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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.

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Al-Azhar University (/ˈɑːzhɑːr/ AHZ-har; Arabic: جامعة الأزهر (الشريف)‎, IPA: [ˈɡæmʕet elˈʔɑzhɑɾ eʃʃæˈɾiːf], "the (honorable) University of Al-Azhar") is a university in Cairo, Egypt. Associated with Al-Azhar Mosque in Islamic Cairo, it is Egypt's oldest degree-granting university and is renowned as "Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university". In addition to higher education, Al-Azhar oversees a national network of schools with approximately two million students. As of 1996, over 4000 teaching institutes in Egypt were affiliated with the University.

Founded in 970 or 972 by the Fatimids as a centre of Islamic learning, its students studied the Qur'an and Islamic law in detail, along with logic, grammar, rhetoric, and how to calculate the phases of the moon. It was one of the first universities in the world, and the only one in the Arabic world to survive as a modern university including secular subjects in the curriculum. Today it is the chief centre of Arabic literature and Sunni Islamic learning in the world. In 1961 additional non-religious subjects were added to its curriculum. Read more...

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Pope Shenouda III

Pope Shenouda III (Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [ʃeˈnuːdæ]; Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ϣⲉⲛⲟⲩϯ ⲅ̅   Papa Abba Šenoude pimah šoumt; Arabic: بابا الإسكندرية شنودة الثالثBābā al-Iskandarīyah Shinūdah al-Thālith; 3 August 1923 – 17 March 2012;) was the 117th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. His episcopate lasted 40 years, 4 months, and 4 days from 14 November 1971 until his death on 17 March 2012.

His official title was Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. He was also the head of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria. He was a conservative figure within the Church and was also respected within the Muslim community. Read more...

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Laban rayeb is a type of curdled skim milk made in Lower Egypt. It may be drunk fresh or may be used to make areesh cheese, which in turn is used to make mish. There is evidence that it was made by the ancient Egyptians. Read more...

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