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Country Profile Egyptian Geography

Egyptian Government


Egypt Military

The Flag of Egypt Overview of Egypt

Egypt people

Egypt Economy


    Country Profile

Egypt is probably the world's oldest civilization having emerged from the Nile Valley around 3,100 BC, historically.   Egypt is probably one of the oldest vacation spots. Early Greeks, Romans and others went there just for fun, and to see the wonders of some of mankind's earliest triumphs. But Egypt is much more than Pyramids and monuments. It is also Red Sea scuba diving, hot night spots, luxury hotels and five star restaurants. It is romantic cruises down the Nile on festive river boats, a night at the grand opera and it is a cultural experience like none you have ever experienced. Egypt is a land bustling with life, sound, visual beauty and excitement. More than anything else, we want you to think of Egypt as fun. For thousands of years, it has been the playground of emperors and kings, and we hope you will take the time to find out why.



The Flag of Egypt


The first national flag of modern Egypt was established by a Royal Decree in 1923 when Egypt gained conditional independence from Great Britain in 1922. The color was green with a white crescent and three stars in the middle. In 1958, a Presidential Decree established a new flag for the United Arab Republic which comprised a merger of Syria and Egypt. The new flag had three colors: red, white with 2 green stars and black. The flag was rectangular in shape and the width was one-third of its length. In 1972, the Law was amended to change the flag. The stars were removed from the flag and replaced by a golden hawk. In 1984, the hawk was replaced by a golden eagle on the eagle of Saladdin, the Ayubbid Sultan who ruled Egypt and Syria in 12th Century, the same Saladdin of the Crusades.



Color Symbolism
The color red refers to the period before 1952 Revolution which brought a group of army officers to power after deposing King Farouk, then King of Egypt. This was a period characterized by the struggle against the British occupation of the country. The white symbolizes the advent of the 1952 Revolution which ended the monarchy without bloodshed. The color black symbolizes the end of the opression of the people of Egypt at the hands of the Monarchy and British colonialism.

Rules Governing the Hoisting of the Flag
The national flag is hoisted on all governmental buildings on Fridays, official holidays, on the inauguration of the People’s Assembly session and other occasions on which the Minister of Interior orders that the flag be hoisted. The flag is hoisted daily on border posts and customs buildings. It is also hoisted on Egyptian consulates and embassies overseas on the National Day and other national occasions, as well as during the visit of the President to the country hoisting the diplomatic mission.

Penal Provisions for Contempt of the Flag
Abusing the flag in any way is a criminal offense and is punishable under law as it implies contempt of the power of the state. Penal provisions also govern abuse of foreign flags or national emblems of other countries.


The National Anthem


My homeland, my homeland, my hallowed land,
Only to you, is my due hearty love at command,
My homeland, my homeland, my hallowed land,
Only to you is my due hearty love at command,
Mother of the great ancient land,
My sacred wish and holy demand,
All should love, awe and cherish thee,
Gracious is thy Nile to humanity,
No evil hand can harm or do you wrong,
So long as your free sons are strong,
My homeland, my homeland, my hallowed land,
Only to you, is my due hearty love at command.
Words and Music by Sayed Darwish. This national anthem was adapted after 1979. Prior to that, the National Anthem was "Walla Zaman Ya Selahy" (Oh, My Weapon) with words by Salah Shahyrn and Music by Kamal Atawyl.

Overview of Egypt


The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C. and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty following World War II. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to ready the economy for the new millennium through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.


Egyptian Geography

  Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea,   between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea   north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula
Geographic coordinates:
  27 00 N, 30 00 E
Map references:
  total: 1,001,450 sq km
  land: 995,450 sq km
  water: 6,000 sq km
Area - comparative:
  slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico
Land boundaries:   total: 2,665 km
  border countries: Gaza Strip 11 km, Israel 266 km, Libya   1,115   km,   Sudan 1,273 km
Coastline:   2,450 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):   territorial sea: 12 NM
  continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of   exploitation
  contiguous zone: 24 NM
  exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate:   desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters
Terrain:   vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta
Elevation extremes:   lowest point: Qattara Depression -133 m
  highest point: Mount Catherine 2,629 m
Natural resources:   petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates,    manganese ,limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead,   zinc
Land use:   arable land: 2.85%
  permanent crops: 0.47%
  other: 96.68% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:   33,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:   periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes, flash   floods, landslides; hot, driving windstorm   called khamsin   occurs in   spring; dust storms,   sandstorms
Environment - current issues:

  agricultural land being lost to urbanization and   windblown   sands; increasing soil salination below   Aswan High Dam;   desertification; oil pollution   threatening coral reefs,   beaches,   and marine   habitats; other water pollution from    agricultural   pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial   effluents; very   limited   natural fresh water resources away from the   Nile which is the only perennial water source; rapid   growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural   resources

Environment - international agreements:   party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification,   Endangered Species, Environmental Modification,   Hazardous   Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,   Ozone Layer   Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber   83,Tropical Timber   94, Wetlands
  signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:   controls Sinai Peninsula, only land bridge between Africa   and   remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez   Canal, a sea   link between Indian Ocean and   Mediterranean Sea; size, and   juxtaposition to Israel,   establish its major role in Middle   Eastern geopolitics;   dependence on upstream neighbors;   dominance of Nile   basin issues; prone to influxes of refugees

Egypt people

Population:   76,117,421 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure   0-14 years: 33.4%   (male   13,038,369;   female   12,418,254)
  15-64 years: 62.2%   (male 23,953,949;   female   23,419,418)
  65 years and over:   4.3%   (male   1,407,248;female     1,880,183)   (2004   est.)
Median age:   total: 23.4 years
  male: 23 years
  female: 23.8 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:   1.83% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:   23.84 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:   5.3 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:   -0.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:   at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
  total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:   total: 33.9 deaths/1,000 live births
  female: 33.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
  male: 34.64 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:   total population: 70.71 years
  male: 68.22 years
  female: 73.31 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:   2.95 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:   less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:   8,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:   NA
Nationality:   noun: Egyptian(s)
  adjective: Egyptian
Ethnic groups:   Eastern Hamitic stock (Egyptians, Bedouins, and Berbers)   99%, Greek, Nubian, Armenian, other European (primarily   Italian and French) 1%
Religions:   Muslim (mostly Sunni) 94%, Coptic Christian and other   6%
Languages:   Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by   educated classes
Literacy:   definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  total population: 57.7%
  male: 68.3%
  female: 46.9% (2003 est.)

Egyptian Government

Country name:   conventional long form: Arab   Republic of Egypt
  conventional short form: Egypt
  local short form: Misr
  former: United Arab Republic   (with Syria)
  local long form: Jumhuriyat Misr   al-Arabiyah
Government type:   republic
Capital:   Cairo
Administrative divisions:   26 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah);    Ad   Daqahliyah, Al Ba    hr al Ahmar, Al Buhayrah, Al Fayyum,   Al Gharbiyah, Al Iskandariyah, Al Isma'iliyah, Al Jizah, Al   Minufiyah, Al Minya, Al Qahirah, Al Qalyubiyah, Al Wadi al    Jadid, Ash Sharqiyah, As Suways,   Aswan,  Asyut,  Bani Suwayf,   Bur  Sa'id,  Dumyat,  Janub  Sina', Kafrashaykh,   Matruh,  Qina, Shamal Sina', Suhaj


  28 February 1922 (from UK)
National holiday:   Revolution Day, 23 July (1952)
Constitution:   11 September 1971
Legal system:   based on English common law, Islamic law, and Napoleonic   codes; judicial review by Supreme Court and Council of   State (oversees validity of administrative decisions);   accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:   18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:   chief of state: President Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK   (since   14 October 1981)
  head of government: Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif
  cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
  elections: president nominated by the People's Assembly   for a six-year term, the nomination must then be validated   by a national, popular referendum; national referendum   last   held 26 September 1999 (next to be held NA   October   2005); prime minister appointed by the   president
  election results: national referendum validated President   MUBARAK's nomination by the People's Assembly to a   fourth term
Legislative branch:   bicameral system consists of the People's Assembly or   Majlis al-Sha'b (454 seats; 444 elected by popular vote,   10 appointed by the president; members serve five-year   terms) and the Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura - which   functions only in a consultative role (264 seats; 176   elected by popular vote, 88 appointed by the president;   members serve six-year terms)
  elections: People's Assembly - three-phase voting - last   held 19 October, 29 October, 8 November 2000 (next to   be held NA November 2005); Advisory Council - last held   May-June 2001 (next to be held NA 2007)
  election results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by   party - NDP 88%, independents 8%, opposition 4%; seats   by party - NDP 398, NWP 7, Tagammu 6, Nasserists 2, LSP   1, independents 38, undecided 2; Advisory Council -   percent of vote by party - NDP 99%, independents 1%;   seats by party - NA
Judicial branch:   Supreme Constitutional Court
Political parties and leaders:   Liberal Party or LSP [leader NA]; Nasserist Arab   Democratic   Party or Nasserists [Dia' al-din DAWUD];   National   Democratic Party or NDP [President   Mohammed     Hosni MUBARAK] - governing party; National   Progressive Unionist Grouping or Tagammu [RIfaat EL-  SAID]; New Wafd Party or NWP [No'man GOMA]; Socialist   Liberal Party or Al-Ahrar [Hilmi SALIM]
  note: formation of political parties must be approved by   the government
Political pressure groups and leaders:   despite a constitutional ban against religious-based   parties, the technically illegal Muslim Brotherhood   constitutes MUBARAK's potentially most significant political   opposition; MUBARAK tolerated limited political activity by   the Brotherhood for his first two terms, but moved more   aggressively since then to block its influence; civic   society   groups are sanctioned, but constrained in   practical terms;   trade unions and professional   associations   
International organization participation:   ABEDA, ACC, ACCT, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, BSEC   IBRD,ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM,   IDA,    IDB,IFAD,  IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO,   Interpol,   IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAS, MINURSO, MONUC,   NAM, OAPEC,   OAS (observer), OIC, OSCE (partner), PCA,   UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR,  UNMIK,  UNOMIG, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WFTU,   WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO,   WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

  chief of mission: Ambassador M. Nabil FAHMY
  chancery: 3521 International Court NW, Washington, DC   20008
  consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, New Y  ork, and   San Francisco
  FAX: [1] (202) 244-4319
  telephone: [1] (202) 895-5400
Diplomatic representation from the US:   chief of mission: Ambassador C. David WELCH
  embassy: 5 Latin America St., Garden City, Cairo
  mailing address: Unit 64900, Box 15, APO AE 09839-4900
  telephone: [20] (2) 797-3300
  FAX: [20] (2) 797-3200
Flag description:   three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black   with the national emblem (a shield superimposed on a   golden eagle facing the hoist side above a scroll bearing   the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white   band; similar to the flag of Yemen, which has a plain white   band; also similar to the flag of Syria, which has two   green   stars, and to the flag of Iraq, which has three   green stars   (plus an Arabic inscription) in a horizontal   line centered in   the white band

Egypt Economy

Economy - overview:   Lack of substantial progress on economic reform since the   mid 1990s has limited foreign direct investment in Egypt   and kept annual GDP growth in the range of 2-3 percent   in 2001-03. Egyptian officials in late 2003 and early 2004   proposed new privatization and customs reform measures,   but the government is likely to pursue these initiatives   cautiously and gradually to avoid a public backlash over   potential inflation or layoffs associated with the reforms.   Monetary pressures on an overvalued Egyptian pound led   the government to float the currency in January 2003,   leading to a sharp drop in its value and consequent   inflationary pressure. The existence of a black market for   hard currency is evidence that the government continues   to influence the official exchange rate offered in banks. In   September 2003, Egyptian officials increased subsidies on   basic foodstuffs, helping to calm a frustrated public but   widening an already deep budget deficit. Egypt's balance-  of-payments position was not hurt by the war in Iraq in   2003, as tourism and Suez Canal revenues fared well. The   development of an export market for natural gas is a   bright spot for future growth prospects, but improvement   in the capital-intensive hydrocarbons sector does little to   reduce Egypt's persistent unemployment.
GDP:   purchasing power parity - $294.3 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:   2.8% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:   purchasing power parity - $3,900 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:   agriculture: 17%
  industry: 33%
  services: 50% (2003)
Population below poverty line:   16.7% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:   lowest 10%: 3.7%
  highest 10%: 29.5% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:   34.4 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):   4.5% (2003 est.)

Labor force:

  20.1 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:   agriculture 32%, industry 17%, services 51% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:   9.9% (2003 est.)
Budget:   revenues: $14 billion
  expenditures: $18.1 billion, including capital expenditures   of $2.7 billion (2003 est.)
Industries:   textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals,   hydrocarbons, construction, cement, metals
Industrial production growth rate:  1.5% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:   75.23 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:   fossil fuel: 81%
  hydro: 19%
  other: 0% (2001)
  nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:   69.96 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - exports:

  0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:   0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:   816,900 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:   562,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:   NA
Oil - imports:   NA
Oil - proved reserves:   3.308 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:   21.2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:   21.2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:   0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:   0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:   1.264 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)
Agriculture - products:   cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables;   cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats
Exports:   $8.759 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:   crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, textiles, metal   products, chemicals
Exports - partners:   US 18.5%, Italy 13.8%, UK 8.5%, France 4% (2002)
Imports:   $14.75 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:   machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood   products, fuels
Imports - partners:   US 16.1%, Germany 7.5%, Italy 6.4%, France 6.2%, China   4.8% (2002)
Debt - external:   $30 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:   ODA, $1.2 billion (2001)
Currency:   Egyptian pound (EGP)
Currency code:   EGP
Exchange rates:   Egyptian pounds per US dollar - 5.85 (2003), 4.5 (2002),   3.97 (2001), 3.47 (2000), 3.4 (1999)
Fiscal year:   1 July - 30 June
Telephones - main lines in use:   7.43 million (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:   4,494,700 (2002)
Telephone system:   general assessment: large system; underwent extensive   upgrading during 1990s and is reasonably modern;   Internet access and cellular service are available
  domestic: principal centers at Alexandria, Cairo, Al   Mansurah, Ismailia, Suez, and Tanta are connected by   coaxial cable and microwave radio relay
  international: country code - 20; satellite earth stations   - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean), 1   Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat; 5 coaxial   submarine  cables;tropospheric scatter to Sudan;   microwave radio relay to Israel; a participant in   Medarabtel and a signatory to Project Oxygen (a global   submarine fiber-optic cable system)
Radio broadcast stations:   AM 42 (plus 15 repeaters), FM 14, shortwave 3 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:   98 (September 1995)
Internet country code:   .eg
Internet hosts:   3,061 (2002)
Internet users:   1.9 million (2002)


Railways: total: 5,105 km
standard gauge: 5,105 km 1.435-m gauge (42 km electrified) (2002)
Highways: total: 64,000 km
paved: 49,984 km
unpaved: 14,016 km (1999 est.)
Waterways: 3,500 km
note: includes the Nile, Lake Nasser, Alexandria-Cairo Waterway, and numerous smaller canals in the delta; Suez Canal (193.5 km including approaches), used by oceangoing vessels drawing up to 16.1 m of water
Pipelines: condensate 327 km; condensate/gas 94 km; gas 6,145 km; liquid petroleum gas 382 km; oil 5,726 km; oil/gas/water 36 km; water 62 km (2003)
Ports and harbors: Alexandria, Al Ghardaqah, Aswan, Asyut, Bur Safajah, Damietta, Marsa Matruh, Port Said, Suez
Merchant marine: total: 159 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,194,696 GRT/1,754,815 DWT
foreign-owned: China 2, Cyprus 1, Denmark 1, Greece 6, Lebanon 2, Turkey 1
registered in other countries: 50 (2003 est.)
by type: bulk 18, cargo 41, container 5, passenger 64, petroleum tanker 14, roll on/roll off 13, short-sea/passenger 4
Airports: 89 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 72
over 3,047 m: 13
2,438 to 3,047 m: 38
under 914 m: 4 (2003 est.)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 17
under 914 m: 9 (2003 est.)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 5
Heliports: 2 (2003 est.)

Egypt Military

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Command

Military manpower - military age13


20 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 20,340,716 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 13,148,944 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 756,233 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $2,443.2 million (2003)
Military expenditures -  3.6% (2003)
percent of GDP: