The Arab Republic of Egypt is a country located in the northern portion of Africa. It is bordered by Libya, Sudan, the Gaza Strip, and Israel. It has the Mediterranean Sea on its northern coast and the Red Sea on its eastern coast. The country also has a land bridge to Asia that is called the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt’s land territory spans approximately 386,560 square miles (1,001,450 square kilometers).
As far as African countries go, Egypt is among the most heavily populated. In 2007, its population numbered more than 78 million people. Most of the country’s residents congregate in areas close to the Nile River, as such areas have the most fruitful land. The parts of Egypt that make up the Sahara Desert are less popular for setting up homes. As of 2007, about 50 percent of the country’s residents lived in cities, with the majority calling Alexandria, Cairo, and other major Egyptian cities their home.
Unlike some African countries that are little known throughout the world, Egypt enjoys a certain level of notoriety. It is the home of a celebrated ancient civilization and boasts such famous monuments as the Giza pyramids and the Great Sphinx. It is also home to Luxor, a city in the south that has many artifacts from ancient times. They include, but are not limited to, the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings.
Egypt is considered a republic and has enjoyed this status since 1953. The country has both a president and a prime minister. Power is supposed to be divided between the two leaders, but it is the president who actually enjoys the bulk of the executive control. Since the 1950s, the Egyptian president has been chosen through a single-candidate election. However, the country does have multi-party elections as well.
Religion is a critical aspect of the lives of most Egyptians, and most of the country’s citizens practice Islam. Five times per day, rolling calls to prayer can be heard throughout the country. They are far from part of a mere worship ritual, as these calls tend to have a part in regulating many parts of Egyptian life, including the flow and ebb of business transactions. However, every Egyptian citizen is not a Muslim. About six percent of the population practices Christianity.
The Egyptian economy is based largely on agriculture and tourism, as well as media. Petroleum exports are also mainstays of Egypt’s economy. The country also has a fuel market, including oil, gas, and coal. Hydropower is included in its energy market as well. Arabic is the official Egyptian language, and the official currency is the Egyptian pound.