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currency: Egyptian pound (EGP)
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Egypt profile
controls Sinai Peninsula, only land bridge between Africa and remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez Canal, a sea link between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; size, and juxtaposition to Israel, establish its major role in Middle Eastern geopolitics; dependence on upstream neighbors; dominance of Nile basin issues; prone to influxes of refugees from Sudan and the Palestinian territories
Egypt history
The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty with the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands of Egypt's growing population through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure. Egyptian youth and opposition groups, inspired by events in Tunisia leading to overthrow of the government there, organized non-violent demonstrations, marches, and labor strikes in Cairo and other cities throughout Egypt early in 2011. Protester grievances focused on police brutality, state emergency laws, lack of free speech and elections, high unemployment, rising food prices, inflation, and low minimum wages. Pledges by President MUBARAK for the formation of a new government and additional concessions failed to assuage protesters and resulted in an escalation of the number and intensity of demonstrations and clashes with police. In February 2011 MUBARAK resigned and national leadership was assumed by a Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). The SCAF dissolved the Egyptian parliament, suspended the nation's constitution, and formed a committee to recommend constitutional changes to facilitate a political transition through democratic elections. Following some delays, elections for a new parliament took place between November 2011 and January 2012; however, the lower house of parliament was dissolved in June after a court ruling deemed its formation illegal. Presidential elections held in May and June witnessed the victory of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed MURSI, but elections to form a new lower house of parliament, scheduled spring 2013, have been put on hold by the Administrative Court in order to review legal arguments over the process used to approve the amended election law.
interesting Egypt facts
Conventional long form: Arab Republic of Egypt
Conventional short form: Egypt
Local long form: Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah
Local short form: Misr
Formerly known as: United Arab Republic (with Syria)
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Egypt's capital city is Cairo
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Egypt Constitution:
new constitution passed by referendum 15-22 December 2012, signed by the president 26 December 2012
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Egypt population growth rate: 1.922%
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Egypt highest point: Mount Catherine 2,629 m
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Egypt lowest point: Qattara Depression -133 m
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About 3% of Egypt's land is arable.
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Nile River is the Longest River in Egypt
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Egypt birth rate is 24 births/1,000 population
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Egypt infant mortality rate is 24 deaths/1,000 live births
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Egypt fertility rate is 2.9 children born/woman
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Egypt climate:
desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters
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Top 10 cities of Egypt with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Cairo: 8,105,071
2. Alexandria: 4,388,219
3. Giza: 3,348,401
4. Shubra El-Kheima: 1,072,951
5. Port Said: 607,353
6. Suez: 547,352
7. Luxor: 487,896
8. Mansoura: 480,494
9. El-Mahalla El-Kubra: 458,297
10. Tanta: 437,793
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Egypt ethnic groups:
Egyptian 99.6%, other 0.4%
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Egypt Exports:
crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals, processed food
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Egypt Imports:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, fuels
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bicameral parliament consists of the Shura Council or Majlis al-Shura that traditionally functions mostly in a consultative role (at least 150 seats with up to one-tenth of body appointed by the president to serve six-year terms); and the House of Representatives(at least 350 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Administrative Divisions:
27 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazat)

1. Ad Daqahliyah, 2. Al Bahr al Ahmar (Red Sea), 3. Al Buhayrah, 4. Al Fayyum, 5. Al Gharbiyah, 6. Al Iskandariyah (Alexandria), 7. Al Isma'iliyah (Ismailia), 8. Al Jizah (Giza), 9. Al Minufiyah, 10. Al Minya, 11. Al Qahirah (Cairo), 12. Al Qalyubiyah, 13. Al Uqsur (Luxor), 14. Al Wadi al Jadid (New Valley), 15. As Suways (Suez), 16. Ash Sharqiyah, 17. Aswan, 18. Asyut, 19. Bani Suwayf, 20. Bur Sa'id (Port Said), 21. Dumyat (Damietta), 22. Janub Sina' (South Sinai), 23. Kafr ash Shaykh, 24. Matruh, 25. Qina, 26. Shamal Sina' (North Sinai), 27. Suhaj
Political parties and leaders:
Al-Wasat Party; Constitution Party - Mohammed ELBARADEI

Democratic Peace Party

Egyptian Citizen Party

Freedom Party

Nation Party - Hazem Abu ISMAIL

National Party of Egypt

New Wafd Party

People's Party

Popular Current Party - Hamdin SABAHI

Reform and Development Party

Revolution Continues Party

Strong Egypt Party - Abdel Aboul FOTOUH