Population of Egypt
The population growth rate in recent years is 2%. Birth rate 24.89%, mortality – 7.7% (2001). According to Countryaah, the retirement age is 60.
Ethnic groups: 99% of the country’s population are considered Arabs. Anthropologically, the Egyptians make up three groups: Egyptians belonging to the Semitic-Hamitic race live in the Nile Valley; Arab features are pronounced among the inhabitants of the deserts and especially on the Sinai Peninsula (their number is a little over half a million); finally, in the south, in the Aswan region, the Nubians live. Most of the Arabs in Egypt are of mixed Egyptian and Arab blood, and the upper class are also Turkish.
In Egypt, Arabic, which belongs to the Semitic-Hamitic group of languages, has several dialects. Literary Arabic is a single language, but the spoken language in Egypt is very different from the language of neighboring Arab countries. There are dialects in Cairo, Upper and Lower Egypt
According to official figures, 94% of the population of Egypt is Muslim, and 6% of the population belong to the Christian Coptic community. However, according to the Coptic Church, the total number of Christians in Egypt exceeds 10%. There are also adherents of the Armenian church from among the Armenians living in Egypt (about 1 million). The majority of Muslims in Egypt are Sunnis. Islam is the state religion.
History of Egypt
The first traces of the appearance of agriculture in Egypt date back to the Neolithic era (7 thousand years BC), but the characteristic features of civilization appear only by the 6th millennium BC. In the second half of the 4th millennium BC. separate pre-state societies are formed. The reign of the Egyptian pharaohs continued from the end of the 4th millennium BC. until the Assyrian conquest in 671 BC. After the reign of Ramses II (1300-1234 BC), Egypt experienced a decline, but soon the power of the pharaohs was restored. It lasted until 525 BC, when Egypt fell under the rule of Persia.
In 332 BC. e. The Persian army was defeated by Alexander the Great. He was recognized as the new pharaoh, founded Alexandria, which became the capital of Egypt. After the death of Alexander the Great, power in Egypt passed to his commander Ptolemy. The dynasty he founded was Greek in origin and culture. Under the successors of Ptolemy, the famous lighthouse was built in Alexandria and the Library of Alexandria was created.
After the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC. Egypt was conquered by the Romans and became part of the Roman Empire. Christianity spread throughout the country. At the same time, the Copts remained committed to their Monophysite faith, despite the persecution of the Byzantine authorities.
Egypt was under Byzantine rule until the 7th century, when an Arab army under the command of Amr ibn al-Iss invaded its territory. The conquest of Egypt by the Arabs was completed by 641. Gradually, Egypt turned into an Arabic-speaking country with a Muslim population, and the Copts became a Christian minority.
In 1517 Egypt was conquered by the Turks and became one of the provinces of the Ottoman Empire.
To con. 18th century Egypt is the object of armed rivalry between France and Great Britain. In 1798, Napoleon landed in Alexandria, seeking to undermine the influence of the British in India. However, in 1801, British and Turkish troops forced Napoleon’s army to capitulate. After the defeat of the French in Egypt, the British troops were defeated in 1807 by the Turks, whose army was led by Muhammad Ali. However, despite the defeat, Great Britain did not leave Egypt. From 1883 to 1907, Egypt was actually ruled by the English governor, political agent and consul general Evelyn Baring (since 1891, Lord Cromer).
On February 28, 1922, Great Britain unilaterally abolished its protectorate over Egypt and recognized it as a sovereign state, reserving the right to ensure the security of the Suez Canal and maintain the defense capability of Egypt. In March 1922, the ruler of Egypt assumed the title of king. In 1936, an Anglo-Egyptian treaty was signed for a period of 20 years to end the British occupation of the country. However, Great Britain retained the right to keep troops in the Suez Canal zone.
During World War II, Egypt played an important strategic role as a British base in the Middle East. German-Italian troops under the command of Rommel in 1942 conducted successful offensive operations in Egypt, but were defeated by the British near the village of Al-Alamein.
On July 23, 1952, a group of young Egyptian officers led by General Mohammed Naguib, who were members of the Free Officers organization, carried out a bloodless coup and seized power in Cairo. On June 18, 1953, a republic was proclaimed in Egypt. Mohammed Naguib became its first president, but in 1956 he was removed from power by a military group led by Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser. In June 1956 he was elected President of Egypt.
Then, in accordance with the agreement, the last British military units left Egypt. July 26, 1956 Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal. In response to this move, Israel occupied the Sinai Peninsula, and Britain and France landed troops in the Port Said area. Only under pressure from the USSR and the USA was a truce concluded and the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Egyptian territory carried out.
In 1956–58, Egypt made an attempt to unite with Syria and North Yemen and create a union state—the United Arab Republic. But this political alliance was short-lived. Already in 1961, Syria announced its withdrawal
from the UAR, and the union practically collapsed. However, the name of the UAR was retained by Egypt until 1971.
On June 5, 1967, a new Arab-Israeli war broke out. In response to the closure of the Egyptian passage to ships through the Strait of Tiran, Israel reoccupied the Sinai Peninsula, as well as seized the Golan Heights from Syria and occupied East Jerusalem.
During the reign of President Nasser, reforms were carried out to nationalize banks, insurance companies, major companies and enterprises. In this regard, Nasser was guided by the USSR. At the same time, the authority of the USSR was of great importance in the light of its main contribution to the defeat of German fascism during World War II, in the light of its support for the movement of the peoples of Asia and Africa for liberation from colonial dependence. Egypt’s relations with the USSR developed significantly. With the assistance of the latter, many industrial and agricultural facilities were built in Egypt, incl. The Aswan High Dam, the Helwan Iron and Steel Works, the aluminum plant in Nag Hamadi, and others. Active ties have been established in the field of military and military-technical cooperation.
After the death of Nasser on September 28, 1970, Vice President Colonel Anwar Sadat became president of Egypt. The new president began to carry out limited political reforms, introduced a multi-party system, and legalized political parties. In the field of economics, a course of economic liberalization was proclaimed (the “open door” policy), and economic ties with the industrialized countries of the West received priority development. In 1972, Sadat decided to expel Soviet military specialists from Egypt.
On October 6, 1973, Egyptian troops crossed the Suez Canal in order to liberate the Sinai Peninsula from Israeli occupation. But only mainly through negotiations and political efforts was an agreement reached on the disengagement of troops (January 18, 1974). Egypt retained a small part of the liberated territory of the Sinai Peninsula east of the Suez Canal. Most of the Sinai remained under Israeli control.
In November 1977, Sadat visited Jerusalem, where he spoke in the Israeli Knesset. In 1979, a peace treaty was signed between Egypt and Israel through the mediation of the United States.
On October 6, 1981, Sadat was assassinated at a military parade by a group of militant Islamists. The Islamist rebellion that began in Asyut was suppressed.
On October 13, 1981, in a referendum, Vice President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak was elected President of Egypt. The new president headed for the development of relations with all countries, the restoration of ties with friendly countries, and the intensification of interaction with the Arab states and the Islamic world. In domestic policy, Mubarak continued the course of limited political reforms and the liberalization of economic life. With the advent of Mubarak, the situation in the country as a whole became more stable, the activity of political parties of the right, centrist and left wing increased. The activities of individual extremist Islamic organizations were banned, which caused an inadequate reaction on their part. They tried to harm the regime by organizing terrorist attacks against foreign tourists. The authorities took a hard line against the extremists. If necessary, they resorted to the suppression of radical Islamic movements with the help of law enforcement agencies. Activists of extremist organizations were prosecuted.
On September 26, 1999, during a referendum, Mubarak was re-elected for the fourth time as President of Egypt for a new 6-year period (elected in 1981, re-elected in 1987, in 1993 and in 1999).
In the beginning. 21st century In Egypt, a generally stable internal political situation remains with the vigorous activity of legal opposition forces. Although in the conditions of a market economy in the country the social polarization of society is increasing, the strike movement is growing, public life proceeds within the framework of the law. There is a limited parliamentary democracy in the country, relative freedom of the press is preserved, the trade union movement functions legally, and there is a certain increase in the standard of living of the population.