Egypt or the country of Pyramids occupies the northeastern tip of Africa right off the continental border with Asia with its Sinai Peninsula (the latter takes 6% of the mainland). The country neighbours with Libya to the west, Sudan to the south and Israel and Gaza Strip to the northeast. Egypt is washed by the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the east. Spread over 1,010 408 square kilometers, Egypt ranks Africa’s 3rd and the world’s 13th most populous country with about 99 million population as of 2019.
Due to geographical and natural conditions Egypt happens to be widely inhabited across its capital, Cairo, northeastern Alexandria and the Nile Delta, while the rest of the country is mainly taken by deserts. 91% of the country’s population is comprised of Egyptians coexisting with the minorities of Turks, Greeks, Bedouin Arabs, etc. Egyptian Arabic is Egypt’s national language.
Being one of the founding members of UN, Arab League and African Union with the leading economy following Nigeria as of 2016 and the 40th GDP worldwide, Egypt hosts 5 million immigrants and refugees from Sudan, Iraq, Syria and other countries. Over 2 million Egyptians live abroad, mostly in Western countries.
History of Egypt
Having its origins back in the 6-4th millenniums BCE, Egypt’s history is rich in the local kingdoms and dynasties ruling the country from 3150 BCE to 1070 BCE with various foreign dominations (Libyan, Nubian, Assyrian) in between. The 6th century BCE was marked by the Achaemenid Persians taking Egypt and becoming the unique foreign rulers aptly named pharaohs after the defeat of the 30th and the last Egyptian dynasty in 343 BCE.
Read more: Georeferrencer.com
With the ever-growing powers of Alexander the Great, Egypt soon fell under the Ptolemic dominion with Alexandria being the main Hellenistic culture and trade center. Later centuries witnessed Romans and the Byzantine Empire in charge of Egypt until the Arabs joined the land to their world in the 7th century. Cairo (built in 986) and the whole Islamized Egypt was under the control of the Ottoman Turks and the British powers before gaining independence in 1922. Egypt was declared a republic as a result of the 1952 revolution.
Art and Culture in Egypt
Egypt’s capital and the largest economic and cultural hub Cairo is home to 9 million residents. Alexandria and Giza follow with around 5 and 4 million inhabitants relatively. Egypt is the cultural bellwether of the Arabic world with the highest concentration of historical monuments on its premises.
Source & Further Reading: Egypt – RoughGuides.com
Although counting various alien influences, Egypt’s culture attracts visitors with its long-standing unique national image. The three millenniums saw Egyptians nurturing the cult of their pharaohs and building imposing stone constructions or the only survivors of the world’s seven wonders. Somewhere in the middle of the Nile and Cairo the Pyramids emerge. The complex comprises the memorial tombs of the Fourth Dynasty pharaohs: Cheops, Khafre and Menkaure and attracts millions of international visitors to Giza plateau. The pyramids are escorted by the Great Sphinx to the east. The entire site has been in charge of the astronomical symbolism other than its direct sacred function.
Luxor and Karnak – The two huge complexes spanning over a hundred hectares in southern Egypt fall behind the pyramids in their importance and tourist influx. The Middle and New Kingdom temples, chapels and pylons coupled with the valleys of the kings and the queens have been commemorating the principal place for worship throughout the centuries.
Cairo and Alexandria – the largest urban and economic hubs of Egypt entail a significant cultural legacy. While the capital welcomes visitors with many monuments reflecting the Ottoman rule (the Muhhamad Ali Mosque, the Egyptian Museum, etc.), Alexandria is the best source for the Greek and Islamic cultural fusion over the centuries (Greco-Roman landmarks, Quitbay Citadel, Bibliotheca Alexandria).
Source & Further Reading: Egypt by Service.gov.uk
Regardless of the political and social turmoil strengthened in 2011, Egypt is mostly safe for tourists. The major urban areas hand-in-hand with the key tourist zones of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada making way for the Red Sea biodiversity are open to 8 million travelers year-round and counting.