptian media are highly influential throughout the Arab World,
attributed to large audiences and increasing freedom from government
control. Freedom of the media is guaranteed in the
constitution; however, many laws still restrict this right.
Main article: Cinema of Egypt
Suad Husni, film star.
Egyptian cinema became a regional force with the coming of sound. In
1936, Studio Misr, financed by industrialist Talaat Harb, emerged as
the leading Egyptian studio, a role the company retained for three
decades. For over 100 years, more than 4000 films have been
produced in Egypt, three quarters of the total Arab
Egypt is considered the leading country
in the field of cinema in the Middle East. Actors from all over the
Arab World seek to appear in the
Egyptian cinema for the sake of fame.
Cairo International Film Festival has been rated as one of 11
festivals with a top class rating worldwide by the International
Federation of Film Producers' Associations.
Music of Egypt
Egyptian music is a rich mixture of indigenous, Mediterranean, African
and Western elements. It has been an integral part of Egyptian culture
since antiquity. The ancient
Egyptians credited one of their gods
Hathor with the invention of music, which
Osiris in turn used as part
of his effort to civilise the world.
Egyptians used music instruments
Contemporary Egyptian music traces its beginnings to the creative work
of people such as Abdu al-Hamuli, Almaz and Mahmoud Osman, who
influenced the later work of Sayed Darwish, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed
Abdel Wahab and
Abdel Halim Hafez
Abdel Halim Hafez whose age is considered the golden
age of music in
Egypt and the whole
Middle East and North-Africa.
Prominent contemporary Egyptian pop singers include
Amr Diab and
Tanoura dancer performing in Wekalet El Ghoury, Cairo.
Egypt is often considered the home of belly dance. Egyptian
belly dance has two main styles – raqs baladi and raqs sharqi. There
are also numerous folkloric and character dances that may be part of
an Egyptian-style belly dancer's repertoire, as well as the modern
shaabi street dance which shares some elements with raqs baladi.
Main article: List of museums in Egypt
Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Egypt has one of the oldest civilisations in the world. It has been in
contact with many other civilisations and nations and has been through
so many eras, starting from prehistoric age to the modern age, passing
through so many ages such as; Pharonic, Roman, Greek, Islamic and many
other ages. Because of this wide variation of ages, the continuous
contact with other nations and the big number of conflicts
been through, at least 60 museums may be found in Egypt, mainly
covering a wide area of these ages and conflicts.
Tutankhamun's burial mask is one of the major attractions of the
The three main museums in
Egypt are The
Egyptian Museum which has more
than 120,000 items, the
Egyptian National Military Museum
Egyptian National Military Museum and the 6th
of October Panorama.
Egyptian Museum (GEM), also known as the
Giza Museum, is an
under construction museum that will house the largest collection of
ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world, it has been described as the
world's largest archaeological museum. The museum was scheduled
to open in 2015 and will be sited on 50 hectares (120 acres) of land
approximately two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the
Giza Necropolis and
is part of a new master plan for the plateau. The Minister of
Antiquities Mamdouh al-Damaty announced in May 2015 that the museum
will be partially opened in May 2018.
Egypt celebrates many festivals and religious carnivals, also known as
mulid. They are usually associated with a particular Coptic or Sufi
saint, but are often celebrated by
Egyptians irrespective of creed or
Ramadan has a special flavour in Egypt, celebrated with
sounds, lights (local lanterns known as fawanees) and much flare that
Muslim tourists from the region flock to
Egypt to witness during
The ancient spring festival of Sham en Nisim (Coptic:
Ϭⲱⲙ‘ⲛⲛⲓⲥⲓⲙ shom en nisim) has been celebrated by
Egyptians for thousands of years, typically between the Egyptian
Paremoude (April) and
Pashons (May), following Easter
Main article: Egyptian cuisine
Kushari, one of Egypt's national dishes.
Egyptian cuisine is notably conducive to vegetarian diets, as it
relies heavily on legume and vegetable dishes. Though food in
Alexandria and the coast of
Egypt tends to use a great deal of fish
and other seafood, for the most part
Egyptian cuisine is based on
foods that grow out of the ground. Meat has been very expensive for
Egyptians throughout history, so a great number of vegetarian
dishes have been developed.
Some consider kushari (a mixture of rice, lentils, and macaroni) to be
the national dish. Fried onions can be also added to kushari. In
addition, ful medames (mashed fava beans) is one of the most popular
dishes. Fava bean is also used in making falafel (also known as
"ta‘miya"), which may have originated in
Egypt and spread to other
parts of the Middle East. Garlic fried with coriander is added to
molokhiya, a popular green soup made from finely chopped jute leaves,
sometimes with chicken or rabbit.
A crowd at
Cairo Stadium to watch the
Egypt national football team.
Football is the most popular national sport of Egypt. The
is one of the fiercest derbies in Africa, and the BBC picked it as one
of the 7 toughest derbies in the world. Al Ahly is the most
successful club of the 20th century in the
African continent according
to CAF, closely followed by their rivals Zamalek SC. They're known as
the "African Club of the Century". With twenty titles, Al Ahly is
currently the world's most successful club in terms of international
trophies, surpassing Italy's
A.C. Milan and Argentina's Boca Juniors,
both having eighteen.
The Egyptian national football team, known as the Pharaohs, won the
African Cup of Nations
African Cup of Nations seven times, including three times in a row in
2006, 2008, and 2010. Considered the most successful African national
team and one which has reached the top 10 of the FIFA world rankings,
Egypt has qualified for the
FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup three times. Two goals from
Mohamed Salah in their last qualifying game took Egypt
through to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Egyptian Youth National
team Young Pharaohs won the Bronze Medal of the 2001 FIFA youth world
cup in Argentina.
Egypt was 4th place in the football tournament in
the 1928 and the 1964 Olympics.
Squash and tennis are other popular sports in Egypt. The Egyptian
squash team has been competitive in international championships since
Amr Shabana and
Ramy Ashour are Egypt's best players and
both were ranked tne world's number one squash player.
Egypt has won
the Squash World Championships four times, with the last title being
Egypt hosted the IHF World Men's Handball Championship, and
will host it again in 2021. In 2001, the national handball team
achieved its best result in the tournament by reaching fourth place.
Egypt has won in the
African Men's Handball Championship
African Men's Handball Championship five times,
being the best team in Africa. In addition to that, it also championed
Mediterranean Games in 2013, the Beach Handball World
Championships in 2004 and the Summer Youth Olympics in 2010. Among all
African nations, the
Egypt national basketball team
Egypt national basketball team holds the record
for best performance at the Basketball World Cup and at the Summer
Olympics. Further, the team has won a record number of 16
medals at the African Championship.
Egypt has taken part in the
Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games since 1912 and hosted
Alexandria h the first
Mediterranean Games in 1951.
hosted several international competitions. The last one being the 2009
FIFA U-20 World Cup which took place between 24 September – 16
On Friday 19 September 2014,
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records announced that
Egyptian scuba diver
Ahmed Gabr is the new title holder for deepest
salt water scuba dive, at 332.35 metres (1,090.4 feet). Ahmed set
a new world record Friday when he reached a depth of more than 1,000
feet (300 metres). The 14-hour feat took Gabr 1,066 feet (325 metres)
down into the abyss near the Egyptian town of
Dahab in the Red Sea,
where he works as a diving instructor.
On 1 September 2015
Raneem El Weleily was ranked as the world number
one woman squash player. Other female Egyptian squash players
include Nour El Tayeb, Omneya Abdel Kawy,
Nouran Gohar and Nour El
Main article: Telecommunications in Egypt
The wired and wireless telecommunication industry in
Egypt started in
1854 with the launch of the country's first telegram line connecting
Cairo and Alexandria. The first telephone line between the two cities
was installed in 1881. In September 1999 a national project for a
technological renaissance was announced reflecting the commitment of
the Egyptian government to developing the country's IT-sector.
GSM services were first launched in
Egypt in 1996. As of
June 2011[update], it is currently offering 2G/3G/4G services, 4G
LTE services were under trials, officially launched in 2016.
Egypt currently has 4 companies offering cellular services:
Orange Egypt, owned by Orange S.A.
Vodafone Egypt, owned by
Vodafone and Telecom Egypt
Etisalat Egypt, owned by Emirates Telecommunication Corporation
Telecom Egypt, operating as WE
Egypt and owned by the Ministry of
Communications and Information Technology (Egypt)
Egypt Post is the company responsible for postal service in Egypt.
Established in 1865, it is one of the oldest governmental institutions
in the country.
Egypt is one of 21 countries that contributed to the
establishment of the Universal Postal Union, initially named the
General Postal Union, as signatory of the Treaty of Bern.
Main article: Education in Egypt
Egyptian literacy rate among the population aged 15 years and older by
UNESCO Institute of Statistics
The illiteracy rate has decreased since 1996 from 39.4 to 25.9 percent
in 2013. The adult literacy rate as of July 2014 was estimated at
73.9%. The illiteracy rate is highest among those over 60 years
of age being estimated at around 64.9%, while illiteracy among youth
between 15 and 24 years of age was listed at 8.6 percent.
A European-style education system was first introduced in
Egypt by the
Ottomans in the early 19th century to nurture a class of loyal
bureaucrats and army officers. Under British occupation
investment in education was curbed drastically, and secular public
schools, which had previously been free, began to charge fees.
In the 1950s, president Nasser phased in free education for all
Egyptians. The Egyptian curriculum influenced other Arab
education systems, which often employed Egyptian-trained
teachers. Demand soon outstripped the level of available state
resources, causing the quality of public education to
deteriorate. Today this trend has culminated in poor
teacher–student ratios (often around one to fifty) and persistent
Basic education, which includes six years of primary and three years
of preparatory school, is a right for Egyptian children from the age
of six. After grade 9, students are tracked into one of two
strands of secondary education: general or technical schools. General
secondary education prepares students for further education, and
graduates of this track normally join higher education institutes
based on the results of the Thanaweya Amma, the leaving exam.
Technical secondary education has two strands, one lasting three years
and a more advanced education lasting five. Graduates of these schools
may have access to higher education based on their results on the
final exam, but this is generally uncommon.
Cairo University is ranked as 401–500 according to the Academic
Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking) and 551–600
according to QS World University Rankings. American University in
Cairo is ranked as 360 according to
QS World University Rankings
QS World University Rankings and
Alexandria University and Ain Shams University
fall in the 701+ range.
Egypt is currently opening new research
institutes for the aim of modernising research in the nation, the most
recent example of which is Zewail City of Science and Technology.
Main article: Health in Egypt
Egyptian life expectancy at birth was 73.20 years in 2011, or 71.30
years for males and 75.20 years for females.
Egypt spends 3.7 percent
of its gross domestic product on health including treatment costs 22
percent incurred by citizens and the rest by the state. In 2010,
spending on healthcare accounted for 4.66% of the country's GDP. In
2009, there were 16.04 physicians and 33.80 nurses per 10,000
As a result of modernisation efforts over the years, Egypt's
healthcare system has made great strides forward. Access to healthcare
in both urban and rural areas greatly improved and immunisation
programs are now able to cover 98% of the population. Life expectancy
increased from 44.8 years during the 1960s to 72.12 years in 2009.
There was a noticeable decline of the infant mortality rate (during
the 1970s to the 1980s the infant mortality rate was 101-132/1000 live
births, in 2000 the rate was 50-60/1000, and in 2008 it was
According to the
World Health Organization
World Health Organization in 2008, an estimated 91.1%
of Egypt's girls and women aged 15 to 49 have been subjected to
genital mutilation, despite being illegal in the country. In 2016
the law was amended to impose tougher penalties on those convicted of
performing the procedure, pegging the highest jail term at 15 years.
Those who escort victims to the procedure can also face jail terms up
to 3 years.
The total number of
Egyptians with health insurance reached 37 million
in 2009, of which 11 million are minors, providing an insurance
coverage of approximately 52 percent of Egypt's population.
Middle East portal
Index of Egypt-related articles
Outline of ancient Egypt
Outline of Egypt
^ The population of
Egypt is estimated as being 90% Muslim, 9% Coptic
Christian and 1% other Christian though estimates vary. by the US
Department of State ("Background Note: Egypt". US Department of State.
10 November 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2011. ); the CIA World
Factbook ("Egypt". CIA. 4 September 2008. ) and the United
Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office ("Egypt". UK Foreign and
Commonwealth Office. 27 January 2008. Archived from the original on 12
December 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2016. ). Microsoft Encarta
Online similarly estimates the
Sunni population at 90% of the total.
(Egypt. Microsoft Encarta Online. 30 September 2008. Archived from the
original on 21 October 2009. ). The Pew Forum on Religion and
Public Life gave a higher estimate of the
Muslim population at 94.6%
("Mapping The Global
Muslim Population" (PDF). Pew Forum on Religion
and Public Life. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10
October 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2011. )
^ a b "Religions". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
^ Goldschmidt, Arthur (1988). Modern Egypt: The Formation of a
Nation-State. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. p. 5.
ISBN 978-0-86531-182-4. Among the peoples of the ancient Near
East, only the
Egyptians have stayed where they were and remained what
they were, although they have changed their language once and their
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