Egypt Country Facts
Egypt, republic located in the Middle East. It borders on the north with the Mediterranean Sea, on the east with Israel and the Red Sea, on the south with Sudan and on the west with Libya. It has an area of 997,738 km2. Its capital is Cairo. Egypt is the fruit of the Nile River , the birthplace of one of the greatest civilizations of antiquity, whose historical references date back to 3200 BC
This territory comprises the valley and the Nile River Delta. More than 90% are desert areas, among which are: to the west, the Libyan desert, part of the Sahara, which comprises the Great Sea of Sand, where several depressions with altitudes below sea level are located, such as Qattara; to the east, the Arabian desert, which surrounds the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez; and in the extreme south, the Nubian desert.
On the Sinai peninsula, a sandy desert in the north and rugged mountains in the south, is Mount Sinai, which is the highest point in the region. The Nile enters Egypt through Sudan and cuts across the country to the north, where it flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Lake Nasser, formed by the Aswan dam, stretches south across the border with Sudan. The slime deposited by the Rosetta and Damietta arms, the main ones in the vast mouth of the Mediterranean, make the delta the most fertile region in the country.
The Suez isthmus, which connects the African continent to Asia, is cut from the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf of Suez, in the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal. The climate is characterized by a hot season, from May to September, and a cold season, between November and March. Precipitations are sparse. In the desert there is a great thermal amplitude, with intense cold at night and high daytime temperatures.
POPULATION AND GOVERNMENT
Most Egyptians are descended from the indigenous pre-Muslim population (the ancient Egyptians) and from the Arabs, who conquered the region in the 7th century. The Nubians, an indigenous people, are an important minority group. Some nomadic and semi-nomadic pastors, mostly Bedouins, live in the desert regions.
Islam is the official religion and almost 90% of Egyptians are Sunni Muslims. The Christian Coptic Church is the main religious minority. Arabic is the official language; Berber is spoken by the people of the western oasis. French and English are the second language among the educated population. See also Egyptian art and architecture; Egyptian literature. The 1971 Constitution establishes an Arab socialist state, with Islam as the official religion. The head of state is the president of the Republic, elected by the direct vote of the population. Legislative authority is exercised by the unicameral People’s Assembly.
According to INTERSHIPPINGRATES, gross domestic product (1993-1994) is $ 51.6 billion. It is a predominantly agricultural country. Land use is among the highest in the world: it is the largest producer of long-fiber cotton and one of the largest producers of corn in the world. In livestock, the highlight is the creation of pack animals. The country has an important fishing industry. Oil and natural gas are the most important mineral products. There is a strong spinning industry for cotton, jute and wool, fabrics, refined sugar, sulfuric acid, nitrogen fertilizers, paper and cement. The currency unit is the Egyptian pound.
The origins of ancient Egyptian civilization cannot be precisely defined. The description of the development of Egyptian civilization is based on the archaeological discoveries of ruins, tombs and monuments. The hieroglyphs provided important data. Egyptian history, until the conquest of Alexander III, the Great, is divided into the old, medium and new empires, with intermediate periods, followed by the late and Ptolemy periods. Archaeological sources show the birth, around the end of the pre-dynastic period (3200 BC), of a dominant political force that, bringing together the ancient kingdoms of the south (valley) and north (delta), became the first unified kingdom of ancient Egypt.
During the 1st and 2nd Dynasties (3100-2755 BC), some of the great mastabas (funerary structures that preceded the pyramids) were built in Sakkarah and Abidos. The Old Empire (2755-2255 BC) comprises of the III to the VI Dynasties. The capital was in the north, at Menfis, and the monarchs maintained absolute power over a solidly centralized government.
Religion played an important role, as evidenced by the wealth and number of temples; in fact, the government had evolved into a theocratic system, in which Pharaoh was considered a god on earth, which is why he enjoyed absolute power. The IV Dynasty began with the pharaoh Snefru who, among other significant works, built the first pyramids in Dahshur. Snefru carried out campaigns in Nubia, Libya and Sinai. He was succeeded by Queóps, who erected the Great Pyramid at Giza. Redjedef, son of Queóps (reigned in 2613-2603 BC), introduced a deity associated with the solar element (Ra) in the royal title and in the religious pantheon. Khafre and Miquerinos, other members of the dynasty, built their funeral complexes in Giza. With the IV Dynasty, the Egyptian civilization experienced the peak of its development,