Egypt is a transcontinental country. While most of the country lies in Africa, a small portion of the country (Sinai Peninsula) lies in the continent of Asia. Egypt is a country located in the northeast corner of the African continent with Sudan to the south, Libya to the west, the Mediterranean sea to its north, and the Red Sea to the east.

The Suez Canal is an artificial waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. The canal was constructed in 1869. The Suez Canal runs from east to west through Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. It is the world’s most important trade route and connects Africa to Asia. The Asian Sinai Peninsula lies to the east of the Suez Canal.

This is an important lesson in geography. The Isthmus of Suez is the land bridge between Africa and Asia while the Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean.

Egypt and Sudan share a border of 793 miles. Libya is another 693 miles, Israel is only 129 miles and the Gaza Strip is 9 miles away from Egypt. Despite it’s proximity with Sudan and Libya, in North Africa, Egypt developed close relationships with Asian, European and Middle Eastern countries.

The sub-Saharan climate on the western and southern border of Egypt is a very difficult terrain to cross, but Sinai, which borders Asia, was an easier path through. This facilitated greater trade by allowing greater freedom of travel to people throughout the world. People also began to rely less on food from within their own regions and began to move more toward consuming foods that came from other parts of the world. This helped foster greater trade and better ties with other countries.

Egypt’s 1,522-mile coastline and its proximity to the Mediterranean and Red Seas make it a gateway to Europe and Asia. It has also benefited from closer ties with India, Europe, and the Arab world. A few years later, when the Suez Canal was built, the Egyptian government grew even closer to its Asian neighbours and Middle East countries through greater business and cultural interaction.

Thus, geologically Egypt remains part of Africa, but it is located in an area that is often considered to be “Middle Eastern”, in terms of the culture of its inhabitants and the religion practised there. 


Egypt Continental Map


Prehistory and Ancient Egypt

The earliest evidence of rock carvings along the Nile River and in desert oases suggests that civilization began very early in Egypt. The Neolithic Revolution took place during the 10th millennium BCE, when a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture. It’s important to remember that we’re still in the early stages of human history. Over-grazing around 8,000 BCE began to dry up the lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara Desert. For early tribes, migrating to the Nile river was a life-changing move. They developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralized society.

The first human settlements appeared around 6000 BC, in the Nile River valley in Egypt. [29] In ancient times there were a number of independent civilizations in the Nile Valley. The predecessor of the Egyptian dynasty was the Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are generally regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known lower Egyptian site, Merimda, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. In Egypt, the people of contemporary time lived side by side with their southern contemporaries for over 2,000 years. They were very much culturally different but maintained frequent contacts through trade. The earliest evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BCE.

The united kingdom was formed in about 3,150 BC by King Menes, leading to a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt for the next three millennia. Egypt has an ancient culture that has been distinctive for thousands of years and continues to flourish today. Its religion, arts, language, and customs are still distinctly Egyptian. Egypt has been ruled by two dynasties since the end of the last ice age, c. 9500–2700 BCE: the first dynasty, the First Dynasty, and then the second, the Old Kingdom. The Old Kingdom period was the beginning of the civilization of Egypt, which built many pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and the Fourth Dynasty Giza pyramids.

In the late 1800s, when European colonization began, Egypt experienced an inter-regnum of power, lasting from 1805 to 1874, and Egypt fell into civil war as various factions competed for control over the country and its resources. An alliance between the first rulers of Egypt and the second dynasty of foreigners was the forerunner of Egypt’s most famous ruling dynasty, the Semitic Hyksos. A new civilization arose in the northern regions of Egypt after the Hyksos (ancient name for the so-called “A-people”) invaded from the north, establishing themselves in Egypt around 1650 BCE. They called their new capital Avaris (modern Luxor). The people who were driven out of Egypt were the ones who lived in the northern half of the country at that time. They were forced to move to the south when the new capital was established.

Ancient Egypt rose to power at the same time as China. They were two civilizations in their prime, which meant they were rivals and that was a good thing. It gave them something to do and something to debate about when the two sides clashed, and in doing so it created the first major world power in history. This period in history is noted for some of the most famous pharaohs, including Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Akhenaten, his wife Nefertiti, Tutankhamen, and his wife Ramesses II. The earliest historically attested expression of monotheism was as the religion of the Aten. The frequent contact between Greece and other countries has brought many new ideas into Greek culture. It is true that the country was later invaded and conquered by Libyans, Nubians, and Assyrians, but native Egyptians eventually drove them out and regained control of their country.


Ethnic groups of Egypt

Egypt’s largest ethnic groups are the ethnically Arab Egyptians, who form the majority of the country’s population. Other significant populations include the Egyptian Copts, a minority of the Egyptian population; ethnic minorities living in the northern and eastern deserts, including Bedouin tribes and Nubians (the latter also forming the bulk of Sudan’s population), as well as the Siwis (Amazigh people). A majority of Ethiopians live in rural areas. The country is mainly inhabited by the Oromo people, who are also known for their distinctive facial features. Oromos can trace their descent from a group of people known as the Beni Israel, who migrated from the Middle East more than 2,500 years ago. The Amhara are largely concentrated in the northwest, the Tigrayans mostly in the north-central highlands, and the Wolayta in the southwest.

Some five million immigrants live in Egypt. Many of them are Sudanese and others have been living in Egypt for many years.

It was reported that the number of registered Syrian refugees in Egypt decreased by over 10% in 2015. However, the Egyptian government claims that there are more than 500,000 Syrian refugees living in Egypt, which is around half a million. [233] There are also over 28,000 registered Sudanese refugees in Egypt.

While Egypt’s once-vibrant and ancient Greek and Jewish communities have almost disappeared, there are still some in the country. Visitors from around the world make pilgrimages to visit the ancient sites and take tours of historic Cairo. Several important Jewish archaeological and historical sites are located in Cairo, Alexandria and other Egyptian cities.

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