Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern state, having been continuously inhabited since the 10th millennium BC . Its monuments, such as the giza necropolis and its great sphinx were constructed by its ancient civilization which was one of the most powerful of its time and one of the first six civilizations to arise independently in the world. Its ancient ruins, such as those of memphis . The economy of egypt is one of the most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and services at almost equal production levels. Egypt is considered to be aregional and middle power with significant cultural, political, and military influence in north africa, the middle east and the muslim world. The English name Egypt is derived from the ancient greekAígyptos (Αἴγυπτος), via middle french Egypte and latin Aegyptus. It is reflected in early greek linear b tablets as a-ku-pi-ti-yo. The adjective aigýpti-, aigýptios was borrowed into Coptic as gyptios, and from there into Arabic.
The ancient Egyptian name of the country was 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖 〈km.t〉, which means "black land", referring to the fertile black soils of the Nile flood plains, distinct from the deshret (〈dšṛt〉), or "red land" of the desert. This name is commonly vocalized as Kemet, but was probably pronounced [kuːmat]in ancient Egyptian. The name is realized as kēme and kēmə in the coptic stage of the Egyptian language, and appeared in early Greek as Khēmía, which in modern greek means chemistry Another name was -miry "land of the riverbank", The names of Upper and Lower Egypt were Ta-Sheme'aw sedgeland" and Ta-Mehew "northland", respectively.
Egypt was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1517, after which it became a province of theOttoman Empire. The defensive militarization damaged its civil society and economic institutions.The weakening of the economic system combined with the effects of plague left Egypt vulnerable to foreign invasion. Portuguese traders took over their trade. Between 1687 and 1731, Egypt experienced six famines. The 1784 famine cost it roughly one-sixth of its population.
Egypt was always a difficult province for the Ottoman Sultans to control, due in part to the continuing power and influence of the Mamluks, the Egyptian military caste who had ruled the country for centuries. As such, Egypt remained semi-autonomous under the Mamluks until it was invaded by the French forces of Napoleon I in 1798. After the French were expelled, power was seized in 1805 by Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian military commander of the Ottoman army in Egypt.
The Egyptian parliament is bicameral, consisting of the Shura Council, elected for six-year terms, and theHouse of Representatives, whose members are elected to serve five-year terms. Elections were last held between November 2011 and January 2012; elections for the House of Representatives were to be held in early 2013, but have been delayed; while election for the Shura Council are to be held within one year.
Egyptian nationalism predates its Arab counterpart by many decades, having roots in the 19th century and becoming the dominant mode of expression of Egyptian anti-colonial activists and intellectuals until the early 20th century. The ideology espoused by Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood is mostly supported by the lower-middle strata of Egyptian society.
Egypt has the oldest continuous parliamentary tradition in the Arab world.The first popular assembly was established in 1866. It was disbanded as a result of the British occupation of 1882, and the British allowed only a consultative body to sit. In 1923, however, after the country's independence was declared, a new constitution provided for a parliamentary monarchy.
The Egyptian Armed forces have a combined troop strength of around 450,000 active personnel.
According to the former chair of Israel's Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Yuval Steinitz, theEgyptian Air Force has roughly the same number of modern warplanes as the Israeli Air Force and far more Western tanks, artillery, anti-aircraft batteries and warships than the IDF.Egypt is speculated by Israel to be the second country in the region with a spy satellite, EgyptSat
The Egyptian military has dozens of factories manufacturing weapons as well as consumer goods. The Armed Forces' inventory includes equipment from different countries around the world. Equipment from the former Soviet Union is being progressively replaced by more modern U.S., French, and British equipment, a significant portion of which is built under license in Egypt, such as the M1 Abrams tank.
The United States of America provides Egypt with annual military assistance, which in 2009 amounted to US$ 1.3 billion (inflation adjusted US$ 1.43 billion in 2014).
The military has a lot of influence in the political life of Egypt as well as the economy and it exempts itself from laws that apply to other sectors. It also enjoys considerable power, prestige and independence within the state and has been widely considered part of the Egyptian "deep state
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights is one of the longest-standing bodies for the defence of human rights in Egypt. In 2003, the government established the National Council for Human Rights. The council came under heavy criticism by local activists, who contend it was a propaganda tool for the government to excuse its own violationsand to give legitimacy to repressive laws such as the Emergency Law.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life ranks Egypt as the fifth worst country in the world for religious freedom. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan independent agency of the U.S. government, has placed Egypt on its watch list of countries that require close monitoring due to the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the government.According to a 2010 Pew Global Attitudes survey, 84% of Egyptians polled supported the death penalty for those who leave Islam; 77% supported whippings and cutting off of hands for theft and robbery; and 82% support stoning a person who commits adultery.
Coptic Christians face discrimination at multiple levels of the government, ranging from disproportionate representation in government ministries to laws that limit their ability to build or repair churches.Intolerance of Bahá'ís and non-orthodox Muslim sects, such as Sufis and Shi'a, also remains a problem.When the government moved to computerize identification cards, members of religious minorities, such as Bahá'ís, could not obtain identification documents. An Egyptian court ruled in early 2008 that members of other faiths may obtain identity cards without listing their faiths, and without becoming officially recognized.
Egypt was the first Arab state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, with the signing of the treaty. Despite the peace treaty, Israel is still largely considered an enemy country within Egypt. Egypt has historically played an important role as a mediator in resolving disputes between various Arab states, and in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Egypt is a major ally of the United States.
In the 21st century, Egypt has had a major problem with immigration, as millions of persons from other African nations flee poverty and war. Border control methods can be "harsh, sometimes lethal."
Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern state, having been continuously inhabited since the 10th millennium BC. Its monuments, such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, were constructed by its ancient civilization, which was one of the most powerful of its time and one of the first six civilizations to arise independently in the world. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis,Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study and popular interest from around the world. Egypt's rich cultural legacy, as well as the attraction of its Red Sea Riviera, have made tourism a vital part of the economy, employing about 12 percent of the country's workforce.
The economy of Egypt is one of the most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and services at almost equal production levels. Egypt is considered to be aregional and middle power, with significant cultural, political, and military influence in North Africa, theMiddle East and the Muslim world
After the French were defeated by the British, a power vacuum was created in Egypt, and a three-way power struggle ensued between the Ottoman Turks, Egyptian Mamluks who had ruled Egypt for centuries, andAlbanian mercenaries in the service of the Ottomans. It ended in victory for the Albanians led by Muhammad Ali.
While he carried the title of viceroy of Egypt, his subordination to the Ottoman porte was merely nominal. Muhammad Ali established a dynasty that was to rule Egypt until the revolution of 1952. In later years, the dynasty became a British puppet.
Egyptian literature traces its beginnings to ancient Egypt and is some of the earliest known literature. Indeed, the Egyptians were the first culture to develop literature as we know it today, that is, the book. It is an important cultural element in the life of Egypt. Egyptian novelists and poets were among the first to experiment with modern styles of Arabic literature, and the forms they developed have been widely imitated throughout the Middle East.The first modern Egyptian novel Zaynab by Muhammad Husayn Haykal was published in 1913 in the Egyptian vernacular. Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz was the first Arabic-language writer to win theNobel Prize in Literature. Egyptian women writers include Nawal El Saadawi, well known for her feminist activism, and Alifa Rifaat who also writes about women and tradition.