About Egypt

Egypt or Kemet

Egypt is officially called the Arab Republic of Egypt. It is situated in the north-east of Africa, though the Sinai Peninsula forms a land bridge with south-west Asia. It is because of this that Egypt is also called a Middle-East country. Egypt is therefore a transcontinental country, which helps it in being a major power in Africa, the Middle-East, the Mediterranean, and the Muslim world.

In ancient times Egypt was known as Kemet, or the black land. This due to the alluvial soil which was deposited during the annual inundation of the River Nile. This yearly event gave Egypt its fertile land that enabled it to expand along the length of the river, especially in the Delta where many various crops were, and still are, harvested.

Egypt becomes a Republic

From an ancient African civilisation which developed writing and agriculture, Egypt underwent several periods of foreign domination: starting with Alexander the Great in 332 BCE, cycling through the Ptolemaic Greeks (332-30 BCE), Romans (30 BCE-395 CE), Byzantines (395-640 CE), Arabs (642-1251 CE), Mamelukes (1260-1571 CE), Ottoman Turks (1517-1798 CE) and French (1789-1801 CE). There followed a brief interlude until the British troops arrived in 1882, who took control of Egypt. In 1914 Egypt became a British protectorate. Partial independence was achieved on 28 February 1922, when Fu’ad 1 became King of Egypt. The British however still maintained significant control over the country. In 1952 Gamal Abdul Nasser lead a coup by the Free Officers’ Movement, now known as the July 23 Revolution, which resulted in Muhammad Najib becoming President and Prime Minister of Egypt. In June 1953 Egypt is declared a Republic by Najib.

The capital of Egypt

The capital of Egypt is Cairo, which has about 20 million (2009) inhabitants. It is the largest city in Africa. The name means ‘the victorious city’. Cairo is located on both banks of the River Nile, near the head of the river’s delta in northern Egypt. It has settled for more than 6000 years, serving as the capital of numerous Egyptian civilizations.

The flag of Egypt

The flag of Egypt had three equal horizontal bands (red, white and black). Centred in the white band you’ll find the national emblem, the golden Saladdin eagle.

The colour 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 colour black symbolizes the end of the oppression of the people of Egypt at the hands of the Monarchy and British colonialism.

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 colour 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 colours: red, white with two 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 the 12th Century, the same Saladdin of the Crusades.

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