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.
Form of government
: Military Government
Head of state
: Chairman of the Supreme Military Council Mohammed Hussein Tantawi
: Prime Minister Essam Sharaf
: 1,001,449 km ²
: Official: 83,082,869 (2009)
Currency : 1 Egyptian pound = 100 piastres
: 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.
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) .
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.  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 civilization
Ancient Egyptian chariots :
Pre-dynastic period to 3150 BCHuman 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.
Pharaonic (Ancient Egypt)
Early Dynastic period, 3032-2707 BC : to the high culture of Egypt began around 3000 BC with the creation of a kingdom by the union of Upper and Lower Egypt under the legendary Pharaoh Menes, who resides in Memphis have. The division of the Pharaonic dynasties in 30 goes back to the Egyptian priest Manetho, who in the 3rd century BC has written a history of Egypt.
First Intermediate Period 2216-2025 BC
Old Kingdom 2707-2216 BC : The 3rd Dynasty was the Old Kingdom, which carved out the state and society, art and religion, and ruled autocratic as the embodiment of God's revered King of Heaven 42 on all the provinces of his country. Under Pharaoh Djoser (c. 2610-2590) and the rulers of the 4th and 5 Dynasty expanded the empire from area to south of Aswan. Pharaohs were now regarded as sons of the sun god Re.
Middle Kingdom 2010-1793 BC
Second Intermediate Period 1648-1550 BC
After the collapse of the Old Kingdom it was not until a Gaufürstengeschlecht from the South under Mentuhotep II (2061-2010) the countries of the Middle Kingdom (11th-14th Dynasty) to some back. As the new capital of Thebes was founded with the temple sites Karnak and Luxor, but the residence was soon back in the north. In 1650 coming from Asia, the Hyksos rule over Egypt torn itself. They brought horses and chariots into the country and thus a new kind of war technology.
New Kingdom 1531-1075 BC
Third Intermediate Period 1075-652 BC
Kamose prince and his successor Ahmose succeeded around 1550 BC in Thebes in turn the New Kingdom (18th to 20th dynasties) to establish that under Amenhotep I and Tuthmosis I. to the Euphrates to Nubia and extended. After the reign of "peace princess" Hatshepsut (1490-1468) undertook Thutmose III. Campaigns in Syria and Palestine and strengthened the Egyptian empire, which stretched from the Orontes in Syria to the fourth cataract of the Nile. Under King Amenhotep IV (1364-1347) was the expansion to a halt. He cared primarily about religious issues and triggered by the elevation of the sun god Aten as the sole God is a spiritual revolution. Under the name of Akhenaten who ruled together with his wife Nefertiti, the kingdom of the newly established residence Akhetaton (modern Tell el-Amarna) from. By his successor Tutankhamun (1347-1338), however, the monotheism in favor of a trinity of the divine principle was abolished. Under Ramses II (1290-1224) the New Empire was once a golden age. But the international movement in 1200 brought a new threat to Egypt, the Hittites, the Libyans and Sea Peoples was threatened from the north. After the death of Ramses III. (1184-1153) began a rapid decline in foreign rulers of Egypt broke up into a number of individual estates.
From empire to the province
Sphinx in front of Chephren's pyramid : Late Period 652-332 BC
Greco-Roman Period 332 BC-395 AD
Late Antique Byzantine period 395-640 AD
525 BC, Egypt was conquered by the Persian Empire and the first province in a strange world empire, within certain limits, it was the Government and the religious freedom granted. 332 BC was the 404 again become independent without a fight Egypt in the hands of Alexander the Great, who Hellenized the country as part of the Macedonian Empire. After his death in 323 BC, took his general Ptolemy I Soter, the administration of the Egyptian province. 305, he took over as Ptolemy I Soter, the title of a king, and founded the dynasty of the Ptolemies, which ruled Egypt for nearly 300 years. They rose, founded by Alexander Alexandria as their capital, and both foreign policy towards the Mediterranean.
Under the rule of Islam
After the death of Cleopatra VII, the last ruler of the Ptolemäerhauses, 30 BC, Egypt became a Roman province. With the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the country came under Eastern Roman-Byzantine rule and lost by the shift of trade routes to Constantinople some of its recent economic importance. This, and especially the Byzantine religious policy led to a strong opposition movement against the Byzantine Empire, as reflected in particular by the Council of Chalcedon in 451 by the formation of an independent Coptic Church. In late antiquity, Egypt was the starting point of Christian Mission in Nubia and Ethiopia, whose churches modeled closely on the Coptic Church of Egypt. The country was rich and economically significant, and that the Persian Sassanid Empire from 619 initially and then tried the Muslim Arabs, wrest it to the emperor.
Early Islamic period 640-968
Ayyubid rule 1171-1250
Mamluk period 1250-1517
Ottoman rule in Egypt 1517-1801
Muslim Arabs in 640 conquered the Nile valley, Egypt was now of shifting power centers - Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo - dominated. Under the Umayyads (661-750) Arab tribes settled in the fertile plains and then on the specific cultural appearance in Egypt. With the rise of Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty (1171-1249), Cairo was the center of the Muslim resistance against the Christian Crusades. In 1250, was the palace guard, which was composed of Mamelukes, originally mostly Turkish military slaves, and took power. End of the 13th Century, they destroyed the last Crusader states on Asian soil. Even after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Empire in 1517, the administration remained in their hands. The economic decline as a result of the discovery of the sea route to India (1498) made Egypt one of the poorest provinces of the Ottoman Empire.
Under British control
Egyptian Expedition 1798-1802
Dynasty of Muhammad Ali 1805-1882
British rule in Egypt 1882-15. March 1922
Kingdom of Egypt 15th March 1922-July 1952
It was the landing of the French expeditionary force under Napoleon in 1798 ended the rule of the Ottomans. As had to cancel after the naval victory of the British Admiral Nelson of the Nile in the same year the French Orient their campaign, took advantage of the Albanian officer Muhammad Ali Pasha, the situation for the seizure of power (1805-1849). He and his followers have won under Ottoman suzerainty a certain independence, pursued an expansionary policy and ushered in the history of modern Egypt. The construction of the Suez Canal (1859-1869) made the country so dependent on foreign loans that have set up the UK and France, public debt management was the actual government of the country. To secure the connection route to India Great Britain acquired the Egyptian Canal shares, occupied the country in 1882 and 1914 there was formally a protectorate. 1922 Egypt Fuad I. an already largely independent kingdom and was given after his death in 1936 the sovereignty. During the Second World War, Egypt was the battleground of the German and Italian armies under Erwin Rommel and the British under Bernard Montgomery. British troops remained until 1946 in the country. 1945 Egypt was one of the 51 founding members of the United Nations.
Egypt as a republic
In 1948, Egyptian Arab armies involved in the attack on the newly proclaimed State of Israel, but were, like the other Arab armies, defeated. On 23 July 1952 (National Day) overthrew the movement of the "Free Officers" in 1936 enthroned King Farouk. The story of the young Republic of Egypt, first by General Ali Muhammad Naguib, then determined by the leading head of the Revolution, Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser (1954-1970). Nasser's socialist regime maintained close relations with the Soviet Union. The nationalization of the Suez Canal Company in 1956 led to military intervention by Israel, Britain and France. The Suez Crisis was settled by the intervention of the UN. In 1958, Egypt joined with Syria and North Yemen to form the United Arab Republic (UAR) together, which was in fact only to 1961. In the Six Day War with Israel in June 1967 in which Israeli troops penetrated up to the Suez Canal, the country suffered a severe military defeat. After Nasser's death in 1970 Vice President Anwar Sadat became president. By - partially successful - Yom Kippur War in 1973, Sadat was trying to make up for the defeat of 1967.
Revolution in Egypt in 2011
1977 Sadat launched a surprise peace initiative, a dialogue with Israel that led in 1979 peace treaty and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Sinai Peninsula, on the other hand, however, the country in the Arab world, isolated and provoked the opposition of Islamic fundamentalists. Sadat in 1981, the 1978, together with Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin received the Nobel Peace Prize, was the victim of an assassination. His successor, the then incumbent Vice President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, has succeeded, Egypt again due to a fully respected member of the Arab League. He ruled, however authoritarian, since the enactment of emergency legislation from 1982 to 2011 to the Revolution.
Political system : Under the Constitution of 1971, as last amended in 2005, Egypt is a presidential republic. Head of state is the Parliament by a two thirds majority then nominated and confirmed for six years by popular vote president, who is also head of the armed forces. This was from 1981 to 2011 Muhammad Husni Mubarak, who was recently re-elected 2005th After Mubarak's announcement of a 26 February 2005, the President may be elected but in the future through free elections with more approved candidates. The president appoints the prime minister and the cabinet members and governors, judges and high officers. He also has a veto on legislation can be adopted decrees and dissolve Parliament. Critics noted that Mubarak had ruled since the death of his predecessor by emergency law. He prevailed over a pseudo-democratic system. They say that elections were falsified or partially displaced and some opposition figures came to mock trials to prison. In Egypt only exists so much public opposition, such as Mubarak permit.
Parliament consists of the Council of the People with 454 members, of whom 444 elected every five years (since 1986 for 400 from party lists and 44 as non-party direct candidates) and ten are appointed by the head of state. Advisory legislative body, the Shura, with 210 members, of whom two thirds elected every three years and one third are appointed by the head of state. For the elections to the Council of the people between 9 November and 7 December 2005 won the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) with 311 seats (2000: 388). It was followed by the Muslim Brotherhood with 88 seats and the liberal Wafd Party, 6 seats. 27 seats went to independents and members of smaller parties. 12 seats are vacant. The by-elections to the Shura in May / June 2004 also brought a majority for the NDP. For all the Egyptians from the age of 18 years of compulsory voting.
Main source of legislation is Sharia. The court system has low-level so-called central and district courts, in another there are six appellate courts. The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court in Cairo. A Constitutional Court supervises the constitutional order.
Elections : For the first time in the history of the country for constitutional reform were a number of candidates eligible for the presidency. What had described President Mubarak as a milestone in the proceedings initiated under U.S. pressure for reform and democratization process had been sharply criticized by the opposition, since the amendment of the ruling NDP Mubarak virtually conceded a monopoly. At the same time hinted at in the election campaign, a paradigm shift: after a quarter-century of rule Mubarak presented a significant proportion of the population open to his policy of iron fist and his consistently with military, never argumentative-political means out confrontation with Islamism in question. On 18 July 2005, a broad alliance of opposition from such diverse groups as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Wafd Party and the movement Kifaya (Enough) to boycott the elections. Prominent potential candidates such as women's rights activist Nawal Saadawi and human rights activist Saadeddin Ibrahim withdrew their candidature for the presidential election. The candidate of the first in November 2004 established liberal Al-Ghad (Tomorrow) Party Ayman Nour was, however, at the election. Against him was the end of June the trial opened for alleged forgery of electoral documents.
After Mubarak on 28 July 2005 had announced he would run again protested on 30 and 31 July in downtown Cairo, hundreds of opposition supporters against his policies, accompanied by the violent actions of the security forces against the protesters, about 20 people were arrested. In the election on 7 September Mubarak was confirmed with 88.6% of the vote in office. His foremost rival among the nine opposition candidates, Ayman Nour, came only to 7.6%. The turnout was reported as 23%. Critics say the elections were, for which no official international observers were allowed to be accompanied by serious irregularities. In the of 9 November to 7 December 2005 in three rounds of elections to the Council of the People was recorded massive gains the opposition. Overall, the Alliance got almost 100 of the 440 seats. After it had become apparent after the first rounds of voting in strength of the Muslim Brotherhood, the last round was marred by violent attempts by the security forces, their supporters from entering the polling stations to prevent, taking 12 people were killed. The success of the Muslim Brotherhood is primarily due to their social activities in the Cairo slums, which is tolerated by the NDP. In Mubarak on 1 January 2006 appointed the new cabinet remained the key positions unchanged. Against the backdrop of the revolution started in Tunisia on 25 January 2011, the revolution in Egypt, which are mainly targeted against the existing regime since October 1981 of President Muhammad Husni Mubarak and the demand for freedom, rule of law and democracy.
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
Luxor Temple : Another important industry is tourism, which had to cope after the terrorist attacks on tourist targets in the 1990s and 2000s, but at times serious declines (Luxor 1997, 2004 and 2005 and 2006 Sinai in Dahab). Unknown perpetrators set fire on 23 July 2005, in three locations in the seaside resort frequented by foreign tourists Sharm El-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula, a total of 400 kilos of explosives, while 64 people were killed and more than 200 injured. On the attacks in addition to the known Al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Assam brigades that recorded for the attacks in Taba in October 2004, responsible, another hitherto unknown terrorist organization. By 26 July, the police arrested 140 suspects. According to data of Ministry of Interior on 14 August, the two main culprits of the bombing range it had been established. Other bloody terrorist attacks occurred in Dahab. On 24 April 2006 exploded in the seaside resort on the Sinai peninsula, three explosive devices, while at least 23 people were killed and 80 others were injured, some seriously. Subsequently, Parliament extended the state of emergency in force since 1981 for two years. Security forces arrested some 40 suspects to mid-May, killing seven suspected terrorists or perpetrators of the attacks. On 9 May was the leader of the Tawhid wal Jihad terror organization, which is blamed for recent attacks, was killed in a gun battle in northern Sinai.
Abu Simbel : Tourism is one of the main economic sources of income in the country. In particular, the Egyptian antiquities are a big attraction for foreign visitors. Thomas Cook invented here in 1869 for the package is in the British and Americans, he piloted through the land of the Pharaohs. In addition to Giza, Cairo and Alexandria and Luxor is frequently visited, from which can be achieved including the Valley of the Kings. Luxor is also the starting point for Nile cruises to Aswan. From there, flights and bus tours offered to Abu Simbel. Most tour operators offer then a domestic flight to Cairo and Cairo after this stay a beach holiday in Hurghada.
The tourist area in Hurghada on the Red Sea. The modern tourist resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula is especially appreciated by divers very popular in the last few years, more and more athletes into the underwater located north of Dahab. Due to the generally rising and diving tourism sites, located south of Hurghada, developed along the western coast of the Red Sea. These include al-Quseir and Marsa Alam, and shortly before the Sudanese border Ash-Shalateen. In the near future will open the border to Hala'ib Triangle. 30 km from the border with Sudan is located 20-25 km inland from the Gebel Elba National Park, which offers itself as a new tourist attraction.
The most important mode of transport is the railway, the power of the Egyptian National Railways (length 7,700 km) is the oldest in Africa. It focuses as the road network (total length 45,000 km, two thirds are attached) to the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta. A road tunnel under the Suez Canal links the mainland with the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. An important role of the 161 km-long Suez Canal between the Mediterranean port of Port Said and Suez on the Red Sea. After several stages of expansion it can be even of ships up to 150,000 tons (some even loaded up to 260,000 tons) run. The largest, at times heavily congested seaport is Alexandria. In addition, 3350 km are navigable inland waterways, on which 25% of freight are handled. Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor have international airports.