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Coordinates: 26°N 30°E / 26°N 30°E / 26; 30

Arab Republic
Republic
of Egypt

جمهورية مصر العربية

Arabic: Jumhūrīyat Miṣr al-ʿArabīyah

Egyptian: Gomhoreyet Maṣr El ʿArabeyah

Flag

Coat of arms

Anthem: "Bilady, Bilady, Bilady" "بلادي، بلادي، بلادي" "My country, my country, my country"

Capital and largest city Cairo 30°2′N 31°13′E / 30.033°N 31.217°E / 30.033; 31.217

Official languages Arabic[a]

National language Egyptian Arabic

Religion

90% Islam 9% Orthodox Christian 1% Other Christian[1]

Demonym Egyptian

Government Unitary semi-presidential republic

• President

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

• Prime Minister

Sherif Ismail

Legislature House of Representatives

Establishment

• Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt[2][3][b]

c. 3150 BC

•  Muhammad Ali dynasty
Muhammad Ali dynasty
inaugurated

9 July 1805[4]

• Independence from United Kingdom

28 February 1922

• Revolution Day

23 July 1952

•  Republic
Republic
declared

18 June 1953

• Current constitution

18 January 2014

Area

• Total

1,010,408[5] km2 (390,121 sq mi) (29th)

• Water (%)

0.632

Population

• 2017 estimate

96,744,600[6] (13th)

• 2017 census

94,798,827[7]

• Density

96/km2 (248.6/sq mi) (118th)

GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate

• Total

$1.173 trillion[8] (21st)

• Per capita

$12,560[8] (100th)

GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate

• Total

$408.045 billion[9] (32nd)

• Per capita

$4,503[9] (113th)

Gini (2008) 30.8[10] medium

HDI (2015)  0.691[11] medium · 111th

Currency Egyptian pound
Egyptian pound
(E£) (EGP)

Time zone EET (UTC+2[c])

Drives on the right

Calling code +20

ISO 3166 code EG

Internet TLD

.eg مصر.

^ Literary Arabic
Arabic
is the sole official language.[12] 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 Egyptians
Egyptians
have 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".[13][14] Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. ^ See Daylight saving time in Egypt.

Egypt
Egypt
(/ˈiːdʒɪpt/ ( listen) EE-jipt; Arabic: مِصر‎ Miṣr, Egyptian Arabic: مَصر‎ Maṣr, Coptic: Ⲭⲏⲙⲓ Khēmi), officially the Arab Republic
Republic
of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa
Africa
and southwest corner of Asia
Asia
by a land bridge formed by the Sinai
Sinai
Peninsula. Egypt
Egypt
is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and Israel
Israel
to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba
to the east, the Red Sea
Red Sea
to the east and south, Sudan
Sudan
to the south, and Libya
Libya
to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
lies Saudi Arabia, although Jordan
Jordan
and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
do not share a land border with Egypt. Egypt
Egypt
emerged as one of the world's first nation states in the tenth millennium BC.[15] 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
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
Egypt
was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was largely Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim
Muslim
country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. Modern Egypt
Egypt
dates back to 1922, when it gained independence from the British Empire
British Empire
as a monarchy. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt declared itself a republic, and in 1958 it merged with Syria
Syria
to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt
Egypt
endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel
Israel
in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, and occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967. In 1980, Egypt
Egypt
signed the Camp David Accords, withdrawing from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges from terrorism, political unrest, and economic underdevelopment. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt
Egypt
is the most populous country in North Africa
North Africa
and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa (after Nigeria
Nigeria
and Ethiopia), and the fifteenth-most populous in the world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile
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
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
Alexandria
and other major cities in the Nile
Nile
Delta. Egypt
Egypt
is considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim
Muslim
world, and a middle power worldwide.[16] 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
Egypt
overtook South Africa
South Africa
and became Africa's second largest economy.[17][18] Egypt
Egypt
is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Contents

1 Names 2 History

2.1 Prehistory and Ancient Egypt 2.2 Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt 2.3 Middle Ages (7th century – 1517)

2.3.1 The Fatimid Caliphate
Fatimid Caliphate
and the Mamluks

2.4 Early modern: Ottoman Egypt
Egypt
(1517–1867)

2.4.1 The Muhammad Ali dynasty

2.5 The European intrusion (1867–1914) 2.6 British protectorate (1882–1952) 2.7 Republic
Republic
(1953–present)

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)

3 Geography

3.1 Climate 3.2 Biodiversity

4 Government

4.1 Law

4.1.1 Human rights 4.1.2 Freedom of the press

4.2 Military and foreign relations 4.3 Administrative divisions

5 Economy

5.1 Tourism 5.2 Energy 5.3 Transport

5.3.1 Suez
Suez
Canal

5.4 Water supply
Water supply
and sanitation 5.5 Irrigated land and crops

6 Demographics

6.1 Ethnic groups 6.2 Languages 6.3 Religion 6.4 Largest cities

7 Culture

7.1 Arts 7.2 Literature 7.3 Media 7.4 Cinema 7.5 Music 7.6 Dances 7.7 Museums 7.8 Festivals 7.9 Cuisine 7.10 Sports

8 Telecommunication

8.1 Cellular 8.2 Post

9 Education 10 Health 11 See also 12 Notes 13 References 14 Sources 15 External links

Names The English name Egypt
Egypt
is derived from the Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Aígyptos (Αἴγυπτος), via Middle French Egypte and Latin
Latin
Aegyptus. It is reflected in early Greek Linear B
Linear B
tablets as a-ku-pi-ti-yo. The adjective aigýpti-, aigýptios was borrowed into Coptic as gyptios, and from there into Arabic
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 Egyptian name

(⟨ḥwt-kȝ-ptḥ⟩), meaning "home of the ka (soul) of Ptah", the name of a temple to the god Ptah
Ptah
at Memphis.[19] Strabo
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 Quranic Arabic
Arabic
and modern official name of Egypt, while Maṣr or Masar (IPA: [mɑsˤɾ]; Egyptian Arabic: مَصر‎) is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic.[20] The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt
Egypt
such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם‬ (Mitzráyim). The oldest attestation of this name for Egypt
Egypt
is the Akkadian mi-iṣ-ru miṣru,[21][22] related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier".[23] The ancient Egyptian name of the country was

km.t, which means black land, likely referring to the fertile black soils of the Nile
Nile
flood plains, distinct from the deshret (⟨dšṛt⟩), or "red land" of the desert.[24][25] This name is commonly vocalised as Kemet, but was probably pronounced [kuːmat] in ancient Egyptian.[26] The name is realised as kēme and kēmə in the Coptic stage of the Egyptian language, and appeared in early Greek as Χημία (Khēmía).[27] Another name was ⟨tꜣ-mry⟩ "land of the riverbank".[28] 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. History Main article: History of Egypt

Temple of Derr
Temple of Derr
ruins in 1960

Prehistory and Ancient Egypt Main articles: Prehistoric Egypt
Prehistoric Egypt
and Ancient Egypt There is evidence of rock carvings along the Nile
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 centralised society.[29] By about 6000 BC, a Neolithic
Neolithic
culture rooted in the Nile
Nile
Valley.[30] During the Neolithic
Neolithic
era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt. The Badarian
Badarian
culture and the successor Naqada
Naqada
series are generally regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, Merimda, predates the Badarian
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
Naqada
III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BC.[31]

The Giza Necropolis
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
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
Egypt
set the stage for the Old Kingdom
Old Kingdom
period, c. 2700–2200 BC., which constructed many pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and the Fourth Dynasty Giza
Giza
pyramids. The First Intermediate Period ushered in a time of political upheaval for about 150 years.[32] Stronger Nile
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
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
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. The New Kingdom
New Kingdom
c. 1550–1070 BC began with the Eighteenth Dynasty, marking the rise of Egypt
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
Levant
in the east. This period is noted for some of the most well known Pharaohs, including Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Akhenaten
Akhenaten
and his wife Nefertiti, Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun
and 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
Egyptians
eventually drove them out and regained control of their country.[33] In 525 BC, the powerful Achaemenid Persians, led by Cambyses II, began their conquest of Egypt, eventually capturing the pharaoh Psamtik III
Psamtik III
at the battle of Pelusium. Cambyses II then assumed the formal title of pharaoh, but ruled Egypt
Egypt
from his home of Susa
Susa
in Persia (modern Iran), leaving Egypt
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
Egypt
was never able to permanently overthrow the Persians.[34] The Thirtieth Dynasty was the last native ruling dynasty during the Pharaonic
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
Cleopatra VII
and her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion, at the Temple of Dendera.

Main articles: History of Ptolemaic Egypt
History of Ptolemaic Egypt
and Egypt
Egypt
(Roman province) The Ptolemaic Kingdom
Ptolemaic Kingdom
was a powerful Hellenistic state, extending from southern Syria
Syria
in the east, to Cyrene to the west, and south to the frontier with Nubia. Alexandria
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.[35][36] The last ruler from the Ptolemaic line was Cleopatra VII, who committed suicide following the burial of her lover Mark Antony
Mark Antony
who had died in her arms (from a self-inflicted stab wound), after Octavian
Octavian
had captured Alexandria
Alexandria
and her mercenary forces had fled. The Ptolemies faced rebellions of native Egyptians
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. Nevertheless, Hellenistic culture
Hellenistic culture
continued to thrive in Egypt
Egypt
well after the Muslim
Muslim
conquest. Christianity
Christianity
was brought to Egypt
Egypt
by Saint Mark the Evangelist
Saint Mark the Evangelist
in the 1st century.[37] 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
New Testament
had by then been translated into Egyptian. After the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, a distinct Egyptian Coptic Church was firmly established.[38] Middle Ages (7th century – 1517) Main article: Egypt
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 639–42, when Egypt
Egypt
was invaded and conquered by the Islamic Empire by the Muslim
Muslim
Arabs. When they defeated the Byzantine Armies in Egypt, the Arabs
Arabs
brought Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
to the country. Early in this period, Egyptians
Egyptians
began to blend their new faith with indigenous beliefs and practices, leading to various Sufi orders that have flourished to this day.[37] These earlier rites had survived the period of Coptic Christianity.[39] The Fatimid Caliphate
Fatimid Caliphate
and the Mamluks See also: Fatimid Caliphate
Fatimid Caliphate
and Mamluk
Mamluk
Sultanate (Cairo)

The Al-Hakim Mosque
Al-Hakim Mosque
in Cairo, of Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the sixth caliph, as renovated by Dawoodi Bohra

Muslim
Muslim
rulers nominated by the Caliphate
Caliphate
remained in control of Egypt for the next six centuries, with Cairo
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 13th century, Egypt
Egypt
linked the Red Sea, India, Malaya, and East Indies.[40] The mid-14th-century Black Death
Black Death
killed about 40% of the country's population.[41] Early modern: Ottoman Egypt
Egypt
(1517–1867) Main article: Egypt
Egypt
Eyalet Egypt
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.[40] The weakening of the economic system combined with the effects of plague left Egypt vulnerable to foreign invasion. Portuguese traders took over their trade.[40] Between 1687 and 1731, Egypt
Egypt
experienced six famines.[42] The 1784 famine cost it roughly one-sixth of its population.[43] Egypt
Egypt
was always a difficult province for the Ottoman Sultans
Sultans
to control, due in part to the continuing power and influence of the Mamluks, the Egyptian military
Egyptian military
caste who had ruled the country for centuries.

Napoleon
Napoleon
defeated the Mamluk
Mamluk
troops in the Battle of the Pyramids, 21 July 1798, painted by Lejeune.

Egypt
Egypt
remained semi-autonomous under the Mamluks
Mamluks
until it was invaded by the French forces of Napoleon
Napoleon
Bonaparte 1798 (see French campaign in Egypt
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
Mamluks
who had ruled Egypt for centuries, and Albanian mercenaries in the service of the Ottomans. The Muhammad Ali dynasty Main article: History of Egypt
History of Egypt
under the Muhammad Ali dynasty

Egypt
Egypt
under Muhammad Ali dynasty

Muhammad Ali was the founder of the Muhammad Ali dynasty
Muhammad Ali dynasty
and the first Khedive
Khedive
of Egypt
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
Mamluks
and established a dynasty that was to rule Egypt
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 international markets.[44] Muhammad Ali annexed Northern Sudan
Sudan
(1820–1824), Syria
Syria
(1833), and parts of Arabia and Anatolia; but in 1841 the European powers, fearful lest he topple the Ottoman Empire
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.[44] He constructed a military state with around four percent of the populace serving the army to raise Egypt
Egypt
to a powerful positioning in the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in a way showing various similarities to the Soviet strategies (without communism) conducted in the 20th century.[45] 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.[46] The policy that Mohammad Ali Pasha followed during his reign explains partly why the numeracy in Egypt
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 industrial sector.[47] 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.[45] The European intrusion (1867–1914)

The battle of Tel el-Kebir in 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War

Main article: Khedivate of Egypt 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. The Suez
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."[48] 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.[49] In later years, the dynasty became a British puppet.[44] Isma'il and Tewfik Pasha
Tewfik Pasha
governed Egypt
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 and France
France
intervened militarily, bombarding Alexandria
Alexandria
and crushing the Egyptian army at the battle of Tel El Kebir.[50] They reinstalled Ismail's son Tewfik as figurehead of a de facto British protectorate.[51] In 1906, the Dinshaway Incident
Dinshaway Incident
prompted many neutral Egyptians
Egyptians
to join the nationalist movement. British protectorate (1882–1952) Main article: History of Egypt
History of Egypt
under the British The Khedivate of Egypt
Khedivate of Egypt
remained a de jure Ottoman province until 5 November 1914,[52] when it was declared a British protectorate in reaction to the decision of the Young Turks
Young Turks
of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
to join 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
Central powers
in World War I. Abbas II was deposed as khedive and replaced by his uncle, Hussein Kamel, as sultan.[53] After World War I, Saad Zaghlul
Saad Zaghlul
and the Wafd Party
Wafd Party
led the Egyptian nationalist movement to a majority at the local Legislative Assembly. When the British exiled Zaghlul and his associates[dubious – discuss] to Malta
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 1922.[54]

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
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
Egypt
lasted until 1954.[55] Republic
Republic
(1953–present) Main article: History of the Republic
Republic
of Egypt Following the 1952 Revolution by the Free Officers Movement, the rule of Egypt
Egypt
passed to military hands. On 18 June 1953, the Egyptian Republic
Republic
was declared, with General Muhammad Naguib
Muhammad Naguib
as the first President of the Republic. The Republic
Republic
of Egypt
Egypt
(Arabic: جمهورية مصر‎, Gumhūrīyat Maṣr), was the official name of Egypt
Egypt
from the abolition of the Egyptian and Sudanese monarchy in 1953 until Egypt's union with Syria in the United Arab Republic
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
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 revolutionaries. Reign of president Nasser (1956–1970)

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
in Mansoura, 1960

Naguib was forced to resign in 1954 by Gamal Abdel Nasser – a Pan-Arabist
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.[56] Nasser assumed power as President in June 1956. British forces completed their withdrawal from the occupied Suez Canal
Suez Canal
Zone on 13 June 1956. He nationalised the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
on 26 July 1956, prompting the 1956 Suez
Suez
Crisis. In 1958, Egypt
Egypt
and Syria
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 United Arab Republic
Republic
was also in a loose confederation with North Yemen
Yemen
(or the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen), known as the United Arab States. In 1959, the All-Palestine Government
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
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
Yemen
was greatly undermined later. In mid May 1967, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
issued warnings to Nasser of an impending Israeli attack on Syria. Although the chief of staff Mohamed Fawzi verified them as "baseless",[57][58] Nasser took three successive steps that made the war virtually inevitable: On 14 May he deployed his troops in Sinai
Sinai
near the border with Israel, on 19 May he expelled the UN peacekeepers stationed in the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
border with Israel, and on 23 May he closed the Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran
to Israeli shipping.[59] On 26 May Nasser declared, "The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel".[60] Israel
Israel
re-iterated that the Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran
closure was a Casus belli. In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel
Israel
attacked Egypt, and occupied Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
and the Gaza Strip, which Egypt
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.[61] Under this law, police powers were extended, constitutional rights suspended and censorship legalised.[citation needed] At the time of the fall of the Egyptian monarchy in the early 1950s, less than half a million Egyptians
Egyptians
were considered upper class and rich, four million middle class and 17 million lower class and poor.[62] 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
Egypt
under Nasser.[62] 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.[63] Reign of president Sadat (1970–1981)

Egyptian tanks advancing in the Sinai
Sinai
desert during the Yom Kippur War, 1973

In 1970, President Nasser died and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat. Sadat switched Egypt's Cold War
Cold War
allegiance from the Soviet Union
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 Sinai
Sinai
territory Israel
Israel
had captured 6 years earlier. It presented Sadat with a victory that allowed him to regain the Sinai
Sinai
later in return for peace with Israel.[64]

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.[65] Even though Sadat's policy was intended to modernise Egypt
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
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
Arab world
and led to Egypt's expulsion from the Arab League, but it was supported by most Egyptians.[66] Sadat was assassinated by an Islamic extremist in October 1981. Reign of president Mubarak (1981–2011) Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak
came to power after the assassination of Sadat in a referendum in which he was the only candidate.[67] Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak
reaffirmed Egypt's relationship with Israel
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 Cairo
Cairo
where they ended up in crowded slums, barely managing to survive. In the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, terrorist attacks in Egypt
Egypt
became numerous and severe, and began to target Christian Copts, foreign tourists and government officials.[68] In the 1990s an Islamist
Islamist
group, 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[69]—and in turn to the government, but it also devastated the livelihoods of many of the people on whom the group depended for support.[70] 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.[citation needed] As a result, by the late 1990s parliamentary politics had become virtually irrelevant and alternative avenues for political expression were curtailed as well.[71]

Cairo
Cairo
grew into a metropolitan area with a population of over 20 million

On 17 November 1997, 62 people, mostly tourists, were massacred near Luxor. 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.[72] However, the new law placed restrictions on the candidates, and led to Mubarak's easy re-election victory.[73] Voter turnout was less than 25%.[74] Election observers also alleged government interference in the election process.[75] After the election, Mubarak imprisoned Ayman Nour, the runner-up.[76] Human Rights Watch's 2006 report on Egypt
Egypt
detailed serious human rights violations, including routine torture, arbitrary detentions and trials before military and state security courts.[77] In 2007, Amnesty International released a report alleging that Egypt
Egypt
had become an international centre for torture, where other nations send suspects for interrogation, often as part of the War on Terror.[78] Egypt's foreign ministry quickly issued a rebuttal to this report.[79] 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.[80] In 2009, Dr. Ali El Deen Hilal Dessouki, Media Secretary of the National Democratic Party (NDP), described Egypt
Egypt
as a "pharaonic" political system, and democracy as a "long-term goal". Dessouki also stated that "the real center of power in Egypt
Egypt
is the military".[81] Revolution and aftermath (2011–2014) Main article: Egyptian crisis (2011–14)

Top: Celebrations in Tahrir Square
Tahrir Square
after the announcement of Hosni Mubarak's resignation; Bottom: Protests in Tahrir Square
Tahrir Square
against President Morsi
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
Tahrir Square
at the news.[82] The Egyptian military
Egyptian military
then assumed the power to govern.[83][84] Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, became the de facto interim head of state.[85][86] On 13 February 2011, the military dissolved the parliament and suspended the constitution.[87] A constitutional referendum was held on 19 March 2011. On 28 November 2011, Egypt
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.[88] Mohamed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi
was elected president on 24 June 2012.[89] On 2 August 2012, Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil
Hisham Qandil
announced his 35-member cabinet comprising 28 newcomers including four from the Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood.[90] Liberal and secular groups walked out of the constituent assembly because they believed that it would impose strict Islamic practices, while Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood backers threw their support behind Morsi.[91] On 22 November 2012, President Morsi
Morsi
issued a temporary declaration immunising his decrees from challenge and seeking to protect the work of the constituent assembly.[92] The move led to massive protests and violent action throughout Egypt.[93] On 5 December 2012, tens of thousands of supporters and opponents of president Morsi
Morsi
clashed, in what was described as the largest violent battle between Islamists and their foes since the country's revolution.[94] Mohamed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi
offered a "national dialogue" with opposition leaders but refused to cancel the December 2012 constitutional referendum.[95] On 3 July 2013, after a wave of public discontent with autocratic excesses of Morsi's Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood government,[96] the military removed President Morsi
Morsi
from power in a coup d'état and installed an interim government.[97] On 4 July 2013, 68-year-old Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt
Egypt
Adly Mansour
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.[98][99] Many of the Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood leaders and activists have either been sentenced to death or life imprisonment in a series of mass trials.[100][101][102] 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[103] a higher number than the 33% who voted in a referendum during Morsi's tenure.[104] 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.[105] The poll, held between 26 and 28 May 2014, resulted in a landslide victory for el-Sisi.[106] Sisi was sworn into office as President of Egypt
President of Egypt
on 8 June 2014. The Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood and some liberal and secular activist groups boycotted the vote.[107] 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.[108] Geography Main article: Geography of Egypt

Nile
Nile
valley near Luxor.

Rocky landscape in Marsa Alam.

Egypt
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),[109] 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
Nile
Valley and Delta, meaning that about 99% of the population uses about 5.5% of the total land area.[110] 98% of Egyptians
Egyptians
live on 3% of the territory.[111] Egypt
Egypt
is bordered by Libya
Libya
to the west, the Sudan
Sudan
to the south, and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and Israel
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
Africa
and Asia, traversed by a navigable waterway (the Suez
Suez
Canal) that connects the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
with the Indian Ocean by way of the Red Sea. Apart from the Nile
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. Egypt
Egypt
includes parts of the Sahara
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
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 Egypt
Egypt
were announced.[112] Climate 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.[113] 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),[114] mostly between October and March. Snow
Snow
falls on Sinai's mountains and some of the north coastal cities such as Damietta, Baltim
Baltim
and Sidi Barrani, and rarely in Alexandria. A very small amount of snow fell on Cairo
Cairo
on 13 December 2013, the first time in many decades.[115] Frost
Frost
is also known in mid- Sinai
Sinai
and mid-Egypt. Egypt
Egypt
is the driest and the sunniest country in the world, and most of its land surface is desert.

The Qattara Depression
Qattara Depression
in Egypt's north west.

Egypt
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. The Khamaseen
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 temperatures in Egypt
Egypt
occur when the Khamaseen
Khamaseen
blows. The weather is always sunny and clear in Egypt, especially in cities such as Aswan, Luxor
Luxor
and Asyut. It is one of the least cloudy and least rainy regions on Earth. Prior to the construction of the Aswan
Aswan
Dam, the Nile
Nile
flooded annually (colloquially The Gift of the Nile) replenishing Egypt's soil. This gave Egypt
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
Egyptians
into environmental refugees by the end of the 21st century, according to some climate experts.[116][117] Biodiversity Main article: Wildlife of Egypt 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.[118] It has subsequently produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which was received by the convention on 31 July 1998.[119] Where many CBD National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans neglect biological kingdoms apart from animals and plants,[120] 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.[121] For the grasses, 284 native and naturalised species have been identified and recorded in Egypt.[122] Government Main article: Politics of Egypt

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
is the current President of Egypt.

Sherif Ismail
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.[123] Originally, the parliament was to be formed before the president was elected, but interim president Adly Mansour
Adly Mansour
pushed the date.[124] 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.[125] After a wave of public discontent with autocratic excesses of the Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi,[96] on 3 July 2013 then-General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
announced the removal of Morsi
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 2014.[126] In 2013, Freedom House
Freedom House
rated political rights in Egypt
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".[127] Egyptian nationalism
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.[128] The ideology espoused by Islamists such as the Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood is mostly supported by the lower-middle strata of Egyptian society.[129] Egypt
Egypt
has the oldest continuous parliamentary tradition in the Arab world.[130] 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.[130] Law 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 accepts compulsory International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
jurisdiction only with reservations.[55] Islamic jurisprudence is the principal source of legislation. Sharia courts and qadis are run and licensed by the Ministry of Justice.[131] 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.[132] On 26 December 2012, the Muslim
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.[133] It replaced the 2011 Provisional Constitution of Egypt, adopted following the revolution. The Penal code was unique as it contains a "Blasphemy Law."[134] 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.[135] On 18 January 2014, the interim government successfully institutionalised a more secular constitution.[136] The president is elected to a four-year term and may serve 2 terms.[136] The parliament may impeach the president.[136] Under the constitution, there is a guarantee of gender equality and absolute freedom of thought.[136] The military retains the ability to appoint the national Minister of Defence for the next two full presidential terms since the constitution took effect.[136] Under the constitution, political parties may not be based on "religion, race, gender or geography".[136] Human rights Main article: Human rights in Egypt See also: Sudanese refugees in Egypt, August 2013 Rabaa Massacre, and Persecution of Copts The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights is one of the longest-standing bodies for the defence of human rights in Egypt.[137] In 2003, the government established the National Council for Human Rights.[138] 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[139] and to give legitimacy to repressive laws such as the Emergency Law.[140]

Protesters from the Third Square
Third Square
movement, which supports neither the Morsi
Morsi
government nor the Armed Forces, 31 July 2013

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life ranks Egypt
Egypt
as the fifth worst country in the world for religious freedom.[141][142] The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan independent agency of the US government, has placed Egypt
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.[143] According to a 2010 Pew Global Attitudes survey, 84% of Egyptians
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 adultery.[144] 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
Cairo
after he went missing in January of the same year. Subsequently, Italy
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.[145] Coptic Christians
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.[146] Intolerance of Bahá'ís and non-orthodox Muslim
Muslim
sects, such as Sufis, Shi'a
Shi'a
and Ahmadis, also remains a problem.[77] When the government moved to computerise identification cards, members of religious minorities, such as Bahá'ís, could not obtain identification documents.[147] 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.[148]

Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood-affiliated pro- Morsi
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
Cairo
on 14 August 2013,[149] the worst mass killing in Egypt's modern history.[150] Egypt
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.[151] The United Nations
United Nations
human rights office[152] and various NGOs[151][153] 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
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.[154] By May 2014, approximately 16,000 people (and as high as more than 40,000 by one independent count),[155] mostly Brotherhood members or supporters, have been imprisoned after the coup [156] after the Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood was labelled as terrorist organisation by the post-coup interim Egyptian government.[157] After Morsi
Morsi
was ousted by the military, the judiciary system aligned itself with the new government, actively supporting the repression of Muslim
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
Homosexuality
is illegal in Egypt[158] According to 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, 95% of Egyptians
Egyptians
believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society.[159] In 2017 Cairo
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 basis.[160] Freedom of the press Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
ranked Egypt
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".[161] Military and foreign relations Main articles: Egyptian Armed Forces
Egyptian Armed Forces
and Foreign relations of Egypt

Egyptian honor guard soldiers during a visit of U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen

The military is influential in the political and economic life of Egypt
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 state".[67][162][163] According to the former chair of Israel's Knesset Foreign Affairs
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.[164] Egypt
Egypt
is speculated by Israel
Israel
to be the second country in the region with a spy satellite, EgyptSat 1[165] in addition to EgyptSat 2
EgyptSat 2
launched on 16 April 2014.[166]

Top: Former President Hosni Mubarak
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 Russian President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
in Sochi, August 2014.

The United States provides Egypt
Egypt
with annual military assistance, which in 2015 amounted to US$1.3 billion.[167] In 1989, Egypt
Egypt
was designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States.[168] Nevertheless, ties between the two countries have partially soured since the July 2013 overthrow of Islamist
Islamist
president Mohamed Morsi,[169] with the Obama administration
Obama administration
denouncing Egypt
Egypt
over its crackdown on the Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood, and cancelling future military exercises involving the two countries.[170] 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.[171][172][173] However, following the election of Republican Donald Trump
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
United Nations
General Assembly in September 2016.[174] The absence of Egypt
Egypt
in President Trump's travel ban towards seven Muslim
Muslim
countries was noted in Washington although the Congress has voiced human rights concerns over the handling of dissidents.[175] On 22 March 2017 it was reported that al-Sisi would be traveling to Washington to meet with Trump on 3 April 2017.[176] The Egyptian military
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
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
M1 Abrams
tank.[citation needed] Relations with Russia
Russia
have improved significantly following Mohamed Morsi's removal[177] and both countries have worked since then to strengthen military[178] and trade ties[179] among other aspects of bilateral co-operation. Relations with China
China
have also improved considerably. In 2014, Egypt
Egypt
and China
China
established a bilateral "comprehensive strategic partnership".[180] The permanent headquarters of the Arab League
Arab League
are located in Cairo
Cairo
and the body's secretary general has traditionally been Egyptian. This position is currently held by former foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The Arab League
Arab League
briefly moved from Egypt
Egypt
to Tunis
Tunis
in 1978 to protest the Egypt– Israel
Israel
Peace Treaty, but it later returned to Cairo
Cairo
in 1989. Gulf monarchies, including the United Arab Emirates[181] and Saudi Arabia,[182] have pledged billions of dollars to help Egypt
Egypt
overcome its economic difficulties since the July 2013 coup.[183]

President el-Sisi with US President Donald Trump, 21 May 2017

Following the 1973 war and the subsequent peace treaty, Egypt
Egypt
became the first Arab nation to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Despite that, Israel
Israel
is still widely considered as a hostile state by the majority of Egyptians.[184] Egypt
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
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
and the peace process.[185] 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 towards the Hamas government in Gaza
Hamas government in Gaza
following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi,[186] and despite recent attempts by countries like Turkey
Turkey
and Qatar
Qatar
to take over this role.[187] Ties between Egypt
Egypt
and other non-Arab Middle Eastern nations, including Iran
Iran
and Turkey, have often been strained. Tensions with Iran
Iran
are mostly due to Egypt's peace treaty with Israel
Israel
and Iran's rivalry with traditional Egyptian allies in the Gulf.[188] Turkey's recent support for the now-banned Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood in Egypt
Egypt
and its alleged involvement in Libya
Libya
also made of both countries bitter regional rivals.[189][190] Egypt
Egypt
is a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement
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
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1991 to 1996. In 2008, Egypt
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. Egypt
Egypt
adopted "harsh, sometimes lethal" methods of border control.[191] Administrative divisions Main articles: Governorates of Egypt
Governorates of Egypt
and Subdivisions of Egypt

Governorates of Egypt

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 governorate.

Matrouh Alexandria Beheira Kafr El Sheikh Dakahlia Damietta Port Said North Sinai Gharbia Monufia Qalyubia Sharqia Ismailia Giza Faiyum Cairo Suez South Sinai Beni Suef Minya New Valley Asyut Red Sea Sohag Qena Luxor Aswan

Economy Main article: Economy of Egypt

Egypt
Egypt
Exports by Product (2014) from Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity

Egypt's economy depends mainly on agriculture, media, petroleum imports, natural gas, and tourism; there are also more than three million Egyptians
Egyptians
working abroad, mainly in Libya, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
and Europe. The completion of the Aswan
Aswan
High Dam in 1970 and the resultant Lake Nasser
Lake Nasser
have altered the time-honoured place of the Nile
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.[192] The government has invested in communications and physical infrastructure. Egypt
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 Iraq
Iraq
war. Egypt's economy mainly relies on these sources of income: tourism, remittances from Egyptians
Egyptians
working abroad and revenues from the Suez Canal.[193] Egypt
Egypt
has a developed energy market based on coal, oil, natural gas, and hydro power. Substantial coal deposits in the northeast Sinai
Sinai
are 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 Nile
Nile
Delta. Egypt
Egypt
has huge reserves of gas, estimated at 2,180 cubic kilometres (520 cu mi),[194] 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 political unrest, Reuters
Reuters
has reported. Egypt
Egypt
is counting on top liquid natural gas (LNG) exporter Qatar
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 El Barkatawy. Egypt
Egypt
produces its own energy, but has been a net oil importer since 2008 and is rapidly becoming a net importer of natural gas.[195]

San Stefano Grand Plaza
San Stefano Grand Plaza
in Alexandria
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
Egypt
as one of the top countries in the world undertaking economic reforms.[196] 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
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.[citation needed] Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak
in 2011, Egypt
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.[197] Although one of the main obstacles still facing the Egyptian economy is the limited trickle down of wealth to the average population, many Egyptians
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
Egyptians
as the main impediment to further economic growth.[198][199] 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.[200] In the Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
2013, Egypt was ranked 114 out of 177.[201]

The Suez
Suez
Canal.

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.[citation needed] An estimated 2.7 million Egyptians
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.[202] Remittances, money earned by Egyptians
Egyptians
living abroad and sent home, reached a record US$21 billion in 2012, according to the World Bank.[203] 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 considered wealthy.[204] Tourism Main article: Tourism in Egypt

Muizz Street. Old Cairo
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
Egypt
in 2008, providing revenues of nearly $11 billion. The tourism sector employs about 12% of Egypt's workforce.[205] 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.[206]

Sahl Hasheesh, a resort town near Hurghada.

The Giza Necropolis
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 destinations; the Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba
beaches, Safaga, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Dahab, Ras Sidr, and Marsa Alam
Marsa Alam
are popular cites. Energy Main article: Energy in Egypt

An offshore platform in the Darfeel Gas Field.

Egypt
Egypt
produced 691,000 bbl/d of oil and 2,141.05 Tcf of natural gas in 2013, making the country the largest non- OPEC
OPEC
producer of oil and the second-largest dry natural gas producer in Africa. In 2013, Egypt
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
Egypt
possesses the largest oil refinery capacity in Africa
Africa
726,000 bbl/d (in 2012).[194] Egypt
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 Russian financing.[207] Transport Main article: Transport in Egypt Transport in Egypt
Transport in Egypt
is centred around Cairo
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 to Aswan
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
Nile
Valley and Nile Delta, the Mediterranean and Red Sea
Red Sea
coasts, the Sinai, and the Western oases.

The Cairo
Cairo
Metro (line 2)

The Cairo
Cairo
Metro in Egypt
Egypt
is the first of only two full-fledged metro systems in Africa
Africa
and the Arab World. It is considered one of the most important recent projects in Egypt
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 EgyptAir
EgyptAir
fleet includes 80 aeroplanes. Suez
Suez
Canal Main article: Suez
Suez
Canal

The Suez Canal
Suez Canal
Bridge.

The Suez Canal
Suez Canal
is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt
Egypt
considered the most important centre of the maritime transport in the Middle East, connecting the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows ship transport between Europe
Europe
and Asia
Asia
without navigation around Africa. The northern terminus is Port Said
Port Said
and the southern terminus is Port Tawfiq at the city of Suez. Ismailia
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 Suez
Suez
Canal. Work on the New Suez Canal
Suez Canal
was completed in July 2015.[208][209] 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.[210][211] Water supply
Water supply
and sanitation Main article: Water supply
Water supply
and sanitation in Egypt The piped water supply in Egypt
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
Egypt
achieved the elimination of open defecation in rural areas and invested in infrastructure. Access to an improved water source in Egypt
Egypt
is now practically universal with a rate of 99%. About one half of the population is connected to sanitary sewers.[212] Partly because of low sanitation coverage about 17,000 children die each year because of diarrhoea.[213] 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
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 the river Nile
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.[214] In the Nile
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.[214] Demographics Main articles: Demographics of Egypt
Demographics of Egypt
and Egyptians

Egypt's population density (people per km2).

Historical populations in thousands

Year Pop. ±% p.a.

1882 6,712 —    

1897 9,669 +2.46%

1907 11,190 +1.47%

1917 12,718 +1.29%

1927 14,178 +1.09%

1937 15,921 +1.17%

1947 18,967 +1.77%

1960 26,085 +2.48%

1966 30,076 +2.40%

1976 36,626 +1.99%

1986 48,254 +2.80%

1996 59,312 +2.08%

2006 72,798 +2.07%

2013 84,314 +2.12%

2017 94,798 +2.97%

Source: Population in Egypt[215][7]

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].[6] Its population grew rapidly from 1970 to 2010 due to medical advances and increases in agricultural productivity [216] enabled by the Green Revolution.[217] Egypt's population was estimated at 3 million when Napoleon
Napoleon
invaded the country in 1798.[218] Egypt's people are highly urbanised, being concentrated along the Nile (notably Cairo
Cairo
and Alexandria), in the Delta and near the Suez
Suez
Canal. Egyptians
Egyptians
are divided demographically into those who live in the major urban centres and the fellahin, or farmers, that reside in rural villages. While emigration was restricted under Nasser, thousands of Egyptian professionals were dispatched abroad in the context of the Arab Cold War.[219] Egyptian emigration was liberalised in 1971, under President Sadat, reaching record numbers after the 1973 oil crisis.[220] An estimated 2.7 million Egyptians
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
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 Canada
Canada
and 90,000 in Italy).[202] The process of emigrating to non-Arab states has been ongoing since the 1950s.[221] Ethnic groups Ethnic Egyptians
Egyptians
are by far the largest ethnic group in the country, constituting 91% of the total population.[55] Ethnic minorities include the Abazas, Turks, Greeks, Bedouin
Bedouin
Arab tribes living in the eastern deserts and the Sinai
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
Nile
Delta and Faiyum
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
Egypt
for generations."[222] Smaller numbers of immigrants come from Iraq, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Eritrea.[222] The Office of the United Nations
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.[222] Egyptian government claims that a half-million Syrian refugees live in Egypt
Egypt
are thought to be exaggerated.[222] There are 28,000 registered Sudanese refugees in Egypt.[222] 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
Alexandria
and other cities. Languages Main article: Languages of Egypt The official language of the Republic
Republic
is Arabic.[223] The spoken languages are: Egyptian Arabic (68%), Sa'idi Arabic
Arabic
(29%), Eastern Egyptian Bedawi Arabic
Arabic
(1.6%), Sudanese Arabic
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
Upper Egypt
as late as the 19th century. It remains in use as the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.[224][225] It forms a separate branch among the family of Afroasiatic languages. Religion Main article: Religion in Egypt

Religions in Egypt
Egypt
est.[1]

Religions

Percent

Islam

90%

Orthodox Christian

9%

Other Christian

1%

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali
Mosque of Muhammad Ali
in Cairo.

Egypt
Egypt
is a predominantly Sunni
Sunni
Muslim
Muslim
country with Islam
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
Non-denominational Muslims
form roughly 12% of the population.[226] Although Egypt
Egypt
was a Christian country before the 7th Century, after Islam
Islam
arrived, the country was gradually Islamised into a majority- Muslim
Muslim
country.[227][228] It is not known when Muslims reached a majority variously estimated from ca. 1000 A.D. to as late as the 14th century. Egypt
Egypt
emerged as a centre of politics and culture in the Muslim
Muslim
world. Under Anwar Sadat, Islam
Islam
became the official state religion and Sharia
Sharia
the main source of law.[229] It is estimated that 15 million Egyptians
Egyptians
follow Native Sufi orders,[230][231][232] with the Sufi leadership asserting that the numbers are much greater as many Egyptian Sufis are not officially registered with a Sufi order.[231] At least 305 people were killed during a November 2017 attack on a Sufi mosque in Sinai.[233] There is also a Shi'a
Shi'a
minority. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs estimates the Shia population at 1 to 2.2 million[234] and could measure as much as 3 million.[235] The Ahmadiyya
Ahmadiyya
population is estimated at less than 50,000,[236] whereas the Salafi (ultra-conservative) population is estimated at five to six million.[237] Cairo
Cairo
is famous for its numerous mosque minarets and has been dubbed "The City of 1,000 Minarets".[238]

St. Mark Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria

Of the Christian population in Egypt
Egypt
over 90% belong to the native Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, an Oriental Orthodox
Oriental Orthodox
Christian Church.[239] Other native Egyptian Christians are adherents of the Coptic Catholic Church, the Evangelical Church of Egypt
Egypt
and various other Protestant denominations. Non-native Christian communities are largely found in the urban regions of Cairo
Cairo
and Alexandria, such as the Syro-Lebanese, who belong to Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Maronite Catholic
Maronite Catholic
denominations.[240] Ethnic Greeks
Greeks
also made up a large Greek Orthodox
Greek Orthodox
population in the past. Likewise, Armenians made up the then larger Armenian Orthodox and Catholic communities. Egypt
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
Egypt
before the Nasser regime and the nationalisation that took place. Egypt
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
Middle East
and North Africa. Egypt
Egypt
is also the home of Al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University
(founded in 969 CE, began teaching in 975 CE), which is today the world's "most influential voice of establishment Sunni
Sunni
Islam" and is, by some measures, the second-oldest continuously operating university in world.[241] Egypt
Egypt
recognises only three religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Other faiths and minority Muslim
Muslim
sects practised by Egyptians, such as the small Bahá'í
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.[242][243] 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.[147][148] Largest cities See also: List of cities in Egypt

 

v t e

Largest cities or towns in Egypt world-gazetteer Estimates for 2012

Rank Name Governorate Pop. Rank Name Governorate Pop.

Cairo

Alexandria 1 Cairo Cairo 8,105,071 11 Asyut Asyut 403,202

Giza

Shubra El Kheima

2 Alexandria Alexandria 4,388,219 12 Ismailia Ismailia 352,411

3 Giza Giza 3,348,401 13 Faiyum Faiyum 338,959

4 Shubra El Kheima Qalyubia 1,072,951 14 Zagazig Sharqia 314,331

5 Port Said Port Said 607,353 15 Damietta Damietta 299,296

6 Suez Suez 547,352 16 Aswan Aswan 281,891

7 El Mahalla El Kubra Gharbia 538,297 17 Minya Minya 253,767

8 Luxor Luxor 487,896 18 Damanhur Beheira 252,017

9 Mansoura Dakahlia 960,423 19 Beni Suef Beni Suef 223,789

10 Tanta Gharbia 437,793 20 Hurghada Red Sea 223,124

Culture Main article: Culture
Culture
of Egypt

Al-Azhar Park
Al-Azhar Park
is listed as one of the world's sixty great public spaces by the Project for Public Spaces

Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
is a commemoration of the ancient Library of Alexandria

Egypt
Egypt
is a recognised cultural trend-setter of the Arabic-speaking world. Contemporary Arabic
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 Arabic-speaking world.[244] Egyptian identity evolved in the span of a long period of occupation to accommodate Islam, Christianity
Christianity
and Judaism; and a new language, Arabic, and its spoken descendant, Egyptian Arabic which is also based on many Ancient Egyptian words.[245] The work of early 19th-century scholar Rifa'a al-Tahtawi
Rifa'a al-Tahtawi
renewed interest in Egyptian antiquity and exposed Egyptian society to Enlightenment principles. Tahtawi co-founded with education reformer Ali Mubarak
Ali Mubarak
a native Egyptology
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.[246] 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, Salama Moussa, Taha Hussein
Taha Hussein
and Mahmoud Mokhtar. They forged a liberal path for Egypt
Egypt
expressed as a commitment to personal freedom, secularism and faith in science to bring progress.[247] Arts

The weighing of the heart scene from the Book
Book
of the Dead.

The Egyptians
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
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
Hassan Fathy
and Ramses Wissa Wassef, to Mahmoud Mokhtar's sculptures, to the distinctive Coptic iconography of Isaac Fanous. The Cairo
Cairo
Opera House serves as the main performing arts venue in the Egyptian capital. Literature Main article: Egyptian literature

Naguib Mahfouz, the first Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Egyptian literature
Egyptian literature
traces its beginnings to ancient Egypt
Egypt
and is some of the earliest known literature. Indeed, the Egyptians
Egyptians
were the first culture to develop literature as we know it today, that is, the book.[248] 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
Arabic
literature, and the forms they developed have been widely imitated throughout the Middle East.[249] The first modern Egyptian novel Zaynab by Muhammad Husayn Haykal was published in 1913 in the Egyptian vernacular.[250] Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz
Naguib Mahfouz
was the first Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize
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 tradition. Vernacular poetry is perhaps the most popular literary genre among Egyptians, represented by the works of Ahmed Fouad Negm (Fagumi), Salah Jaheen
Salah Jaheen
and Abdel Rahman el-Abnudi.[citation needed] Media Main article: Media of Egypt Egyptian media are highly influential throughout the Arab World, attributed to large audiences and increasing freedom from government control.[251][252] Freedom of the media is guaranteed in the constitution; however, many laws still restrict this right.[251][253] Cinema Main article: Cinema of Egypt

Suad Husni, film star.

Egyptian cinema
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.[254] For over 100 years, more than 4000 films have been produced in Egypt, three quarters of the total Arab production.[citation needed] Egypt
Egypt
is considered the leading country in the field of cinema in the Middle East. Actors from all over the Arab World
Arab World
seek to appear in the Egyptian cinema
Egyptian cinema
for the sake of fame. The Cairo
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.[255] Music Main article: Music
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
Egyptians
credited one of their gods Hathor
Hathor
with the invention of music, which Osiris
Osiris
in turn used as part of his effort to civilise the world. Egyptians
Egyptians
used music instruments since then.[256] 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
Egypt
and the whole Middle East
Middle East
and North-Africa. Prominent contemporary Egyptian pop singers include Amr Diab
Amr Diab
and Mohamed Mounir. Dances

Tanoura dancer performing in Wekalet El Ghoury, Cairo.

Today, Egypt
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. Museums Main article: List of museums in Egypt

The Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum
in Cairo.

Egypt
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 Egypt
Egypt
had 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 Egyptian Museum.

The three main museums in Egypt
Egypt
are The Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum
which has more than 120,000 items, the Egyptian National Military Museum
Egyptian National Military Museum
and the 6th of October Panorama. The Grand Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum
(GEM), also known as the Giza
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.[257] 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
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.[258] Festivals Egypt
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
Egyptians
irrespective of creed or religion. Ramadan
Ramadan
has a special flavour in Egypt, celebrated with sounds, lights (local lanterns known as fawanees) and much flare that many Muslim
Muslim
tourists from the region flock to Egypt
Egypt
to witness during Ramadan. The ancient spring festival of Sham en Nisim (Coptic: Ϭⲱⲙ‘ⲛⲛⲓⲥⲓⲙ shom en nisim) has been celebrated by Egyptians
Egyptians
for thousands of years, typically between the Egyptian months of Paremoude (April) and Pashons (May), following Easter Sunday. Cuisine Main article: Egyptian cuisine

Kushari, one of Egypt's national dishes.

Egyptian cuisine
Egyptian cuisine
is notably conducive to vegetarian diets, as it relies heavily on legume and vegetable dishes. Though food in Alexandria
Alexandria
and the coast of Egypt
Egypt
tends to use a great deal of fish and other seafood, for the most part Egyptian cuisine
Egyptian cuisine
is based on foods that grow out of the ground. Meat has been very expensive for most Egyptians
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
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. Sports

A crowd at Cairo
Cairo
Stadium to watch the Egypt
Egypt
national football team.

Football is the most popular national sport of Egypt. The Cairo
Cairo
Derby is one of the fiercest derbies in Africa, and the BBC picked it as one of the 7 toughest derbies in the world.[259] Al Ahly is the most successful club of the 20th century in the African continent
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
A.C. Milan
and Argentina's Boca Juniors, both having eighteen.[260] 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
Egypt
has qualified for the FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
three times. Two goals from star player Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah
in their last qualifying game took Egypt through to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[261] The Egyptian Youth National team Young Pharaohs won the Bronze Medal of the 2001 FIFA youth world cup in Argentina. Egypt
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 the 1930s. Amr Shabana
Amr Shabana
and Ramy Ashour
Ramy Ashour
are Egypt's best players and both were ranked tne world's number one squash player. Egypt
Egypt
has won the Squash World Championships four times, with the last title being in 2017. In 1999, Egypt
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
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 the Mediterranean Games
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.[262][263] Further, the team has won a record number of 16 medals at the African Championship. Egypt
Egypt
has taken part in the Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
since 1912 and hosted and Alexandria
Alexandria
h the first Mediterranean Games
Mediterranean Games
in 1951. Egypt
Egypt
has hosted several international competitions. The last one being the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup which took place between 24 September – 16 October 2009. 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).[264] 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
Dahab
in the Red Sea, where he works as a diving instructor.[265] On 1 September 2015 Raneem El Weleily was ranked as the world number one woman squash player.[266] Other female Egyptian squash players include Nour El Tayeb, Omneya Abdel Kawy, Nouran Gohar and Nour El Sherbini. Telecommunication Main article: Telecommunications in Egypt The wired and wireless telecommunication industry in Egypt
Egypt
started in 1854 with the launch of the country's first telegram line connecting Cairo
Cairo
and Alexandria. The first telephone line between the two cities was installed in 1881.[267] 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. Cellular Cellular GSM
GSM
services were first launched in Egypt
Egypt
in 1996.[267] As of June 2011[update], it is currently offering 2G/3G/4G services, 4G LTE services were under trials, officially launched in 2016.[268] Egypt
Egypt
currently has 4 companies offering cellular services:

Orange Egypt, owned by Orange S.A. Vodafone
Vodafone
Egypt, owned by Vodafone
Vodafone
and Telecom Egypt Etisalat Egypt, owned by Emirates Telecommunication Corporation Telecom Egypt, operating as WE Egypt
Egypt
and owned by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Egypt)

Post Main article: Egypt
Egypt
Post Egypt Post
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
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. Education Main article: Education in Egypt

Cairo
Cairo
University.

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%.[269] 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.[270] A European-style education system was first introduced in Egypt
Egypt
by the Ottomans in the early 19th century to nurture a class of loyal bureaucrats and army officers.[271] Under British occupation investment in education was curbed drastically, and secular public schools, which had previously been free, began to charge fees.[271] In the 1950s, president Nasser phased in free education for all Egyptians.[271] The Egyptian curriculum influenced other Arab education systems, which often employed Egyptian-trained teachers.[271] Demand soon outstripped the level of available state resources, causing the quality of public education to deteriorate.[271] Today this trend has culminated in poor teacher–student ratios (often around one to fifty) and persistent gender inequality.[271] 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.[272] 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.[272] 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.[272] Cairo
Cairo
University is ranked as 401–500 according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking)[273] and 551–600 according to QS World University Rankings. American University in Cairo
Cairo
is ranked as 360 according to QS World University Rankings
QS World University Rankings
and Al-Azhar University, Alexandria
Alexandria
University and Ain Shams University fall in the 701+ range.[274] Egypt
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. Health Main article: Health in Egypt

57357 Hospital

Egyptian life expectancy at birth was 73.20 years in 2011, or 71.30 years for males and 75.20 years for females. Egypt
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.[275] 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 inhabitants.[276] 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 28-30/1000).[277] 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,[278] 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.[279] The total number of Egyptians
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.[280] See also

Egypt
Egypt
portal Middle East
Middle East
portal

Index of Egypt-related articles Outline of ancient Egypt Outline of Egypt

Notes

^ The population of Egypt
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
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
Muslim
population at 94.6% ("Mapping The Global Muslim
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. )

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have 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. For most of their history, Egypt
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Sources

Shaw, Ian (2003). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280458-8. 

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