Travel Guides: Egypt
Egypt is an Arab country in North Africa and the Middle East, limited to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, to the east by Gaza Strip, Israel, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea, to the south west by Sudan and Libya. Its capital is Cairo.
Misr, Egypt’s official Arabic name is of Semitic origin, probably meaning ‘country’ or ‘a state’. The name Egypt has its origins in the Latin word Aegyptus derived from the ancient Greek Αἴγύπτος “aiguptos”, which in turn is derived from the ancient Egyptian phrase ḥwt-k3-PTH (Hut ka Ptah”), the name of a temple of the god Ptah at Memphis.
The regularity and richness of the Nile overflows and the isolation caused by some eastern and western deserts, have led to the development of one of the most important civilizations of antiquity. Nile Valley, close between high and rocky shores, has forged several millennia before our era an ancient Mediterranean civilization of the world, that of Ancient Egypt.
It shows us the oldest country in the world, above all others, endowed with an administration, a tax, justice and the armies were comparable to those born later in countries on all continents, before and after our era. But the world of ancient Egypt has conceived a brilliant spiritual culture that admired the ancient Greeks and Romans and wondered where the crowds of tourists are now to contemplate the temples, pyramids and obelisks erected by the Pharaohs and their subjects.
First united kingdom was founded by King Menes, around 3200 BC; it was ruled by many dynasties for almost three millennia. Under Pharaoh Ramses Under and Tutmes by the conquest of Africa and Asia, Egypt becomes an empire. The last native dynasty fell under the domination of the Persians in 595 BC and then conquered by Alexander the Great in 320 BC.
Egyptian art and monuments not only attract by huge and mysterious beauty of their beauty and enigmatic ancient Greeks and Romans as we, today, travelers would come to find culture, especially in Egypt, “Egyptian wisdom” that they knew a Thales, Pythagoras, Herodotus, Plato, Solon, Licurg or Plutarch. The Arabs conquered Alexandria in 641 and 646 completing the Muslim conquest of Egypt and ending 975 years of Greco-Roman rule over Egypt.
Egypt is a republic since 18 June 1953. Hosni Mubarak is President of the Republic since 14 October 1981, following his according to Anwar Sadat. Mubarak is currently at the forefront of the country’s fifth term. The National Democratic Party leader is now in power. Ahmed Nazif was elected Prime Minister on July 9, 2004 following the resignation of Ateb Obied.
Egypt operates after reforms in 2005 under a multiparty presidential system where executive power is divided between the president and prime minister. Presidential and parliamentary elections are held frequently, the last being held in 2005, but as in all Arab states they are formal, political regime as a dictatorship of one party. Parties are entitled to propose candidates for election only to the extent they are recognized by political power, which excludes both the reformers and modernizers secularists and Islamist parties.
International non-governmental organizations have repeatedly expressed concern about freedom of speech and government intervention in local elections. Ethnic minorities are discriminated against barbaric, Copts (who are Christians) have no right to occupy positions in administration, and the right of access to universities is limited; if you want to build or even repair the places of worship you must receive approval from the state which is very unlikely, and you still receive, are victims of attacks by radical Muslim groups who burn churches. They have no right to religious radio or TV. Copts are victims of forced conversions of their daughters.
“Profilage” which is repressed in democratic countries, is a legal practice in Egypt today, where the identity document specifies the religion holder. The law allows the issuance of forms of employment where required item stating religion candidate. Mass media campaign is often the source of hatred against the minorities, which most often leads to “pogroms”. Women status is also a second-class citizen: because the law is influenced by Islamic law (Shariah), a woman can not obtain a passport or a visa without the consent of her husband, making it certain prohibited occupations. According to Health Ministry statistics, a second woman is beaten by her husband, and protection laws, although there are inapplicable because the sky, the absurd, a witness other than the victim.
So-called “honor killings” are common currency in the Muslim world, are less punished than other crimes. A Christian woman who marries a Muslim must raise their children according to Shariah, it was required to follow Islamic religious courses. Muslim women are not allowed to marry a Christian or a Jew. Egypt’s laws allow polygamy, which is perverse: a survey of Ibn Khaldun center querying 500 Egyptian women, showed that one of the main reasons for the Egyptian woman wants to have children is that this makes it unlikely repudiation (permitted Islamic law) and polygamy.