Introduction

Egypt, commonly known as “The Motherland of the World”, “Land of Civilizations” and “The Greatest Power in Human History”, is reputed worldwide for its distinct 7,000-year-old record of civilization and immense wealth of knowledge. This has made Egypt a master and pioneer of science, arts, culture, architecture as well as almost all fields of human knowledge.

Amongst all civilizations and nations, Egypt has always maintained a unique position. Historically, Egypt is universally acknowledged as the world’s most ancient state with a unified societal entity within its current geographical borders. Egypt has been referred to as the “Gift of the Nile” due to the river that has nourished the desert land and sustained one of the most ancient and ever-lasting civilizations in the world. 

The country has long captured the world’s imagination as the magic land of the Pharaohs and their awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to survive. Islam arrived with the Arab conquests in the 7th century and the country subsequently went on to become a major cultural and spiritual heart of the Muslim world.

Its most famous landmark, Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, founded in the 10th century, has long been a source of great pride for Muslims. In keeping with a country that is no stranger to longevity, Al-Azhar’s prestigious teaching institution, which attracts scholars from around the world, is considered to be the oldest university in existence.

Today, the overwhelming majority of the country’s approximately 81 million population are Muslims. City horizons are dotted with the minarets of mosques and, every day, their speakers crackle with the evocative, almost ethereal, calls of the “muezzins” summoning the faithful to prayer. On Fridays, the special day of prayer, mosques are filled to bursting point and sidewalks and prayer mats spill out onto the sidewalks and streets. Yet, the population is not uniformly Muslim. Christianity continues to thrive in Egypt, and a significant minority of the country belongs to the distinctive Egyptian church whose members are known as Copts. Through this area there runs the River Nile starting from the Great Lakes in the heart of Africa, through northern Sudan where the Ethiopian tributaries collecting rain water flows into its main course. Running past the cataract area south of Aswan, it calms down, flowing smoothly down to its mouth on the Mediterranean Sea.

Location

Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula The Arab Republic of Egypt is located in the north-eastern corner of Africa and south-western Asia. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Palestine and Israel, on the south by Sudan, and on the west by Libya. The total area of the Arab Republic of Egypt reaches nearly 1.002.000 square meters, while the populated area reaches 78990 km2 representing 7.8% of the total area Egypt is 50 feet below sea level. Some important cities, towns, and places in Egypt are Cairo (the capital), Giza, Memphis, Thebes, Alexandria, Suez Canal, Abu Simbel, Sinai Peninsula, and Rosetta. The highest point is Catharine Mountain that is 8,668 feet high. The lowest point is Qattara Depression and is 436 feet below sea level. The Nile Delta is the only delta in Egypt and is 100 miles long and 155 miles wide. It is in the shape of a triangle. There are 5 important oases in Egypt and they are all located in the Libyan Desert. They are the Farafrah, Bahriah, Dakhla, Kharijah, and the Siwah oases.The area of Egypt is 386, 662 square miles. The distance from east to west is 770 miles and from north to south is 675 miles. There are no forests in but there are date palms and citrus groves. Papyrus plants grow only near the River Nile.  

Egypt Climate and Weather

Throughout Egypt, days are commonly warm or hot, and nights are cool. Egypt has only two seasons: a mild winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October. The differences between the seasons are variations in daytime temperatures and changes in prevailing winds. 

Egypt Topography

Egypt is divided into four major parts: The Nile Valley and Delta, The Western Desert, The Eastern Desert  and The Sinai Peninsula

Capital of Egypt

Cairo – the Triumphant City – is the glorious capital of Egypt, the cradle of civilization and the beacon of religion. It is the largest city in the Middle East and Africa and lies at the centre of all routes that lead to and from Asia, Africa and Europe. Cairo was founded on July 16, 969 AD by the Fatimid leader Jawhar Al-Sequilli, by an order from the Fatimid Khalif Al-Mo’iz lideenellah. It was named “the city of the 1000 minarets. Cairo is Africa’s most populous city and the Arab world’s cultural center. People from all over the world visit Cairo to see the monuments and artifacts of ancient Egypt as well as the various aspects of modern Cairo. provides its visitors with great cultural destinations which include a vast amount of art galleries, music halls, cultural centers etc…Cairo also offers its visitors with great accommodation, restaurants, and various leisure activities and shopping. In Cairo there is something for everyone. Tourists can enjoy Khan El Khalili Bazaar while shopping for antiques, rugs, copper and many other oriental gifts; while others may enjoy shopping for the latest fashion trends in one of Cairo magnificent malls. 

Egypt’s Administrative Division

Egypt is divided into 27 governorates, 217 cities and 4617 villages. The geographical regions as set in the urban plan are asfollows:

Upper EgyptCentral EgyptNorth Upper EgyptMetropolitan CairoThe Canal ZoneThe Delta , Alexandria and Matrouh
1-Cairo governorate, 2-Alexandria, 3-Port Said, 4-Suez, 5-Damietta,6-Daqahliya, 7-Sharqiya, 8-Qalioubiya,
9-Kafr el Sheikh,10-Gharbiya, 11-Monofiya, 12-El Beheira, 13-Ismailia, 14-Giza,15-Bani Suef, 16-Fayyoum,
17-Minya, 18-Asuit,19-Sohag, 20-Qena, 21-Aswan, 22- Luxor, 23-Red Sea, 24-New Valley governorate, 25-Matroh,
26- North Sinai and 27- South Sinai governorate

The National Anthem

The Egyptian national anthem is a crystallization of its history. The anthem voices people’s inspirations and beliefs. Egypt’s current national anthem was based on an idea in the mind of one of Egypt’s leaders. The first few lines of the anthem were obtained from a speech made by the great leader Mustafa Kamel in 1907.

Egypt Flag

Egypt Flag

The first national flag of modern Egypt was established by a Royal Decree in 1923 when Egypt gained conditional independence from Great Britain in 1922. The color was green with a white crescent and three white stars in the middle.In 1958, a Presidential Decree established a new flag for the United Arab Republic which comprised a merger of Syria and Egypt. The new flag had three colors: red, white with 2 green stars and black. The flag was rectangular in shape and the width was one-third of its length. In 1972, the Law was amended to change the flag. The stars were removed from the flag and replaced by a golden hawk. In 1984, the hawk was replaced by a golden eagle on the eagle of Saladdin, the Ayubbid Sultan who ruled Egypt 12th Century, the same Saladdin of the Crusades.

Population

Population census has been known in Egypt since ancient times. The first census was carried out in 1882 and the total number of population at that time was 6.7 million. The government takes a census of the Egyptian population every ten years, now Egypt Population 82.5 millions [2012]

Egypt Map

Click here to see a detailed map of the Arab Republic of Egypt

The Suez Canal

In 1859, Egyptian workers started digging of the Canal in conditions described by historians as slave labor, and the project was completed around 1867. On November 17, 1869, the Canal was officially inaugurated by Khedive Ismail in an extravagant and lavish ceremony. French, British, Russian, and other Royalty were invited for the inauguration which coincided with the re-planning of Cairo. A highway was constructed linking Cairo to the new city of Ismailia, an Opera House was built, and Verdi was commissioned to compose his famous opera, “Aida” for the opening ceremony. Ironically, Verdi did not complete the work in time and “Aida” premiered at the Cairo Opera a year later.

Traffic system in the Suez Canal

  • Ships transit the Canal in three convoys daily:
  • First one from Port-Said at 100 hrs.
  • The second: from Port-Said at 700 hrs.
  • And the third one: from Suez at 600 hrs.
  • Pilotage is compulsory for all kinds of transiting ships, and four pilots are successively credited with piloting each ship.
  • A speed limit is imposed in the Canal for transiting ships; it varies from 13 to l4 km per hour according to the category and tonnage of ships, but in the southern sector it varies between 11-14 km per hour depending on wind velocity and direction of tidal current.
  • On the average, it takes a ship 12-15 hours to transit the Canal.

The River Nile

The River Nile is the longest in the world, stretching for 4,187 miles. The Nile flows from south to north and is formed by three major tributaries: the White Nile, the Blue Nile and the Atbara. The Blue Nile has its source in the highlands of the African country of Ethiopia, by Lake Tana. The runoff from spring rain and melting snow caused the annual summer flood of the Nile that the Egyptians depended on for water to irrigate their crops, and deposit fertile top soil. Just north of Khartoum the combined White and Blue Nile meet their final major tributary, the Atbara which also has its source in the Ethiopian highlands. The Nile then plunges into a canyon. Before the construction of the Aswan High Dam; the Nile rolled through a series of six rapids, called cataracts, between northern Sudan and southern Egypt. Since construction of the dam, the river has gradually changed its course. North of Cairo, the Nile splits into two branches [or distributaries], the Rosetta Branch to the west and the Damietta to the east. Lake Nasser is a man-made lake created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam, opened in 1971. The dam was built to regulate the flow of the River Nile, and thus benefit the region’s inhabitants. However, technology often also disrupts a local ecosystem, the life and nature it affects. The canyon that was once behind where the dam is now, was flooded after the dam was built. Before the region was flooded for the dam, some Ancient sites were carefully moved. Others were permanently covered and destroyed by the water. Lake Nasser stretches over a distance of 312 miles. Gone are the days when Egyptians worry that the Nile will flood too high, destroying their crops; or fall too low, not providing proper irrigation. To enjoy the benefits of a steady river flow, thousands of people’s homes were submerged when the dam went into operation and Lake Nasser was formed. The Aswan High Dam has caused other changes. The water surface of the lake has reduced the average temperature in the region. The dam has also harnessed the water for the production of electricity and navigation has been improved. Furthermore, the Nile is no longer flowing strongly enough to keep salt water from the Mediterranean Sea from forcing its way up the Nile. In one generation, thousands of years of life along the River Nile have been permanently altered.

You can also browse a wide variety of pages that will help you to know and learn more about all aspects of Egypt and this part constantly updated; now you can browse this division part of pages that’s useful to you:

The PeopleThe CountryThe Culture,  Best Time to VisitUseful Links and Sharm Visitor’s Guide ]

[ Visa & Travel InfoGetting ThereFirst Time In Egypt and Custom & Currency

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