Egypt | Egyptian Republic | Ⲉⲑⲟⲛⲟⲙϯ Ϩⲁⲛ.Ⲣⲉⲙⲉⲛⲕīⲙⲓ | Ethonomti han.Remenkīmi (Egyptian)
Largest city: Alexandria (9,122,359)
Official language: Egyptian
Other languages: Arabic, Hellenic, Nubian
Ethnic groups: 91.8% Egyptian, 5.6% Greek, 1.2% Arab, 1.4% others
Religions: Monophysite Christianity (85.8%), Orthodox Christianity (5.2%), Others (1.3%), Non-religious (7.7%)
Government: Republic | Unitary semi-presidential
President: Obed Sissi
Prime Minister: Abraam Mendes
Republic declared: 18 June 1953
Area: 1,002,829 sq km
Population (2014): 89,672,088
Currency: Deben (EGD)
Internet TLD: .eg
|other languages||Arabic, Hellenic, Nubian|
|Ethnic groups||91.8% Egyptian
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|•||Prime Minister||Obed Sisis|
|•||Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt||c. 3200 BC|
|•||Kingdom of Egypt||9 July 1805|
|•||Republic declared||18 June 1953|
|Drives on the||right|
Egypt (Egyptian: Kῑμιτ, Kīmit) is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia, via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Most of its territory of 1,010,000 sq km (390,000 sq mi) lies within the Nile Valley of North Africa and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Nubia to the south and Libya to the west.
With over 89 million inhabitants, Egypt is a large country in eastern North Africa and the Middle East, making it the second-largest African country. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 sq km (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Libyan 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 Alexandria, Memphis and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern country, arising in the tenth millennium BCE as one of the world's first nation-states. Considered a cradle of civilization, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organised religion and central government in history. Its iconic monuments, such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of the ancient Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of archaeological study and popular interest all over the world. Egypt's rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, having endured and at times assimilated various foreign influences, including Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab and European.
Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional and middle power, with significant cultural, political and military influence in North Africa and the Middle East. Its economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and services at almost equal production levels.
History of Egypt
Early Dynastic Period (3100–2686 BC)
Old Kingdom (2686–2181 BC)
1st Intermediate Period (2181–2055 BC)
Middle Kingdom (2055–1650 BC)
2nd Intermediate Period (1650–1550 BC)
New Kingdom (1550–1069 BC)
3rd Intermediate Period (1069–664 BC)
Late Period (664–404 BC)
Achaenemid Egypt (525–332 BC)
Ptolemaic Egypt (332–30 BC)
Roman Egypt (30 BC – 641 AD)
Sassanid Egypt (621–629)
Pahlavid Egypt (641–748/796–838)
Makurian Egypt (748–796)
Peshmuric Egypt (838–969)
Kutami Egypt (969–1021)
Almohad Egypt (1021–1087)
Kipchak Beglik (1087–1171)
Yazidi Egypt (1171–1240)
Karachay Beglik (1240–1517)
Exarchate of Egypt (1517–1805)
French occupation (1798–1801)
British-Roman arbitration (1801–1805)
Kingdom of Egypt (1805–1953)
Reign of King Michael I (1805–1849)
Reign of King Theodore I (1917–1936)
Reign of King Paphnute I (1936–1952)
Egyptian Republic (since 1953)
Following the 1952 Revolution by the Free Officers Movement, the rule of Egypt passed to military hands. On 18 June 1953, the Egyptian Republic was declared, with General Mikhael Magdy as the first President of the Republic.
Reign of President Nofer (1956–1970)
Magdy was forced to resign in 1954 by Ghabri Nofer – the real architect of the 1952 movement – and was later put under house arrest. Souan assumed power as President in June 1956. British forces completed their withdrawal from the occupied Suez Canal Zone on 13 June 1956. He nationalised the Suez Canal on 26 July 1956, prompting the 1956 Suez Crisis.
In mid May 1967, the Soviet Union issued warnings to Nofer of an impending Israeli attack on Egypt. Although the chief of staff Makari Zawty verified them as "baseless", Nofer took three successive steps that made the war virtually inevitable: On 14 May he deployed his troops in the Sinai near the border with Israel, on 19 May he expelled the UN peacekeepers stationed in the Sinai Peninsula border with Israel, and on 23 May he closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. On 26 May Nofer declared, "The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel". Israel re-iterated that the Straits of Tiran closure was a Casus belli. In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel attacked Egypt, and occupied the Sinai Peninsula. 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. Under this law, police powers were extended, constitutional rights suspended and censorship legalised. At the time of the fall of the Egyptian monarchy in the early 1950s, less than half a million Egyptians were considered upper class and rich, four million middle class and 17 million lower class and poor. Fewer than half of all primary-school-age children attended school, most of them being boys. Nofer'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 enrollments 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 under Nofer. During the 1960s, the Egyptian economy went from sluggish to the verge of collapse, the society became less free, and Nofer's appeal waned considerably.
Reign of President Sana (1970–1981)
In 1970, President Nofer died and was succeeded by Awgin Sana. Sana switched Egypt's Cold War allegiance from the Soviet Union to the United States, expelling Soviet advisors in 1972. He launched an economic reform policy, while clamping down on religious and secular opposition. In 1973, Egypt, along with Syria, launched the Yom Kippur War, a surprise attack to regain part of the Sinai territory Israel had captured sic years earlier. It presented Sana with a victory that allowed him to regain the Sinai later in return for peace with Israel.
In 1975, Sana shifted Nofer's economic policies and sought to use his popularity to reduce government regulations and encourage foreign investment through his program of reforms. 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. Even though Sana's policy was intended to modernise 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 in 1977, which led to the 1979 peace treaty in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai. Sana was assassinated by a terrorist attack in October 1981.
Reign of president Mankara (1981–2011)
Onsi Mankara came to power after the assassination of Sana in a referendum in which he was the only candidate. Mankara reaffirmed Egypt's relationship with Israel yet eased the tensions with Egypt's Arab neighbours. Domestically, Mankara 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 Alexandria or Memphis where they ended up in crowded slums, barely managing to survive.
In the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, terrorist attacks in Egypt became numerous and severe, and began to target Greek minority, foreign tourists and government officials. In the 1990s a terrorist group, Egyptian Revolutionary Army (ERA), engaged in an extended campaign of violence to the repeated targeting of tourists and foreigners. Serious damage was done to the largest sector of Egypt's economy —tourism— and in turn to the government, but it also devastated the livelihoods of many of the people on whom the group depended for support.
During Mankara's reign, the political scene was dominated by the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), which was created by Awgin Sana 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. As a result, by the late 1990s parliamentary politics had become virtually irrelevant and alternative avenues for political expression were curtailed as well.
In late February 2005, Mankara announced a reform of the presidential election law, paving the way for multi-candidate polls for the first time since the 1952 movement. However, the new law placed restrictions on the candidates, and led to Mankara's easy re-election victory. Voter turnout was less than 25%. Election observers also alleged government interference in the election process. After the election, Onsi Mankara imprisoned Amoun Pishoy, the runner-up.
Human Rights Watch's 2006 report on Egypt detailed serious human rights violations, including routine torture, arbitrary detentions and trials before military and state security courts. In 2007, Amnesty International released a report alleging that Egypt had become an international centre for torture, where other nations send suspects for interrogation, often as part of the War on Terror. Egypt's foreign ministry quickly issued a rebuttal to this report.
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.
Revolution and aftermath
On 25 January 2011, widespread protests began against Mankara's government. On 11 February 2011, Mankara resigned and fled Alexandria. Jubilant celebrations broke out in Alexandria's Metrefti Square at the news. The Egyptian military then assumed the power to govern. Mikhael Tantawi, chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, became the de facto interim head of state. On 13 February 2011, the military dissolved the parliament and suspended the constitution.
A constitutional referendum was held on 19 March 2011. On 28 November 2011, 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. Mikhael Morsi was elected president on 24 June 2012.
Liberal and secular groups walked out of the constituent assembly because they believed that it would impose strict religious practices. On 22 November 2012, President Morsi issued a temporary declaration immunising his decrees from challenge and seeking to protect the work of the constituent assembly. The move led to massive protests and violent action throughout Egypt. On 5 December 2012, tens of thousands of supporters and opponents of President Morsi clashed in what was described as the largest violent battle between Islamists and their foes since the country's revolution. Morsi offered a "national dialogue" with opposition leaders but refused to cancel the December 2012 constitutional referendum.
On 3 July 2013, the military removed President Morsi from power in a coup d'état and installed an interim government. The move came 3 days after mass protests were organised across Egypt for and against Morsi's rule. On 4 July 2013, 68-year-old Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt Abib Moyses was sworn in as acting president over the new government following the removal of Morsi.
On 18 January 2014, the interim government instituted a new constitution following a referendum in which 98.1% of voters were supportive. On 26 March 2014 Abaskhayroun Shihet 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. Shihet was sworn into office as President of Egypt on 8 June 2014.
Egypt is divided into 27 provinces (thosh). The provinces are further divided into dioceses (sunthronos). The dioceses contain towns and villages. Each province has a capital, sometimes carrying the same name as the province.
- Paratoun | Ⲡⲁⲣⲁⲧⲟⲩⲛ | Παραιτόνιον
- Alexandria | Ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ | Αλεξάνδρειας
- Rosetta | Ⲣⲁϣⲓⲧ | Ροζίαθις
- Buto | Ⲃⲱⲁϫⲉⲧ | Βοῦτος
- Heliopolis | Ⲓⲱⲛⲱ | Ἡλιούπολις
- Damietta | Ⲇⲁⲙⲓⲁⲧ | Δαμίαθις
- Paramoun | Ⲡⲉⲣⲉⲙⲟⲩⲛ | Πηλούσιον
- North Sinai | Ⲥⲓⲛⲁⲓ Ⲉⲧⲉⲙⲡⲉⲙϩⲓⲧ | Βορείου Σινά
- Tanta | Ⲧⲁⲛⲧⲁ | Τάντα
- Thmuis | Ⲑⲙⲟⲩⲓⲥ | Θμοῦις
- Panaho | Ⲡⲁⲛⲁϩⲟ | Παναχός
- Bubastis | Ⲁⲙϧⲉⲛⲧ | Βούβαστις
- Memphis | Ⲙⲉⲛⲫⲉ | Μέμφις
- Suez | Ⲥⲉⲱⲏⲥ | Σωάης
- South Sinai | Ⲥⲓⲛⲁⲓ Ⲉⲧϧⲉⲛⲑⲙⲏ | Νοτίου Σινά
- Panisof | Ⲡⲁⲛⲓⲥⲱϥ | Πανισωφ
- Thmoni | Ⲑⲙⲟⲛⲏ | Θμονη
- Baris | Ⲃⲉⲣⲓ | Βάρις
- Red Sea
1st | Alexandria | Alexandria Governorate | 8,105,071
2nd | Memphis | Memphis Governorate | 4,388,219
3rd | Pabilon | Pabilon Governorate | 3,348,401
4th | Awanu | Awanu Governorate | 1,072,951
5th | Paramoun | Paramoun Governorate | 607,353
6th | Suez | Suez Governorate | 547,352
7th | Khaset | Khaset Governorate | 538,297
8th | Waset | Waset Governorate | 487,896
9th | Damietta | Damietta Governorate | 470,494
10th | Tanta | Khaset Governorate | 437,793
11th | Zawty | Zawty Governorate | 403,202
12th | Pemsah | Pemsah Governorate | 352,411
13th | Pheyum | Pheyum Governorate | 338,959
14th | Perbast | Perbast Governorate | 314,331
15th | Rosetta | Rosetta Governorate | 299,296