Egypt, a country in northeastern Africa. It is bounded on the north by the Mediteranean Sea; on the east by Israel, the Gulf
of Aqaba and the red Sea; on the south by Sudan; and on the west by Libia.
Name: Egypt ( Misr ) or Arab Republic of Egypt ( Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah)
Ethnic groups: Egyptian Berber, Nubian, Bedouin, and Beja, Greek, Armenian, other European (primarily Italian and French)
Religions: Muslim (mostly Sunni), Coptic, other Christian
Languages: Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
Egypt's largest cities:
Mahalla el Kubra
Wonders of Ancient Egypt:
The Pyramids, the Sphinx, Thebes, Memphis, Abydos.
Background: The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to
the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in
341B.C.who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control
about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion
of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt.
Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty following
World War II. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored
place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world),
limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to ready the economy for the new millennium through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure. Source: The World Factbook