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Portal:Egypt

The Egypt Portal

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Egypt (/ˈɪpt/ (About this soundlisten) EE-jipt; Arabic: مِصرMiṣr, Egyptian Arabic: مَصرMaṣr, Coptic: Ⲭⲏⲙⲓ Khēmi), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country in the northeast corner of Africa, whose territory in the Sinai Peninsula extends beyond the continental boundary with Asia, as traditionally defined. Egypt is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, and often assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab, Ottoman Turkish, and Nubian. Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was largely Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority.

From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, and many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, and declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, and occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967. In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords, officially withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a semi-presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, which has been described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian.

Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa (after Nigeria and Ethiopia), and the fifteenth-most populous in the world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.

The sovereign state of Egypt is considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, and a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, and is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt overtook South Africa and became Africa's second largest economy (after Nigeria). Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

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The Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala'un Mosque is an early 14th-century mosque at the Citadel in Cairo, Egypt. It was built by the Mamluk sultan Al-Nasr Muhammad in 1318 as the royal mosque of the Citadel, where the sultans of Cairo performed their Friday prayers. The mosque is located across the street from the courtyard access to the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. The Sultan also built a religious complex in the center of the city, next to the one by his father Qalawun. Read more...

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Anwar Sadat in 1980

Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat (/səˈdæt/, also UK: /sæˈdæt/, US: /səˈdɑːt/; Arabic: محمد أنور السادات‎, romanizedMuḥammad ʾAnwar as-Sādāt, Egyptian Arabic: [mæˈħæmmæd ˈʔɑnwɑɾ essæˈdæːt]; 25 December 1918 – 6 October 1981) was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981. Sadat was a senior member of the Free Officers who overthrew King Farouk in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and a close confidant of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, under whom he served as Vice President twice and whom he succeeded as President in 1970.

In his eleven years as president, he changed Egypt's trajectory, departing from many of the political and economic tenets of Nasserism, re-instituting a multi-party system, and launching the Infitah economic policy. As President, he led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967, making him a hero in Egypt and, for a time, the wider Arab World. Afterwards, he engaged in negotiations with Israel, culminating in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty; this won him and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize, making Sadat the first Muslim Nobel laureate. Although reaction to the treaty—which resulted in the return of Sinai to Egypt—was generally favorable among Egyptians, it was rejected by the country's Muslim Brotherhood and the left, which felt Sadat had abandoned efforts to ensure a Palestinian state. With the exception of Sudan, the Arab world and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly opposed Sadat's efforts to make a separate peace with Israel without prior consultations with the Arab states. His refusal to reconcile with them over the Palestinian issue resulted in Egypt being suspended from the Arab League from 1979 to 1989. The peace treaty was also one of the primary factors that led to his assassination; on 6 October 1981, militants led by Khalid Islambouli opened fire on Sadat with automatic rifles during the 6 October parade in Cairo, killing him. Read more...

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Omar Khayyam and Shahrazade bottles from Gianaclis Vineyards.

Winemaking has a long tradition in Egypt dating back to the 3rd millennium BC. The modern wine industry is relatively small scale but there have been significant strides towards reviving the industry. In the late nineties the industry invited international expertise in a bid to improve the quality of Egyptian wine, which used to be known for its poor quality. In recent years Egyptian wines have received some recognition, having won several international awards. In 2013 Egypt produced 4,500 tonnes of wine, ranking 54th globally, ahead of Belgium and the United Kingdom. Read more...

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