Egypt is an African nation in the northeastern part of the continent. Egypt’s heartland, the Nile River valley and delta, was home to one of the ancient Middle East’s most powerful civilizations and, like Mesopotamia to the east, one of the world’s first urban and literate societies. Urban Egypt became an essential part of the Hellenistic culture after Alexander the Great invaded the city in 323 BCE. The city of Alexandria grew into an advanced literate civilization under the Greek Ptolemaic empire, but the Romans invaded Egypt in 30 BCE. It was a part of the Roman Republic and Empire until it was conquered by Arab Muslim armies in 639–642 CE and became part of Rome’s successor state, the Byzantine Empire.
Brief History of Egypt
Egyptian rural life had been characterized by great consistency before the Muslim conquest. The language and culture of the agricultural, rural masses had shifted only slightly over the ages, despite the incongruent ethnicity of successive ruling classes. And the cosmopolitan existence of Egypt’s larger urban centers. Their lives mainly were estimated by the yearly growth and reduction of the Nile River, with its yearly inundation. Following the conquests, both urban and rural societies started to incorporate aspects of Arab culture. The Egyptian language was gradually replaced with Arabic vernacular as the primary medium of communication. Furthermore, Egypt’s history has been intertwined with that of the Islamic world. Egyptians were still dominated by foreign elites, whether Arab, Kurdish, Circassian, or Turkish. But the country’s cultural milieu remained mostly Arab.
Egypt was entitled the “gift of the Nile” by Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian. Indeed, the country’s great agricultural productivity—it is one of the region’s leading food producers—has long supported a sizeable rural population dedicated to farming. Egypt today, on the other hand, is mainly urban. Cairo, Egypt’s capital, is one of the world’s largest urban agglomerations, and manufacturing and trade have increasingly surpassed agriculture as the country’s most important economic sectors. Tourism has long been a significant source of foreign exchange, but it has been subject to fluctuations during periods of political and civil unrest in the region.
The Nile Valley and Delta are two sections of the Nile River.
The Nile delta, also known as Lower Egypt, spans 9,650 square miles (25,000 sq km). From Cairo to the Mediterranean, the distance is about 100 miles (160 kilometers), with a coastline extending 150 miles (240 kilometers) from Alexandria to Port Said.
The Eastern Desert is located in the United States.
The Eastern Desert covers 85,690 square miles and accounts for nearly one-fourth of Egypt’s land surface (221,900 square km).
The Western Desert is located in the United States.
The Western Desert covers about 262,800 square miles and makes up two-thirds of Egypt’s land surface (680,650 square km).
The Sinai Peninsula is a peninsula in Egypt.
The Sinai Peninsula is a wedge-shaped block of land that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba, covering nearly 23,000 square miles (59,600 square km). The steep, sharply serrated mountains make up the southern part of the country.
Groups of ethnicity
The Nile valley and delta population is a relatively homogeneous group. It is home to the vast majority of Egyptians. And their dominant physical characteristics result from the admixture of indigenous African and Arab ancestors. Foreign invaders and immigrants left behind a more heterogeneous mixture of physical types within urban areas. Such as, Persians, Romans, Greeks, Crusaders, Turks, and Circassians. More people with blond and red hair, blue eyes, and lighter complexions than in the delta’s rural areas, where peasant agriculturists, known as fellahin, have been less affected by intermarriage with outside groups.
Egyptians speak one of several vernacular dialects of Arabic, which is the country’s official language. The spoken vernacular, as in other Arab countries, differs significantly from the literary language. Modern literary Arabic is often referred to as Modern Standard Arabic or al-fu, which means “clear” in Arabic. It is the lingua franca of the Arab world’s educated population and is adapted from Classical or Medieval Arabic. It is only taught in schools and is the lingua franca of the Arab world’s educated population. The literary form of the language’s grammar and syntax has remained essentially unchanged since the 7th century. But it has evolved in other ways in recent centuries. Modern forms of style, word sequence, and phraseology are often direct English or French derivatives. And they are simpler and more flexible than Classical Arabic.
Egypt’s official religion is Islam, and nearly all Egyptian Muslims follow the Sunni branch of the religion. The country has long been a center of Islamic scholarship. With al-Azhar University in Cairo, it widely regarded as the world’s preeminent Islamic learning institution. Similarly, many Muslims, including those outside Egypt, regard al-sheikhs Azhar’s as among the world’s most influential religious figures. In 1928, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational religious and political organization dedicated to promoting conservative Muslim values, was founded. Sufism is still very common.
Copts are by far the most numerous Christian denomination in Egypt. They are indistinguishable from Muslim Egyptians in terms of vocabulary, clothing, and way of life, as well as their church rituals and customs.
Coptic Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Armenian Orthodox and Catholic, Maronite, Syrian Catholic churches and Anglicans, and other Protestants are among the other faith denominations. There are only a few Jews left in the world.
Patterns of settlement
The Nile valley and delta, the Western Desert, the Eastern Desert, and the Sinai Peninsula are the four central physiographic regions of Egypt. The country can be divided further into subregions based on geographical and cultural characteristics:
- the Nile valley from Cairo to Aswan
- the Nile delta
- the Red Sea coast
- the Eastern Desert
- the Sinai Peninsula
- the Western Desert
- and its oases
Nawal El Saadawi, Egypt’s great novelist, psychiatrist, and global citizen
The Egyptian novelist, sociologist ,therapist, and international activist Nawal El Saadawi passed away on March 21, 2021, at the age of 89. She has written more than 50 books.
Even though her autobiography A Daughter of Isis (1986) is one of her most well-known works. She described herself as a writer, saying, “I am primarily a novelist.” Novels make up the majority of my work.”
The author of the book
In reality, she was always working on a book. “The Novel, which she published in 2004, begins, the book caused tremendous uproar. Her journey was turned into her first novel.”
The function and boundaries of the book, in her opinion, are an excellent place to start when evaluating her writing. Her books were all written in Arabic. When asked about her works being translated, she said:
Are you able to translate music? As a result, you are unable to read novels. At least 30 percent of the work’s essence is lost. Language is made up of three parts: body, soul, and mind… In your (native) tongue, you dream.
In the most genuine sense of the word, El Saadawi was a global iconoclast. Her books espoused realities that made her unpopular with those in government. And the so-called elite in a society that has been categorized, tribal, openly biassed, anti-science, and unashamedly sexist.