Egypt (Arabic : MISR, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt) is a country in North Africa that belongs to Egypt, Sinai Peninsula, a land bridge to Asia. Egypt has its high number of over 80 million people a huge political and cultural influence in the Arab world. With the Suez Canal in Egypt is a waterway with outstanding importance for the world economy, he joins the European Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. The country has a border with Israel and thus with the difficult crisis in the Middle East region.
The most important lifeline of Egypt is the Nile as it flows into the Mediterranean. As early as 3000 BC, this was one of the early civilizations of the Old World.
With the conquest in 640 the Christian has become the country came in the Islamic world. After being dominated for many years by the Ottoman dynasty, Egypt was in the 19th Century, a British colony. The independence in 1922 it experienced as a kingdom until 1952 when a coup brought to power a government that is essentially dependent on the military. Since the resignation of President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak on 11 February 2011 ruling of the Military Council, led by Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. Prime Minister Schafiq came after persistent protests against his government on 3 Back in March 2011. Essam Sharaf's successor has been appointed by the Military Council.

    Capital : Cairo
    Official language : Aarabic
    Form of government : Military Government
    Head of state : Chairman of the Supreme Military Council Mohammed Hussein Tantawi
    Area : 1,001,449 km ²
    Population : Official: 83,082,869 (2009)
    Currency : 1 Egyptian pound = 100 piastres
    Time Zone : UTC +2 / UTC +3 (late April-September)
    Topography of Egypt : The lifeline of Egypt is the Nile, Kagera river whose source springs in the mountain country of Burundi and Egypt about 1,550 km from south to north flows through before it flows through the 24,000 square kilometer Nile Delta in the Mediterranean. Apart from a few oases and small ports on the coast alone offer its water and its fertile banks of regions form the basis for cultivation and human settlement. This area represents about five percent of the territory. The territory can be divided into seven natural geographical units:
    In the far south is the counting of Nubia and Upper Egypt section of the Nile Valley between Aswan and Abu Simbel, which is now occupied by Lake Nasser. In the course of the Nile has cut in the box-shaped limestone plateau of the desert. From the outlet of the river from Lake Nasser to Cairo in the Nile Valley is an up to 25 km wide, fertile river oasis.
    In Lower Egypt, north of Cairo, the Nile splits into two main estuary arms between Rosetta and Damietta and forms an approximately 23,000 sq. km comprehensive, intensively managed Delta landscape of sedimentary mud, crossed by numerous small mouth arms, canals and irrigation systems.
    The neighborhood west of the Nile Libyan desert occupies a vast flat layer plateau about two-thirds of Egypt's national territory. In its north is the relatively low Libyan plateau, reached in Egypt up to 241 meters. Southeast of it to lower the terrain in the salt marshes filled with Kattarasenke from up to 133 m below sea level, rises in the southwest to the desert to 1.098 meters. For the rest stop just individual basins and valleys with the oases of Siwa, Bahariyya, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga from north to south about 1,000 km long and monotonous sand-dunes. About 100 km southwest of Cairo, is the 1827 km ² Faiyum Basin, a basin-like oasis landscape in the northern part is the 230 square kilometer Lake Qarun.
    In contrast, the east of the Nile Arabian Desert is dominated by a heavily rutted mountain by wadis, which reaches the middle section more than 2,000 meters. The Arabian Desert is the western portion of a Aufwölbungszone, the central part of the Tertiary is broken and is now at more than 1,000 m deep trench of the Red Sea. This is again a section of the Syrian-African grave breach system.
    On the Sinai Peninsula by the Aufwölbungszone continued. Here arises the Jabal Katrina (Catherine Hill) (2,637 m) the highest mountain in Egypt. The Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba, clutching her the peninsula from the south. Through the 161 km-long Suez Canal is a connection between the Red Sea and Mediterranean.
    Apart from the Nile Delta, usually lined with flat dunes, the Egyptian Mediterranean coast. In contrast, the coastal areas along the Red Sea are rugged - the mountain ranges are often enough to near the sea. Due to the high water temperatures are often preceded by coral reefs.
    Flora and Fauna : The natural vegetation is severely limited because of low rainfall as well as intensive agricultural use of the Nile Valley. The desert is almost completely without vegetation, occasionally growing tamarisk, acacia and thorn bushes, in the desert steppe and hard grasses, grouped along the banks of the Nile is Nilakazien, date palms, figs, mulberry and carob trees and casuarina trees imported. Typical of the Nile Delta are lotus plum, bamboo and reed plants, which are cultivated here in ancient papyrus it any more.
    The fauna of Egypt is rich in water birds in the delta area and on the Nile (especially herons, Egyptian geese and cranes), and during the winter months, join add many European migratory birds. On robbery and Aasvögeln kites, vultures and hawks are native. Among the larger mammals of the country are - apart from the domesticated camels, donkeys, sheep and goats - jackals, hyenas, fenneks, wild cats, and - in the mountainous regions - mountain goats. The desert is alive with rabbits, jumping mice, several types of lizards, scorpions. In the rural areas of the Nile comes from the Egyptian cobra, live on Lake Nasser few crocodiles. In the Nile and in the lakes on the delta coast, there are over 190 different fish species.
    Population : The population of Egypt settled primarily in the Nile valley, in the Nile Delta, the Suez Canal and tourism to significant places by the sea. In the western oases Fayyum, Dakhla, Farafra, Kharga and Siwa few inhabitants. The largest cities are (million inhabitants, as of 2006), Cairo (7.8), Alexandria (4.1) and Giza (3.1), Shoobra al-Khaimah (1.0), Port Said (0.6 ), Suez (0.5) and Luxor (0.5) [9].
    Demography : The Egyptian population is growing very fast (1.9% per year). By 1800 the country had only 2.5 million inhabitants. In 1900 the population was about 12.5 million inhabitants, 2000 almost 68 million. In the past, about the time of the pharaohs, the country had between 4 and 12 million people - a population that was probably reached in late antiquity. 42% of Egyptians lived in cities in 2004, 33.9% under the age of 15 years. 2009 officially occupied little more than 83 million people in Egypt.
    Ethnicities : Almost the entire population regarded themselves as Egyptians (97%), and there are about 70,000 Bedouin Arabs who live in the wilderness of the land and nomads operate. In addition, about 140,000 Nubians in the south are established, a greater number of lives in cities. In the Libyan desert once lived Berber tribes, of which today only a few live in the oasis of Siwa. In the deserts east of the Nile and live Arabic-speaking Beja nomads.
    Live in the north of Egypt also Greeks, Britons, Italians and Turks.
    Languages : The official language is Arabic. It is mostly Egyptian and Arabic, a dialect spoken neuarabischer. Written language since the Arab conquest in the 7th Century, the high-Arab, only in the Coptic Church is used as a liturgical language nor the Coptic, which in their own writing, by the Greek - and some signs of the demotic script - is derived, is written.
    In the oasis of Siwa is still spoken a Berber language, known as Siwi. In the south and in the Kharga oasis, many people speak Nubian. In the southeast there are Bedscha spokesman. As a foreign language is English and the French elite still widespread. In addition, there are about 230,000 Domari spokesman - an Indo-Iranian language.
    Religion : Egypt is the constitution for an Islamic state, and Islam is the state religion. In theory, Article 18 of the Egyptian constitution grants all citizens freedom of religion. It is in practice severely limited. be cited when nobody is on the government identification religion, but it may only be chosen between the three officially recognized religions Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
    Members of other religions must either deny their faith or they do not receive badges and give this largely on their civil rights. The same applies to Muslims who convert to another religion, like Christianity, to such persons by many politicians and religious scholars, even demanded the death penalty.
    Before the advent of Islam in the 7th to the evangelist Mark in Egypt have evangelized around the year 50 would The Christian minority in Egypt is now facing increasing discrimination by the Egyptian authorities and Islamic religious leaders, only; century in Egypt, Christianity is the dominant religion. about two million of them publicly profess the Christian faith. After it came back in October 2005 in Alexandria outside a church in violent clashes between Muslims and Copts, in which three people were killed, was in an attack on Islamic extremists on Coptic religious services 14th April 2006 a man killed Christian faith, and another 16 were injured. During the funeral procession for the dead the following day, hundreds of Muslims and Christians were at each other with clubs, 43 people were injured and 100 arrested.
    Almost all residents of the Jewish faith in Egypt have been displaced since 1948, by and by. Some 2,000 Baha'is living in Egypt. Its institutions were disbanded in 1960 by a law. The Baha'is are fighting for state recognition.
    Muslims : About 90% of Egypt's population profess the Sunni Islam. Under Islamic law, sharia is the main source of legislation.
    On the one hand, the interpretation of Islam in Egypt is most modern and progressive, particularly through the leadership in the Muslim world, Al-Azhar University. On the other hand, Egypt for decades (along with Saudi Arabia) is also a center of Islamic fundamentalism since 1967, further expanding. Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood is active there, and Osama bin Laden's terrorist group al-Qaeda were found in the days of the 11th September 2001, even Egyptians in leadership positions. In part they are still to be at the forefront.
    A visible sign of increasing Islamization of the society are the more commonly seen veiled women, even though the veil has been banned officially Nasser's time. The Fundamentalist scene sees violence against Westerners as part of a just struggle against an "unjust system" , a "godless state" and a "Western-Jewish conspiracy" against Islam.
    Christians : Today you can find in Cairo and Alexandria, but also in Central and Upper Egypt (often in predominantly Christian villages) a Coptic minority, which is to include with other Christians together between 4 and 15% of the total population of Egypt. The state and church Figures vary greatly, however, Therefore, based many of the below-mentioned figures only estimates. According to official figures, the Christians of not more than six percent of the total population.
    Others, in addition to the Coptic Church in Egypt represented ancient Near Eastern Churches are the Armenian Apostolic Church with 15,000 members and the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, with only about 500 members. To date, there is the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which has more than 200 000 believers in Egypt. Another Orthodox Church based in Egypt, the Orthodox Church of Sinai, the members of the St. Catherine's Monastery and its surroundings but only about 50 people.
    The Roman Catholic Church in Egypt (Apostolic Vicariate of Alexandria) is one of about 30 000 members, mainly of foreign origin. In addition, there is the formation of a number of United Churches come: the most important by far the most active in Egypt churches united with Rome, the Coptic Catholic Church with about 250 000 members in 7 dioceses (Alexandria, Giza, Luxor, Minya, Assiut , Sohag, Ismayliah). The Melkite Greek Catholic Church (Archdiocese of Alexandria) comprises about 35 000 members (as estimated with the last own figures dates back to 1970: 11 000 believers). There is also the Maronite Church (Eparchat of Cairo) with 5,000 believers, the Syrian Catholic Church (Eparchat of Cairo) with 1,700 believers, the Armenian Catholic Church (Eparchat of Alexandria) with 1300 believers and the Chaldean Catholic Church (Eparchat of Cairo) with 500 faithful. Jehovah's Witnesses publish since it was outlawed in 1960, no data on their membership in Egypt.
    Jews : In Egypt today live, very few Jews. In 1947 there were 75,000 Jews in 1948 or 66 000, they were driven to 1968, almost completely or have emigrated. [19] For large-scale deportations of Jews occurred in 1956 in connection with the Suez War and 1967 during the Six Day War. Since 1979, concluded the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the Jews in Egypt in their religion are no longer restricted, but they form only a marginal, outdated minority.
    Rise of a civilizationHuman rights situation : According to USAID figures in 2005 were 96.4% of the time 10-14 years old Egyptian girl suffered a genital mutilation, is a UNICEF statistics, based on the year 2003, an incidence of 97.0% in the age group between 15 and 49 year old women, so that the country is the world leader in the mutilation of female genitalia.
    The government cracks down on religious fundamentalism, but also other opposition voices in the public is not tolerated, but punished. Human rights organizations criticize the hard-line approach of the Egyptian police and the judiciary against political opponents, especially against the Egyptian blogosphere. Egypt has signed the Statute of the International Criminal Court only, the UN Women's Convention ratified with reservations and not at the Additional Protocol to CEDAW was signed.
    Especially in Upper Egypt as a Christian minority Copts often favored target of terror and extortion of radical Muslims have become. New Coptic churches could not be built for small repairs require a presidential decree. So was Egypt in 1966 involved, in the Declaration of Human Rights "was the freedom to change his religion or of 1948 contained wording to weaken so that it now provides in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:" the freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief. "
    In Egypt, torture is still systematic. The most commonly described methods of torture are electric shocks, beatings, suspension by the wrists or ankles, the expressions of cigarettes on the body as well as various forms of psychological torture and ill-treatment, including the threat of rape or sexual abuse of detainees or their female relatives. The U.S. government used, as in the case of the imam Abu Omar, Egypt as a stopover for people who have been kidnapped by the CIA and was responsible for, inter alia, Aero Contractors Company of the CIA.
    Foreign policy : Egypt is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the African Union (AU) and Arab League. Besides Jordan, Egypt is the only country in the Middle East, the peace with Israel has closed. With on an understanding with Israel-oriented policies, however, the increasing militancy in support of Iran, Libya and Sudan Islamists who are fighting on the basis of the existing emergency laws since 1981.
    The United States took Egypt in 1989 in the list on its most important allies outside of NATO. Egypt is thus preferably at its request, with individually determined U.S. defense programs to other countries about, even to many NATO members. In a five-day Middle East tour, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked on 22 February 2006 Ahmed Abul Ghait their colleagues to show support for Washington's stance towards Iran and the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.
    After talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Berlin and Vienna, where also the Middle East peace process and Iran's nuclear program was the topic, Mubarak called on 13 Israel and Hamas in March to immediate peace talks and to end the violence. After the withdrawal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip have agreed Egypt, Israel and Palestine in mid September 2005 that in order to control the 14 km long border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip 750 Egyptian soldiers are stationed.
    Military : The armed forces of Egypt are regarded as the strongest military power on the African continent and to justify their status as a regional power in the Middle East. The military budget (2010) is 2.4 billion U.S. dollars, with around 1.3 billion by the military aid was funded from the U.S.. The armed forces are subordinate to the Head of State, held at the same time as a senior commander of the highest military rank. Are organized in four branches of the armed forces: on the one hand, the classic divisions of the army, air force and navy, the air defense command also acts as a separate part of the military force. In Egypt there is a three-year military service for men over the age of eighteen. Due to the strong population growth are, however, not all recruits recovered, having a year of strength to withstand over 800,000 conscripts 450,000 active soldiers. However, the Government still also has some 250,000 paramilitary forces under the interior ministry and used for internal security. With the foreign policy approach under Anwar as-Sadat of Egypt also opened up access to U.S. arms sales, which have contributed since the eighties to a significant modernization of the armed forces.
    Education : Compulsory education is education for free for 6 - to 12-year-old. The current school system was introduced in 1952, according to him, close in to the elementary school three years of preparation and three years of secondary school, followed by higher education. The illiteracy rate is about 50%. is due to the low public expenditure on education in Egypt developed a significant private education sector (the result of poverty and of the fee is only a small part is available. Of the twelve universities of Egypt, there are five in Cairo. A special feature of the Cairo Al-Azhar University is: it is 983 since the center of Islamic scholarship.
    Management : Egypt is the per capita income is a forth by African standards, a middle position. The GDP growth in 2004 by 4.2%. Of these, 15% in agriculture, generates 37% in industry and 48% in services. 27% of the working population worked in agriculture in 2002, 21% in industry and 52% in services.
    The previously more socialist planned economy of Egypt was liberalized in the 1970s under President Anwar Sadat and open to the outside. Especially in the 1990s several state enterprises were privatized. Egypt to South Africa is the most industrialized country in Africa, however, agriculture is still an important foundation of the economy. The main resources of Egypt are the proceeds from oil exports and use of the Suez Canal and remittances and tourism. One serious problem is the high external debt, she in 2009 was 28.45 billion U.S. dollars. The distribution of income in the country is very unequal. The International Corruption Perceptions Index of 2009, the country is characterized as above average corrupt. A larger role in the economy is also of the military, which many businesses operate.
    Egyptian farmers : The agricultural area (around 3% of state land) is limited to the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta and some oases. The farmer (fellah) cultivate the land with some thousands of years of cultivation and irrigation methods. Here, the agricultural production has changed from a subsistence to an export orientation, so that relative terms less typical foods such as millet, beans and cabbage are harvested. To feed the growing population, large amounts are imported - in the year 1980, over 5 million tonnes of wheat imported from abroad, which are three times as much as has been cultivated in Egypt itself. Since large parts of Egypt - with the exception of the already occupied areas - are very arid, almost no water sources for irrigation and agricultural use, therefore there is not possible, an end to the high number of imports in sight. The Aswan Dam also ensured that the flooding of the Nile, almost no longer exists and therefore the harvesting areas were small and infertile due to lack of mud, but now can be harvested several times a year. Currently, however, under the Toshka project made elements of Egyptian desert west of the Nile for agricultural use. The traditionally most important product is cotton. In addition, sugar cane, corn, rice, wheat, millet, potatoes, fruit and vegetables are grown. Livestock production is dependent for lack of permanent pasture to feed crops. Cattle and buffalo are used as pack animals, and working alongside the sheep and goat meat and milk production.
    Industry : For the larger industrial firms usually where there is close integration between government and business (government members, as part owner). The number of private companies, some with foreign participation such as transport equipment, has increased significantly since the 70s. The oldest commercial sectors are the processing of cotton, sugar and other agricultural products. Later joined by cement, fertilizer, iron, steel and aluminum production, electrical and chemical-pharmaceutical industry, oil refining, machinery and transport equipment. One of the largest private company, the company Asfour Crystal International (about 23,000 people in Cairo - el Shobra), in the field of production of lead crystal with 30% lead content and thus with the generation of crystal chandeliers for private use and for industrial use of world leaders. Since 2001, the company is among other things, a world leader in crystal jewelry stones and crystal figurines. Because of the low export strength (see Foreign Trade) to take orders of a government for the producers of construction materials (steel, cement, etc.) play an important role.
    Natural resources and energy : The most important natural resource is oil, which is supported mainly in the Gulf of Suez, the Kattarasenke and on the Sinai Peninsula. In addition, raw phosphates, iron and manganese ores and salt are obtained. Mostly undeveloped, the presence of asbestos, sulfur, non-ferrous metals and uranium ores. The subsidized since 1975, natural gas is used exclusively in the domestic power generation and fertilizer production. The construction of several thermal power stations is planned based on natural gas and some nuclear power plants. The two hydropower plants on the old Aswan Dam and the new High Dam generate about 15% of the Egyptian electricity, will lower the water level of Lake Nasser, but further, the power generation at risk.
    Foreign Trade : The foreign trade balance is in deficit for years. Imports can not be financed through export revenues by far, which has led to an enormous foreign debt. Imported in 2004 goods worth 19.8 billion U.S. $ were, including 18% food, 17% machinery and transport equipment, 13% of industrial primary products, chemical products 11%, 8% and 8% fuel raw materials. The goods came to 13% from the U.S., 7% from Germany, Italy 7%, 5% France, 5% Chinese, 5% United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia 4% and 3% in Spain.
    Exports during the same period, goods worth U.S. $ 10.4 billion, including 40% fuel and industrial oils, 20% of industrial primary products, foodstuffs 9%, 8% of raw materials, chemicals 5% and 4% of finished products. The main customers were 13% Italy, 12% U.S., 7% United Kingdom, 5% Germany, 5% Spain 4% France 3% Netherlands 2% Jordan, 2% Turkey, 2% South Korea and 2% of Saudi Arabia.

    Tourism and transport

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