Egypt lies in the Northern part of the Continent Africa and is significant on number of accounts. This significance is based upon the political, geostrategic, historic and religious factors. It shares its borders with various other important countries of the region along with other strategic zones such as rivers and mountain ranges.
It shares its borders with Libya on one side, Sudan on other corner, Israel along the coastal lines of Red Sea and parts of it touch upon the Mediterranean Sea as well. The world Famous River Nile also encompasses the inner waters of Egypt.
While modern day Egypt came into existence as a republic in the middle of 20th century, yet Egypt has a rich and long history to it. It is part of one of the world’s first few civilizations and cultures. Many dynastic rules, cultural accounts and religious accounts are associated with Egypt with regard to its historic significance.
Capital City: Cairo
Largest border share is with Sudan, followed by Libya, Israel and Palestine respectively.
Population is around 80 million approximately.
Religious division and composition:
Egypt is amongst world’s few largest Muslim states. Around 90 percent of the population comprises of the Muslims with the Majority being Sunni (Foster, 55). The small traces of the remaining population include Christians and other segments.
Arabic stands as the historic, cultural, and official representative language of the country (Planet, 541). The traces of this language being in practice can be stretched back to the early rulers and early civilizations that were once part of Egypt’s society.
Handshakes and hugs make up for the integral part of the normal greeting in daily routine. Though the handshake and hugs exchange is limited to the same gender only. There is strict prohibition of interaction and touching between the opposite gender on the account of religious preaching, social guidelines as well as the government’s influences and instructions which are more dominant in the public places and restaurants. People find complete freedom of roaming around with their family members in restaurants and other public places.
Egypt has the owners of having entertained and provided land to the world famous leaders and conquerors such as Alexander the Great, Cleopatra (Goodman, 288) and Ptolemies. During the Mesopotamian civilization, it remained under the direct and indirect influence of the Byzantine civilization and rulers.
In modern times the rule and power can be seen in form of the Caliphs having ruled in the 7th century A.D, while they were later on followed by The Ottoman Empire. The Porte himself administered through his designated governors and made it one of the best regions of the world in terms of the development and progress in the social sphere. Mehmat Ali and Ibrahim Pasha were two of the significant governors designated by the Porte during the glorious days of Ottoman Empire.
The region also held the attention of the one of the world’s finest generals and military ruler- Napoleon Bonaparte and he engaged himself with the British colonial power over the expansion and gains from the region of Egypt.
Modern day standing:
In modern day mid 20th century Egypt became a republic after a couple of years of turbulence and eventually with Gamel Naseer becoming the president of the country in 1956 (Haggett, 2283).
Egypt enjoys rich history of historical events and places. As a result of which it attracts large number of tourists and visitors every year and this makes up for greater percentage of their tourism and development sector that in turn benefits the overall economy of the state. Egypt is house to the world famous and amongst the World’s wonders of the world Pyramids in Cairo. Other important and historic places include the Temple of Luxor, Temple of Dandra, Graeco Roman Museum Philae Temple (McLachlan and McLachlan, 278).
Since those times Egypt has enjoyed political and strategic importance and has been part of conflicts and disputes with its rival states. One of the major rival has been Israel with which Egypt went to war twice in less than one decade’s period.
Climate of Egypt:
Weather of Egypt is characterized as hot and dry. In summers the temperature sores up to 45 degree plus, the months of December, January and February show considerable reduction and temperatures come down to around 15 degree Celsius. March and April are relatively breezy and mark the beginning of the summer. The large part of the year is seen in form of hot shinning sun.
Regions like Alexandria are regions where considerable better temperatures are on show. The Desert adjoining areas are the parts of the country that receive the least rainfall and are mostly dry in the summer regions with scorching sun.
Food in Egypt:
Egyptians are greatly fond of food and they enjoy good quality food. The country has its own characteristic food items that are world famous. Such as Molokhiyya, Mezze,Torly Doma, Ruzz make up for few of the large list of cuisines that are richly enjoyed by the Egyptians. The dry foods contain items such as Goz,Khukh, Bur’aan and mohamas along with Fuzdo, Bundok and bedammoh to name a few. All the foods being served and eaten by the people are in the due consideration and regard of their religion and Halal food is available all around. Haram food as per standards and definition of the Egyptians is available to the masses in common places, restaurants and cafes. The foreigners have to resort to separate arrangements to get the beverages and alcoholic items.
Best time to visit Egypt:
Post October every year is the best time to visit Egypt. The season remains friendly till the end of March and mid April after which the tourists may find little mercy from the sun and overall heat. Cairo also depicts the same pattern in terms of seasonal appearance.
The culture of Egypt is largely influenced by the preaching and guidelines of religion Islam. The people’s outward ways in social life are largely reflective in terms of their religious following. Their dressing, living patterns and other habits and behaviors are dominated by the presence of the element of religion amongst them. The Women dress up covering their bodies completely head to toe with face and hands visible. The men dress up in the white gowns worn in working places. Strong family systems run dominant in the Egypt’s society where the people are strongly bond into family patterns and relationships. Social solidarity and kinship is also part of display in the Egyptian culture. Prayers congregation and Azan in the loud speakers is an essential and regular part of the society within and men are seen offering prayers five times a day during their working hours as well as evening timings.
Friday is marked as the Public Holiday every week. Large Friday congregational ceremonies are held on that day. Other public holidays include the National Revolution day marked and celebrated on January 25th. July 23rd is marked as the day of Revolution that took place in 1952 (Boraas, 54). Other notable events and holidays include the Labor day. This along with the two Eids being celebrated like other Muslim Countries of the world.
The Egyptian society is broadly divided into the affluent class, the middle class who make up their living through the professional work and then there is the lower class who are seen working in the restaurants, offices, army and various other daily wage works with no or little educational background.
Top 5 places of tourist attraction:
Apart from the Pyramids that are world famous, places like Mosque of Ibn Tulun,Dahab and Siwa Oasis along with the Egyptian Museum are few of the places that are very famous and hold direct attention of the visitors from across the world.
Nucleic as well as extended family patterns are present and prevalent in the Egyptian society. These two are characteristic of the urban and rural part of the country. Polygamy is still in practice and at times multiple wives live under the same roof with one man. The number of children per family is relatively larger as compared to the West.
Recently Egypt has been in lime light on account of the Arab Spring, Tehrir Square, Muslim Brother hood’s government and the recently held ousted of Mohammad Mursi and coup attempt by the incumbent General who is the commanding chief of the Egyptian Army.
Boraas, Tracey. Egypt. Capstone, 2001.
Foster, Dean. The Global Etiquette Guide to Africa and the Middle East: Everything You Need to Know for Business and Travel Success. John Wiley & Sons, 2002.
Goodman, Martin. The Roman World 44 BC–AD 180. Routledge, 2013.
Haggett, Peter. Encyclopedia of World Geography. Marshall Cavendish, 2001.
McLachlan, Anne and Keith Stanley McLachlan. Egypt handbook. Footprint, 2000.
Planet, Lonely. Egypt. Lonely Planet, 2010.Press.