About Egypt

Egypt is a country roughly the size of France within which 90% of the population are concentrated on 5% of the land. The Nile is the life blood of this desert area – nearly 20% of the population live in the capital, Cairo, while most of the rest live along the Nile banks or amid the green fields of the Nile Delta, to the north.

The country is governed by the military (as it has been or fifty years), and is particularly mixed: many people live the life of rural peasantry; while in the cities and coastal resorts it’s equally possible to find sharp suited businessmen on their mobiles transacting international deals.

80% of the population is Muslim and Islam forms an important part of life in the country – although nominally a democracy elections are rarely free; in this context religion provides an escape from humdrum reality and opposition to the regime.

To the east of the mainland is the Sinai peninsula – a deserted V-shaped wedge of desert that straddles between Africa and Asia. Largely uninhabited, in the last 20 years several areas – particularly Sharm el Sheik – have been developed for tourism. The local population of Bedouins still live here, as do assorted divers, travellers and an increasing population of westerners.

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