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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 following World War II. 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 ready the economy for the new millennium through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 80,335,036 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Egyptian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Egyptian

Official Language(s): Arabic

Major Languages Spoken: Amharic, Arabic, English, French, Oromo

Map of Egypt

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Arab Republic of Egypt

Country Name (short form): Egypt

Country Name (local long form): Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah

Country Name (local short form): Misr

Name of Capital: Cairo

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Egypt: Israel, Libya, Sudan

Land Area: 995450 sq km

Water Area: 6000 sq km

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

Total Land Boundry: 2,665 km

Coastline: 2,450 km

National Holiday: Revolution Day, 23 July (1952)

International Phone Code: 20

Currency Code: Egyptian pound (EGP)

Internet Country Code: .eg

US Embassy Location: 8 Kamal El Din Salah St., Garden City, Cairo

US Embassy Mailing Address: Unit 64900, Box 15, APO AE 09839-4900


Egypt flag

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