Egypt enjoys a distinguished geographical location at the juncture of the ancient world continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. It has always been a place of inter-civilization reactivation between the East and the West as well as the North and the South. Egypt was also the crossing road of the heavenly religions of the world.
The Arab Republic of Egypt is located in the north-eastern corner of Africa and south-western Asia. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Palestine and Israel, on the south by Sudan, and on the west by Libya.
The country is about 1. 085 km from north to south and about 1. 255 km from east to west. It has a total area of 1. 001450 km2.
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: Africa
Area: Total: 1,001, 450 sq km
Land: 995, 450 sq km
Water: 6, 000 sq km
slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico
Total: 2, 665 km
Border countries: Gaza Strip 11 km, Palestine 266 km, Libya 1,115 km, Sudan 1, 273 km.
Coastline: 2, 450 km
- Territorial sea: 12 nm
-Contiguous zone: 24 nm
-Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
-Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
-lowest point : Qattara Depression 436 m
-highest point: Mount Catherine 2, 629 m
-Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead and zinc.
-Arable land: 2.87%
-Permanent crops: 0.48%
-Other: 96.65% (2001)
Irrigated land: 33, 000 sq km (1998 est.)
Capital of Egypt
Cairo - the Triumphant City - is the glorious capital of Egypt, the cradle of civilization and the beacon of religion. It is the largest city in the Middle East and Africa and lies at the centre of all routes that lead to and from Asia, Africa and Europe.
Cairo was founded on July 16, 969 AD by the Fatimid leader Jawhar Al-Sequilli, by an order from the Fatimid Khalif Al-Mo'iz lideenellah. It was named "the city of the 1000 minarets.
Cairo is Africa's most populous city and the Arab world's cultural center. People from all over the world visit Cairo to see the monuments and artifacts of ancient Egypt as well as the various aspects of modern Cairo.
Cairo provides its visitors with great cultural destinations which include a vast amount of art galleries, music halls, cultural centers etc… Cairo also offers its visitors with great accommodation, restaurants, and various leisure activities and shopping. In Cairo there is something for everyone. Tourists can enjoy Khan El Khalili Bazaar while shopping for antiques, rugs, copper and many other oriental gifts; while others may enjoy shopping for the latest fashion trends in one of Cairo magnificent malls.
Cairo is the city where past and present meet. On its east side stands the evidence of 2000 years of Islamic, Christian Coptic, and Jewish culture still flourishing till this day. On its west side lays the Ancient Egyptian city of Memphis (Giza), the renowned capital of the Old Kingdom and the site of the Pyramids. Indeed, a journey through Cairo is a journey through time, a journey through the history of an immortal civilization.
Egypt is divided into four major parts:
1. The Nile Valley and Delta
Extends from north of the valley to the Mediterranean Sea and is divided into Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt: extending from Wadi Halfa to the south of Cairo and from North Cairo to the Mediterranean Sea. The River Nile in the north is divided into two branches, Dumiat and Rashid which embrace the highly fertile agricultural lands of the Delta.
2- The Western Desert
Extends from the Nile Valley in the East to the Libyan borders in the west, and from the Mediterranean in the north to Egypt's Southern borders. It is divided into:
• The Northern section: includes the coastal plane, the northern plateau and the Great Depression, Natroun Valley and Baharia Oasis
• The Southern section: includes Farafra, Kharga, Dakhla, and el-Owainat in the extreme south.
3- The Eastern Desert
Extends from the Nile Valley in the West to the Red Sea, Suez Gulf, and Suez Canal in the East, and from Lake Manzala on the Mediterranean in the North to Egypt's southern borders with Sudan in the south. The Eastern Desert is marked with the Eastern Mountains that extend along the Red Sea with peaks that rise to about 3000 feet above sea level. This desert is rich with Egyptian natural resources; which include various ores such as gold, coal, and oil.
4- The Sinai Peninsula
Sinai is shaped like a triangle with its base at the Mediterranean in the North and its tip in the South at Ras Mohammed, the Gulf of Aqaba to the East and the Gulf of Suez and Suez Canal to the west. It is topographically divided into three main sections:
• The Southern section: is an extremely tough terrain. It is composed of high rise Granite Mountains. Mount Catherine rises about 2640 meters above sea level, which makes it the highest mountain top in Egypt .
• The Central Section: is bounded by the Mediterranean to the North and the At-Teeh plateau to the south. It is a plain area with abundant water resources derived from rain water that flows from southern heights to the central plateau.
The Nile Valley and the Delta occupy about 33,000 km2, which account to less than 4% of the total area of the country.
The Western Desert occupies an area of about 671,000 km2.
The Eastern Desert occupies about a quarter of the total area of Egypt, (some 225,000 km2).
The Sinai Peninsula occupies about 61,000 km2.
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 white 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 Egypt in 12th Century, the same Saladdin of the Crusades.
The red color 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 oppression 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.
On January 1, 2006, Egypt's total population was estimated at approximately 73,671,661 (2006 Census), as recent reports of the CAPMAS stated that the population reached 73,671,661 including the number of Egyptian citizens abroad(January 2006 est.).
The highest population density is in Cairo, where it reaches 2136.1 person per square kilometer against 63.7 person per square kilometer in Egypt as a whole. In Upper Egypt, it reached 97.8 persons compared to 867.8 persons in Lower Egypt. In frontier governorates it slightly exceeded 1 person per Km2 (Egypt Human Development Report 2003).
This indicates the heterogeneity of population distribution across the inhabited areas in Egypt which in turn affects the seriousness of the population problem in Egypt. There has been continuous increase in the size of the population, according to the results of the last five censuses, in spite of the decrease in fertility levels.
The population growth rate reached 1.94%% in 2004 and decreased to 1.91% in 2005.
There has been a noticeable change in the percentages of children below 18 years during the last two decades. This category represented 47% of the total population in 1976; however it decreased to 42% in 1996. Then it increased to reach 49.2% in 2000. The proportion of the elderly (65+) was 3.6% in 1976 and decreased to 3.2% in 1996. But it witnessed a slight increase reaching 3.6% in 2000. (EDHS 2000)
It is widely known that Egypt is characterized by a high proportion of children, and the dependency ratio is considered to be high according to international standards. Dependency ratio was 77% in 1986, but it declined substantially to 69.9% in 2001 according to Egypt Human Development Report 2003 (EHDR 2003). However this proportion is still high compared to several developed and developing countries.