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About Egypt

Description: 

 

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

Capital: Cairo 

Dialing code: +20

Currency: EGP - Egyptian pound (1L.E.=100 piasters)

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 

Geographic coordinates: 27 00 N, 30 00 E 

Map references: Africa 

Area total: 1,001, 450 sq km
Land: 995, 450 sq km    Water: 6, 000 sq km 

Area-comparatives:
slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico

Land boundaries: total: 2, 665 km
Border countries: Gaza Strip 11 km, Palestine 255 km, Libya 1,115 km, Sudan 1, 273 km. 

Coastline: 2, 450 km 

Maritime claims:   
- Territorial sea: 12 nm
-Contiguous zone: 24 nm
-Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
-Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation 

Elevation extremes:    
-lowest point : Qattara Depression 436 m
-highest point: Mount Catherine 2, 629 m 

-Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead and zinc.   

Land use:
-Arable land: 2.87%
-Permanent crops: 0.48%   
-Other: 96.65% (2001) 

Irrigated land: 33, 000 sq km (1998 est.)
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 RiverNile.   
 
Climate & 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.  
  
 

 
Topografy
Egypt is divided into four major parts:

1. The Nile Valley and Delta
It extends from north of the valley to the Mediterranean Sea and is divided into Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt: extending from Wadi Halfa to the south of Cairo and from North Cairo to the Mediterranean Sea. The River Nile in the north is divided into two branches, Dumiat and Rashid which embrace the highly fertile agricultural lands of the Delta.
 
2. The Western Desert
It extends from the Nile Valley in the East to the Libyan borders in the west, and from the Mediterranean in the north to Egypt’s Southern borders. It is divided into:
• The Northern section includes the coastal plane, the northern plateau and the Great Depression, NatrounValley and Baharia Oasis 
• The Southern section includes Farafra, Kharga, Dakhla, and el-Owainat in the extreme south.

3. The Eastern Desert
Extends from the Nile Valley in the West to the Red Sea, Suez Gulf, and Suez Canal in the East, and fromLake Manzala on the Mediterranean in the North to Egypt’s southern borders with Sudan in the south. TheEastern Desert is marked with the Eastern Mountains that extend along the Red Sea with peaks that rise to about 3000 feet above sea level. This desert is rich with natural resources including various ores such as gold, coal, and oil.
 
4. The Sinai Peninsula
Sinai is shaped like a triangle with its base at the Mediterranean in the North and its tip in the South at Ras Mohammed, the Gulf of Aqaba to the East and the Gulf of Suez and Suez Canal to the West. It is topographically divided into three main sections:  
• The Southern section is an extremely tough terrain. It is composed of high rise Granite Mountains. MountCatherine rises about 2640 meters above sea level, a matter that makes it the highest mountain top in Egypt.
• The Central Section is bounded by the Mediterranean to the North and the At-Teeh plateau to the south. It is a plain area with abundant water resources derived from rain water that flows from southern heights to the central plateau.
Both the Nile Valley and the Delta occupy about 33,000 km2, accounting to less than 4% of the total area of the country.
The Western Desert occupies an area of about 671,000 km2.
The Eastern Desert occupies about a quarter of the total area of Egypt, (some 225,000 km2). 
The Sinai Peninsula occupies about 61,000 km2.
 
 
Flag of Egypt
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.
 
Color Symbolism
The red color refers to the period before 1952 Revolution which brought a group of army officers to power after deposing King Farouk, then King of Egypt. This was a period characterized by the struggle against the British occupation of the country. The white symbolizes the advent of the 1952 Revolution which ended the monarchy without bloodshed. The color black symbolizes the end of the oppression of the people of Egypt at the hands of the Monarchy and British colonialism.
 
Rules Governing the Hoisting of the Flag
The national flag is hoisted on all governmental buildings on Fridays, official holidays, on the inauguration of the House of Representatives session and other occasions on which the Minister of Interior orders that the flag be hoisted.
The flag is hoisted daily on border posts and customs buildings. It is also hoisted on Egyptian consulates and embassies overseas on the National Day and other national occasions, as well as during the visit of the President to the country hosting the diplomatic mission.
Penal Provisions for Contempt of the Flag
Abusing the flag in any way is a criminal offense and is punishable under law as it implies contempt of the power of the state.
Penal provisions also govern abuse of foreign flags or national emblems of other countries. 
 

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. 
 
"O, my homeland, to you is my love and heart, 
To you are my life and my existence,
To you are my mind, tongue and my whole being,
You are everything in life, and there is no other life without you, ". 

Egypt's current anthem was written by the poet Younis al-Qadi and composed by the great artist Sayed Darwish, who died before listening it.

The Egyptian National Anthem
 My homeland, my homeland, my hallowed land, 
Only to you, is my due hearty love at command,
My homeland, my homeland, my hallowed land,
Only to you is my due hearty love at command,
Mother of the great ancient land,
My sacred wish and holy demand,
All should love, awe and cherish thee,
Gracious is thy Nile to humanity,
No evil hand can harm or do you wrong,
So long as your free sons are strong,
My homeland, my homeland, my hallowed land,
Only to you, is my due hearty love at command.

 
 

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.
The 1996 census puts the number of population at 59.3 million. The 2006 census is the thirteenth to be held by the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
2014
The CAPMAS announced on Monday 18/8/2014 that the Egyptian population inside the country hit 87 million. The CAPMAS said that Egypt's population both at home and abroad reached around 95 million.
Population Estimates By Sex & Governorate on 1/1/2014
Source: Central Agency for Public Mobilization And Statistics
NB: Unit: 000pop.
Governorate Total
Cairo 9 102
Alexandria 4 716
Port-Said 654
Suez 608
Damietta 1 301
Dakahlia 5 818
Sharkia 6 328
Kalyobia 4 989
Kafr-El-Sheikh 3 094
Gharbia 4 648
Menoufia 3 850
Beheira 5 647
Ismailia 1 146
Giza 7 398
Beni-Suef 2 771
Fayoum 3 072
Menia 5 004
Asyout 4 123
Sohag 4 469
Qena 2 959
Aswan 1 395
Luxor 1 119
Red Sea 337
El-Wadi El-Gidid 220
Matrouh 428
North Sinai 422
South Sinai 165
Total 85 783

2012
According to the 2012 census, official figures released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics indicate that Egypt's population has reached 92 million living on just 5.3% of the country's area. 
 
2006
 According to the 2006 census figures, the population, including those living abroad, is estimated to have reached 76.5 million at a growth rate of 37% over the 1996 figure.

 
 
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 peoples 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.

The River Nile and its banks 
The Nile is truly the River of Life and has been revered in Egypt since ancient times. Until the Aswan High Dam was built, only 4% of Egypt was cultivated, but this has now been extended to 6%. Nearly all habitation owes its existence to the narrow strip of land either side of the river itself or to the very fertile Nile Delta in the north.
One explanation for the shape of the Ankh, the ancient Egyptian symbol for eternal life, is that it is thought to represent the Nile and its importance to life and consequently their religion. The two side arms represent the two banks of the river - East for the Living and West for the After-life. The top loop is for the productivity and fertility of the Nile Delta; the stem is for the Nile itself.
The proximity of the Desert to the river is a constant reminder of the fragility of the narrow strip of life which survives all the way from Aswan to Cairo. Many of the dwellings and settlements have a very simple existence with few modern amenities. 

Boats of the River Nile 
The history of Egypt is totally dominated by the River Nile. At one time nearly all transportation was by boat along the river. Consequently it was always thought that Gods would travel by boat - or barque as it was called. The souls of the dead also traveled by barque in the afterlife.
 
FELUCCAS: - The felucca has remained, over the centuries, the primary transportation of the Nile. Its ancient form still graces the river as it has done since the time of the Pharaohs. Motorized barges transport bulk material and modern cruise ships transport tourists, but the felucca remains despite modern alternatives. 
The felucca rarely has any form of engine and relies entirely on the breeze which builds during the day and usually subsides at night. Some of the craft today are used to carry tourists who wish to enjoy an eternally peaceful journey carried along by the gentle breeze and the currents of the river.
Few are now made entirely of wood, but the basic layout has barely changed. They don’t have a keel as such, but a heavy centre plate which can be raised in the shallows. The sails are seriously low tech affairs made of native cotton and other natural fibers. 

Tour Boats: - There are a phenomenal number of tourist boats on the Nile and most of them resemble a floating block of flats - they have little charm on the outside and absolutely no connection with Egypt on the inside. They are floating hotels designed to keep the Western traveler sanitized from the world outside - but Pharaoh does exact his revenge!! 
The River Nile  is possibly the most famous river in history. It was by its banks that one of the oldest civilizations in the world began. Not surprisingly, the Nile teems with life. Many different types of animals, birds, and fish all call the River Nile  home. Hundreds of years ago, even hippos and lions could be found here in the Nile Valley.
The crocodile’s eyes and nostrils are on top of the head so it can see and breathe while the rest of it is underwater. As an added advantage, its ears and nostrils can close when it dives, and a nictitating membrane (a transparent eyelid) closes over the eye to keep water out. 
Nile Crocodiles range all over Africa, eating almost anything (including each other), but rarely moving away from their chosen body of water. Hatchlings eat small fish and insects; adults will go after turtles, baboons, and even the gigantic wildebeest. They live in large "communities" of several dozen crocodiles, but even there they tend to leave each other alone except during a "feeding frenzy" when they will all unite to take down a much larger animal. 

The Nile Valley is home to so many creatures we wouldn’t be able to see them all, but here is a good collection for you to see.
Are we ready to begin? Excellent!
 
This fearsome reptile is the Nile Crocodile. These gigantic animals have not been seen around the Nile for many years, though recently they’ve started making a comeback behind the Aswan Dam. The skin of the Nile Crocodile, unlike that of most reptiles, is not shed, but grows with the animal.
Although crocodiles look like alligators, they can be distinguished by their longer, narrower snout, and their fourth tooth, which sticks out from the lower jaw rather than fitting neatly into the upper jaw. The adults can reach lengths of over 10 feet and can weigh up to 1500 pounds.
Crocodiles swim mostly with their tails. Though their back feet are webbed, they rarely use them underwater. On land, they use their powerful legs to move around. They only look slow; Nile Crocodiles have been known to "gallop" at speeds of about 30 miles an hour.