Background, geography and population of Egypt

All Giza Pyramids

Egyptofficially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the Sinai Peninsula lies Saudi Arabia, although Jordan and Saudi Arabia do not share a land border with Egypt.

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 Nubian. 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.

From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, and many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, and declared itself a republic. 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 with 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.

Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa (after 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 Nile Delta.

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 2016, Egypt overtook South Africa and became Africa’s second largest economy (after Nigeria).Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including Giza’s colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor’s hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs. The capital, Cairo, is home to Ottoman landmarks like Muhammad Ali Mosque and the Egyptian Museum, a trove of antiquities.
Capital: Cairo
Currency: Egyptian pound
Population: 95.69 million (2016) World Bank
Government: Republic, Unitary state, Semi-presidential system
Destinations: Cairo, Giza, Luxor, Alexandria, Aswan, Hurghada

Egypt is located in the North-Eastern and South-Western corners of Africa and Asia respectively. It is bounded to the North by the Mediterranean Sea, from the East by Palestine and Israel, from the South by Sudan and from the West by Libya.

Land Area in Egypt

Agriculture                  35,380 square kilometres

Forest                          702 square kilometres

Water                          6,000 square kilometres

Desert              920,000 Square kilometres

National Park              33,368 Square kilometres

Total Land area           995,450 square kilometres

Provinces:

There are twenty seven provinces in Egypt. Matruh with 2,492 square kilometres is the largest province followed by Buhayrah with 2,357 square kilometres. Ismailiyah with an area of 246 square kilometres is the smallest pronvince

Mountains:

Egypt has ten mountains Mount Catherine which is 2,642 meters is the highest and Mout Jabal al Azraq is the smallest with 2,297 meters.

Longest River:  River Nile

Largest Lake: Lake Nasser (5,250 square kilometres)

National Parks: Egypt has eighteen national Parks with Ras Muhammad National Park being the biggest.

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