Portal:Egypt

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The Egypt Portal

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Egypt (/ˈɪpt/ (About this soundlisten) EE-jipt; Arabic: مِصرMiṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip (Palestine) and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. 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 along the Nile Delta 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.

Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt declared itself a republic, and 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, a semi-presidential republic has been described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian or heading an authoritarian regime, responsible for perpetuating the country's problematic human rights record.

Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 100 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 thirteenth-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. (Full article...)

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A restructured Roman marble statue of Cleopatra VII wearing a diadem and 'melon' hairstyle similar to coinage portraits, found near the Tomba di Nerone, Rome along the Via Cassia, Museo Pio-Clementino.

The reign of Cleopatra VII of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt began with the death of her father, the ruling pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes, by March 51 BC. It ended with her death on 10 or 12 August 30 BC. Following the reign of Cleopatra, the country of Egypt was transformed into a province of the Roman Empire and the Hellenistic period came to an end. During her reign she ruled Egypt and other territories as an absolute monarch, in the tradition of the Ptolemaic dynasty's founder Ptolemy I Soter (r. 305–283 BC) as well as Alexander the Great (r. 336–323 BC) of Macedon, who captured Egypt from the Achaemenid Persian Empire.

Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIII acceded to the throne as joint rulers, but a fallout between them led to open civil war. Cleopatra fled briefly to Roman Syria in 48 BC but returned later that year with an army to confront Ptolemy XIII. As a Roman client state, Roman statesman Pompey the Great planned Ptolemaic Egypt as a place of refuge after losing the 48 BC Battle of Pharsalus in Greece against his rival Julius Caesar in Caesar's Civil War. However, Ptolemy XIII had Pompey killed at Pelousion and sent his severed head to Caesar, while the latter occupied Alexandria in pursuit of Pompey. With his authority as consul of the Roman Republic, Caesar attempted to reconcile Ptolemy XIII with Cleopatra. However, Ptolemy XIII's chief adviser Potheinos viewed Caesar's terms as favoring Cleopatra. So his forces, led first by Achillas and then Ganymedes under Arsinoe IV (Cleopatra's younger sister), besieged both Caesar and Cleopatra at the palace. Reinforcements lifted the siege in early 47 BC and Ptolemy XIII died shortly afterwards in the Battle of the Nile. Arsinoe IV was eventually exiled to Ephesus and Caesar, now an elected dictator, declared Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIV as joint rulers of Egypt. However, Caesar maintained a private affair with Cleopatra that produced a son, Caesarion (later Ptolemy XV), before he departed Alexandria for Rome. (Full article...)
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Nasser visiting Belgrade in 1962

Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussain (UK: /ɡəˈmɑːl ˌæbdɛl ˈnɑːsər, - ˈnæsər/, US: /- ˌɑːbdəl -/; Arabic: جمال عبد الناصر حسين‎, romanizedJamāl ʻAbdu n-Nāṣir Ḥusayn, Egyptian Arabic: [ɡæˈmæːl ʕæbdenˈnɑːsˤeɾ ħeˈseːn]; 15 January 1918 – 28 September 1970) was an Egyptian politician who served as the second President of Egypt from 1954 until his death in 1970. Nasser led the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy and introduced far-reaching land reforms the following year. Following a 1954 attempt on his life by a Muslim Brotherhood member, he cracked down on the organization, put President Mohamed Naguib under house arrest and assumed executive office. He was formally elected president in June 1956.

Nasser's popularity in Egypt and the Arab world skyrocketed after his nationalization of the Suez Canal and his political victory in the subsequent Suez Crisis. Calls for pan-Arab unity under his leadership increased, culminating with the formation of the United Arab Republic with Syria from 1958 to 1961. In 1962, Nasser began a series of major socialist measures and modernization reforms in Egypt. Despite setbacks to his pan-Arabist cause, by 1963 Nasser's supporters gained power in several Arab countries, but he became embroiled in the North Yemen Civil War and eventually the much larger Arab Cold War. He began his second presidential term in March 1965 after his political opponents were banned from running. Following Egypt's defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, Nasser resigned, but he returned to office after popular demonstrations called for his reinstatement. By 1968, Nasser had appointed himself Prime Minister, launched the War of Attrition to regain lost territory, began a process of depoliticizing the military and issued a set of political liberalization reforms. After the conclusion of the 1970 Arab League summit, Nasser suffered a heart attack and died. His funeral in Cairo drew five million mourners and an outpouring of grief across the Arab world. (Full article...)

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Feteer meshaltet in Egypt
Feteer meshaltet (Egyptian Arabic: فطير مشلتت‎, literally "cushioned pies" or "cushion-like pies"), often simply referred to as feteer (فطير), is a flaky Egyptian layered pastry. It consists of many thin layers of dough and ghee and an optional filling. The fillings can be both sweet or savory. Sweet fillings may include cheese, coconut, mehalabiya, malban, nutella or chocolate, while savory fillings can be anything from ground beef to sausage or cheese. Plain feteer is usually soaked in honey and spread with jam or cheese or served with olives. Because of its versatility, feteer is often referred to as an Egyptian pizza. (Full article...)

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