The Egypt Portal

Arab Republic of Egypt
جمهورية مصر العربية
  • Arabic:Jumhūrīyat Miṣr al-ʻArabīyah
    Egyptian:Gomhoreyyet Maṣr el-ʿArabeyya
Location of Egypt
ISO 3166 codeEG

Egypt (Arabic: مصر Miṣr [mesˁr], Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [mɑsˤr]), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and the Sinai Peninsula in the southwest corner of Asia. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip of Palestine and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. The Gulf of Aqaba in the northeast separates Egypt from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Cairo is the capital and largest city of Egypt, while Alexandria, the second-largest city, is an important industrial and tourist hub at the Mediterranean coast. At approximately 100 million inhabitants, Egypt is the 14th-most populated country in the world, and the third-most populated in Africa, behind Nigeria and Ethiopia.

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. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which reflects its unique transcontinental location being simultaneously Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African. Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was largely Islamised in the seventh century. 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. After the Arab Spring, which led to the 2011 Egyptian revolution and overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the country faced a protracted period of political unrest.

Egypt is considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, and a middle power worldwide. It is a developing country having a diversified economy, which is the third-largest in Africa, the 38th-largest economy by nominal GDP and 127th by nominal GDP per capita. Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League, the African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the World Youth Forum. (Full article...)

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Demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square on 8 February 2011

The 2011 Egyptian revolution, also known as the 25 January Revolution (Arabic: ثورة ٢٥ يناير; Thawrat khamsa wa-ʿišrūn yanāyir), began on 25 January 2011 and spread across Egypt. The date was set by various youth groups to coincide with the annual Egyptian "Police holiday" as a statement against increasing police brutality during the last few years of Hosni Mubarak's presidency. It consisted of demonstrations, marches, occupations of plazas, non-violent civil resistance, acts of civil disobedience and strikes. Millions of protesters from a range of socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Violent clashes between security forces and protesters resulted in at least 846 people killed and over 6,000 injured. Protesters retaliated by burning over 90 police stations across the country.

The Egyptian protesters' grievances focused on legal and political issues, including police brutality, state-of-emergency laws, lack of political freedom, civil liberty, freedom of speech, corruption, high unemployment, food-price inflation and low wages. The protesters' primary demands were the end of the Mubarak regime. Strikes by labour unions added to the pressure on government officials. During the uprising, the capital, Cairo, was described as "a war zone" and the port city of Suez saw frequent violent clashes. Protesters defied a government-imposed curfew, which the police and military could not enforce in any case. Egypt's Central Security Forces, loyal to Mubarak, were gradually replaced by military troops. In the chaos, there was looting by rioters which was instigated (according to opposition sources) by plainclothes police officers. In response, watch groups were organized by civilian vigilantes to protect their neighborhoods. (Full article...)
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Hamdi Qandil (Arabic: حمدي قنديل Ḥamdī Qandīl, also Romanized Qandeel or Kandil; 1936 – 31 October 2018) was a prominent Egyptian journalist, news anchor, talk show host and activist. Qandil started his journalism career in the 1950s when he wrote for the Akher Sa'a ("Last Hour") magazine at the invitation of veteran journalist Mustafa Amin. In 1961 he began broadcasting a news show called Aqwal al-Suhuf ("In the Press") until 1969 when he was appointed director of the Arab Broadcasting Studios Union. In 1971 he left his post in protest at a government inspection of his technical staff. He later worked with UNESCO from 1974 to 1986, specializing in the field of international media. In 1987 he co-founded a satellite broadcasting company that later became known as MBC, where he worked for three months before leaving because of political differences with its management. Qandil briefly presented the show Ma'a Hamdi Qandil ("With Hamdi Qandil") for ART, but left amid disagreements between him and his managers regarding Qandil's planned interviews with Muammar Gaddafi and Tariq Aziz.

He returned to Egyptian television in 1998, hosting the current affairs and press review talk show Ra'is el-Tahrir ("Editor-in-Chief"). The program became one of the most popular and respected in Egypt. After apparent trouble with the state censors, Qandil moved the show to Dubai TV in 2004 under the name Qalam Rosas ("Pencil"). The new program was highly watched throughout the Arab world. He was forced to quit Dubai TV after criticizing Arab governments and subsequently hosted the show on the Libyan channel Al-Libiya for two months before the Libyan government cancelled it. He returned to Egypt and wrote for the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper and then Al-Shorouk, but his association with the latter ended as a result of a libel suit brought on by then-Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit in response to a column critical of Egyptian foreign policy written by Qandil in May 2010. The case was later dropped following the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. (Full article...)

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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. (Full article...)

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  • ... that Ancient Egyptians were shocked by the Greco-Roman practice of infanticide, and would rescue abandoned babies from manure heaps?

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