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Egypt at a glance

Mubarak was ousted after 18 days of demonstrations during the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Capital:Cairo
Ethnic groups:99 per cent Egyptians, 0.9 per cent Nubians, 0.1 per cent Greeks
Establishment:Independence from the United Kingdom on February 28, 1922   –Became republic on June 18, 1953
Area:1,002,450 km2
Population:September 2010 estimate 79,089,650

Long ago, this Nile valley cradled and nourished one of the oldest civilisations in the world history. The longest history of ancient Egyptian civilisation exercised its profound influence on the west of mankind. As a first step, let us examine how geographical factors influenced to bring about the birth of this mighty civilisation.

Geographical factors

To begin with River Nile played its role as a source of livelihood to the people around it. Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, called Egypt the gift of the Nile, particularly after realising its importance. The Nile River takes its birth in the Central African mountains and flows hundreds of kilometers to the north, to reach the Mediterranean Sea.
The 1948 Arab’ Israeli War, known by Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation was the first in a series of wars fought between Israel and its Arab neighbours in the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict.
 
Farouk of Egypt
Farouk I of Egypt: (February 11, 1920 ‘March 18, 1965) was the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty and the penultimate King of Egypt and Sudan, succeeding his father, Fuad I, in 1936. His full title was “His Majesty Farouk I, by the grace of God, King of Egypt and Sudan, Sovereign of Nubia, of Kordofan, and of Darfur.” He was overthrown in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and was forced to abdicate in favour of his infant son Ahmed Fuad, who succeeded him as King Fuad II. He died in exile in Italy.

Gamal Abdel Nasser

Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein (January 15, 1918 ‘September 28, 1970) was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. Along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, he led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of modernisation, and socialist reform in Egypt together with a profound advancement of pan-Arab nationalism, including a short-lived union with Syria.

Although his status as “leader of the Arabs” was badly damaged by the Israeli victory over the Arab armies in the Six-Day war and Egypt’s failure to win the War of Attrition against Israel, many in the general Arab population still view Nasser as a symbol of Arab dignity and freedom.

1948 Arab-Israeli war

As Egypt remained officially neutral until long after the Axis defeat at the Battle of el-Alamein, the Egyptian military did not participate in the war. Nasser’s first experience on the battlefield was in Palestine during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Revolution of 1952

On January 28, 1952, the British forces posted along the Suez Canal had a major confrontation with the police force of Ismailia, resulting in the deaths of 40 Egyptian policemen. A short time later, in May 1952, Nasser received word that Farouk knew the names of the Free Officers and intended to arrest them.

Thus, he immediately entrusted Zakaria Mohieddine with the task of drawing up plans for the takeover of the government by army units loyal to the association. On September 28, 1970, Nasser suffered a heart attack, he was immediately transported to his house and was pronounced dead soon after.

Anwar Sadat    

Muhammad Anwar Al Sadat (December 25, 1918 ‘October 6, 1981) was the third President of Egypt, serving from October 15, 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on October 6, 1981. He was a senior member of the Free Officers group that overthrew the Muhammad Ali Dynasty in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and a close confidant of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom he succeeded as President in 1970.

He led the Yom Kippur War of 1973 against Israel. On October 6, 1981, Sadat was assassinated during the annual victory parade held in Cairo to celebrate Egypt’s crossing of the Suez Canal.

In addition to Sadat, 11 others were killed, including the Cuban ambassador, an Omani general, and a Coptic Orthodox bishop. Twenty-eight others were wounded, including Vice-President Hosni Mubarak, Irish Defence Minister James Tully, and four US military liaison officers. The assassination squad was led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli after a fatwā approving the assassination had been obtained from Omar Abdel-Rahman. Islambouli was tried, found guilty, sentenced to death, and executed in April 1982.

Hosni Mubarak

Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak, born on May 4, 1928, is a former Egyptian politician and military commander. He served as the fourth President of Egypt from 1981 to 2011.

Mubarak was a career officer in the Egyptian Air Force, serving as its commander from 1972 to 1975 and rising to the rank of Air Chief Marshal. Mubarak was ousted after 18 days of demonstrations during the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Camp David Accords

Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following 13 days of secret negotiations at Camp David.

The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter. The second of these frameworks, A Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel, led directly to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, and resulted in Sadat and Begin sharing the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.

Little progress was achieved on the first framework however, A Framework for Peace in the Middle East, which dealt with the Palestinian territories.

Suez Canal

The Suez Canal also known by the nickname “The Highway to India”, is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa.

The northern terminus is Port Said and the southern terminus is Port Tawfik at the city of Suez. Ismailia lies on its west bank, three km (1.9 mi) north of the half-way point.

When first built, the canal was 164 km (102 mi) long and eight m (26 ft) deep. After multiple enlargements, the canal is 193.30 km (120.11 mi) long, 24 m (79 ft) deep, and 205 metres (673 ft) wide as of 2010It consists of the northern access channel of 22 km/14 mi, the canal itself of 162.25 km/100.82 mi and of the southern access channel of nine km/5.6 mi.

It is single-lane with passing places in Ballah By-Pass and in the Great Bitter Lake. It contains no locks; seawater flows freely through the canal. In general, the Canal north of the Bitter Lakes flows north in winter and south in summer. The current south of the lakes changes with the tide at Suez.

The canal is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Under international treaty, it may be used “in time of war as in time of peace, by every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag.

Naguib Mahfouz

Naguib Mahfouz (December 11, 1911 ‘August 30, 2006) was an Egyptian writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature, along with Tawfiq el-Hakim, to explore themes of existentialism.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (born on November 14, 1922) is an Egyptian diplomat who was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) from January 1992 to December 1996. An academic and former Vice Foreign Minister of Egypt, Boutros Boutros-Ghali oversaw the UN at a time when it paid attention to several world crises, including the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Rwandan Genocide.
Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following 13 days of secret negotiations at Camp David.
 
Mohamed ElBaradei
Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei, born on June 17, 1942, is an Egyptian law scholar and diplomat. He was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an inter-governmental organisation under the auspices of the United Nations, from December 1997 to November 2009. ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

1948 Arab-Israeli war

The 1948 Arab’ Israeli War, known by Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation was the first in a series of wars fought between Israel and its Arab neighbours in the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict.

The war commenced upon the termination of the British Mandate of Palestine and the Israeli declaration of independence on May 15, 1948, following a period of civil war in 1947′ 1948. The fighting took place mostly on the former territory of the British Mandate and for a short time also in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon.

By: Abdul Rasheed

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