EGYPT

It is very difficult to write about a place like Egypt, it’s history spans over 5ooo years, that tends to complicate things a bit.

Generally speaking, Egypt passed through several phases through it’s history. Pre-historic, Ancient, Persian, Greek, and Roman, Muslim conquest, and finally the modern era.

The Pyramids and Sphinx, late 1800s, two Muslims praying in the foreground. Brooklyn Museum Lantern Slide Collection.

Each phase contributed and shaped the country, finally culminating in modern day Egypt. It’s one of the oldest civilizations on the planet, if not the oldest, rivaled in age by the Chinese civilization. Egyptians like to call Egypt ‘Umm El Dunya’ – the mother of the world.

There are several guides for sale about Egypt, but none of them will give it it’s due because none of them is written by a native of the country, and no matter how well travelled the authors are they still lack the knowledge that can only come from being born and bred in the country, and that is what we will try to explore here. Egypt, from an Egyptian point of view. However, out of honesty I have to admit that I found out about some places from these travel guides that I have never been before.

Egypt’s location in the world.

Egypt is located in the North East corner of Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula in Asia. It is bordered by Libya to the West, Palestine (occupied by Israel since 1948) and the Red Sea to the East, the Mediterranean to the North, and Sudan to the South. It is home to the longest river in the world, the river Nile, and the only surviving Wonder of the Ancient World, the Pyramids.

The Governorates of Egypt as of 2011.

It is generally split into the following sections: Greater Cairo, the Delta (Eastern and Western), Sinai, the Canal Zone, the North Coast, the Western Desert and the Oases, the Eastern Desert and the Red Sea, and finally the Nile Valley (Middle Egypt, Upper Egypt, Aswan and Nubia). Each of these areas have their own traditions (mostly within Islamic tradition) and their own variations of the Egyptian cuisine, and each of them have their own beauty and charm.

A Cairo mosque at sunset near the Khan el Khalili Market.

Egypt is paradoxical to a lot of people, even the ones who live in it.  There’s a lot of things that don’t make sense, and the traffic can be a pain, but for the most part, it’s a very fun place to visit, and insha’Allah you can have a blast.

There’s more to Egypt than just the Pyramids.

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