Egypt is a pretty ancient country. The references of it are not only found in sacred books but also in old geographical monuments. The archeologists take a good amount of interest in the old history of Egypt. The country provides many interesting facts; however, we’ve compiled 10 facts about Egypt which every layman must know. The list might be expanded, later, in the favour of those who want to learn more about the country, under different contexts. This article aims to discover 10 facts about Egypt which generally a person must know.
1. Egypt witnessed many dynasties and monarchies
The location of Egypt made it prone to the urge of different dynasties attempting to create their rule on this piece of land. Therefore, it witnessed many dynasties and monarchies. Some books of history suggest that over the period of 3000 years, starting from 2950 BC, the Egypt witnessed some 30 dynasties. During the Old Kingdom period (2575-2150 BC) the fourth dynasty built the Great Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx.
Persians found their way to North Africa and Egypt witnessed a new dynasty in their shape in 525 BC.
2. Mummification is a practice of ancient Egyptians
A mummy is a pretty important and popular thing in the Egyptian culture, and a point of interest for the outside world. In Hollywood, several movies have featured the mummies of the Egypt. Ancient Egyptians of the dynasty periods, believed that mummification ensured a safe passage for the deceased in the life after the world. The mummification allowed the preservation of the deceased bodies even after the passage of thousand years. Today, archaeologists find great deal of DNA information from those preserved bodies.
3. Greeks turned Alexandria into World’s best literary cities
After Persians, Greeks conquered Egypt during the campaigns of Alexander The Great. in 332 BC, Alexander The Great swept down entire Egypt. He conquered much of the Middle East and made his way to India. During that period, the city of Alexandria became pretty much important due to its literary resources.
Further, it also served as a major trading city due to its ever-busy port connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. The education which Alexandria offered due to its vast library was important at that time.
4. After 7th Century Arabs ruled Egypt
After several dynasties of the past, and Greek rule, Romans conquered the country and used it as one of their state. Sassanids and Arabs conquered the land consecutively in 7th century. Throughout the Middle ages, between 6th to 16th century, Arabs ruled the country. Therefore, Egypt holds quite a lot of Islamic and Arabic culture. Later Ottoman’s ruled over the country, which were of Turkish decent.
5. Suez Canal connecting Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea is a man made Egyptian Canal
A manmade canal which connects Mediterranean sea with the Red sea is important for the shipping and trading. According to some sources, around 12pc of the world’s sea trade passes through the Suez Canal. The waterway which is owned by Egypt is the reminiscent of the colonial rule of Britishers in the region. Suez canal crisis of 1956 eventually transferred the ownership of the waterway to the Egypt. After the international support, British finally left Egypt for good, as they withdrew their forces. The canal was built in the year 1859.
6. Egypt was declared a Republic in 1953
After witnessing dynasties and different rules, in thee modern history Egypt was declared a republic ion 1953. In 1952, the Free Officers Revolution changed the form of government in the country. Gamal Abdel Nasser came in the power after the Revolution. Arab-Israel wars were one of the many reasons behind the revolution. Free Officers wanted to free the Egypt from the clutches of the monarchy which was allied to the Britishers. Later, on 18th June 1953, Egypt was finally declared a Republic. However, how far the Egypt was actually a Republic after the revolution is a debate of another day.
7. Egypt hosts the largest Arab Population
A fact worth noting, Egypt has the largest Arab population on the face of the Earth. Stats show that it has a resident population of 98 million. The stats from 2006 census show that Egypt has 99.7% of the Egyptian population while others account for 0.3%. The formal name of Egypt is Arab Republic of Egypt.
On contrary to the above popular claim, the National Geographic Gene project shows that Egyptians are merely 17% Arabs, based on their DNA. The 68% of their gene construction is based on DNA from the Northern Africa. It shows that Egyptians are Egyptians, not Arabs.
8. World’s longest river passes through Egypt
River Nile on which the agriculture and water needs of the Egypt depends is the world’s longest river. It flows from the West to the North into the mediterranean sea. Since the ancient times to the modern ones, River Nile is pretty much important for the economy of the Egypt and Northern Africa. It passes through 11 countries. The construction of Dams on river Nile is a thing of concern for the Egypt being a lower riparian state. Ethiopia and Egypt conflict over the construction of Dam on the river Nile is the modern day confloict.
9. 2011 Egyptian Revolution was a part of wider Arab Spring movement
In 2011, Egypt witnessed another revolution which lead to the overthrow of the Hosni Mubarak’s government. It was a part of the wider movement named as Arab Spring which started in Tunisia. The revolution was against the police brutality and in the favour of free speech and free elections. People wanted true democracy in Egypt. Muhammad Morsi got elected as the new president. Later in 2013 as a result of the June Protests his government was dismissed in a coup d’etat by the military forces.
10. World’s largest and hottest desert Sahara contains a major portion of Egypt
During the geography lessons, while studying the desert biome, Sahara is the most taught and oft-repeated desert. Egypt receives less rain and the Sahara desert forms major portion of the country. In addition to Egypt, Sahara dessert has shared territory with Algeria, Mali, Morocco, Sudan, Chad, Niger Mauritania etc.