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Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The majority of its estimated 71 million people live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 sq km (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert 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, Khartoum and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization, with famous monuments such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes, and Karnak and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study. The tourism and the Red Sea Riviera employ about 12% of Egypt's work force.The economy of Egypt is one of the most developed and diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and service at almost equal production levels.