Egypt Dictionary

Egypt is located in the northeastern corner of Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west, and Israel and the Gaza Strip to the northeast. Its strategic location at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe has made it a significant center of trade, culture, and civilization throughout history.



Egypt has a desert climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters. The country experiences very little rainfall, with most precipitation occurring along the Mediterranean coast during the winter months. The Nile River, which flows through the heart of Egypt, provides vital water resources for agriculture and sustains much of the country’s population.


Despite its arid climate, Egypt is home to a variety of wildlife, including desert foxes, hyenas, and gazelles. The Nile River supports a diverse array of aquatic species, including Nile crocodiles and various species of fish. Birdwatchers flock to Egypt to observe migratory birds along the Nile Delta and the Red Sea coast.

Longest Rivers:

The Nile River, often considered the longest river in the world, flows through Egypt from south to north, stretching approximately 6,650 kilometers (4,130 miles). The Nile Delta, where the river meets the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the most fertile and densely populated regions in Egypt.

Highest Mountains:

Egypt’s terrain is predominantly flat and desert-like, with few significant mountain ranges. The highest point in Egypt is Mount Catherine, located in the Sinai Peninsula, with an elevation of 2,629 meters (8,625 feet) above sea level. The mountain is sacred to both Christians and Muslims and is a popular destination for hiking and religious pilgrimage.



Egypt has a rich archaeological record dating back to prehistoric times, with evidence of human habitation along the Nile River dating back to the Paleolithic era. The ancient Egyptians developed one of the world’s earliest civilizations, mastering agriculture, architecture, and writing.

Ancient Egypt:

The civilization of ancient Egypt flourished for over three millennia, from around 3100 BCE to 30 BCE. During this time, Egypt saw the rise of powerful pharaohs, the construction of monumental pyramids and temples, and the development of hieroglyphic writing. The period of the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom saw the height of Egypt’s power and influence.

Greek and Roman Periods:

In the 4th century BCE, Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, ushering in a period of Greek rule known as the Ptolemaic dynasty. Egypt later fell under Roman control in 30 BCE following the defeat of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony by the Roman general Octavian (later known as Augustus).

Islamic Conquest and Ottoman Rule:

In the 7th century CE, Arab Muslim armies conquered Egypt, bringing Islam to the region and establishing a series of Islamic dynasties. Egypt later came under Ottoman rule in the 16th century, remaining part of the Ottoman Empire until the early 20th century.

Modern Egypt:

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Egypt underwent significant political and social change, including British colonial rule, the rise of nationalist movements, and the eventual establishment of an independent Egyptian state in 1952. Today, Egypt is a republic with a diverse population and a rich cultural heritage.


Egypt has a population of approximately 104 million people, making it the most populous country in the Arab world and the third-most populous country in Africa. The majority of the population resides in urban areas along the Nile River and the Mediterranean coast, with Cairo, the capital and largest city, being the most populous metropolitan area.

Ethnicity and Religion:

The majority of Egyptians are of Arab descent, with significant minorities of Berbers, Nubians, and other ethnic groups. Islam is the predominant religion, with the majority of Egyptians identifying as Sunni Muslims. There are also small Christian and Jewish communities in Egypt, with Coptic Christianity being the largest Christian denomination.


Arabic is the official language of Egypt and is spoken by the vast majority of the population. English and French are also widely spoken, particularly in urban areas and among the educated elite.


Education in Egypt is free and compulsory for children ages 6 to 14, with primary and secondary education provided by the government. Egypt has made significant investments in education in recent years, although challenges such as overcrowded classrooms and limited resources persist. The country is home to several universities, including Cairo University, Ain Shams University, and Alexandria University.

Administrative Divisions

Egypt is divided into 27 governorates, each with its own governor appointed by the president of Egypt. The governorates, along with their respective populations, are as follows:

  1. Alexandria Governorate – Population: Approximately 5.2 million
  2. Aswan Governorate – Population: 1.4 million
  3. Asyut Governorate – Population: 4.2 million
  4. Beheira Governorate – Population: 6.5 million
  5. Beni Suef Governorate – Population: Approximately 3.1 million
  6. Cairo Governorate – Population: 9.1 million
  7. Dakahlia Governorate – Population: Approximately 6.6 million
  8. Damietta Governorate – Population: Approximately 1.5 million
  9. Faiyum Governorate – Population: 3.1 million
  10. Gharbia Governorate – Population: 4.9 million
  11. Giza Governorate – Population: 8.7 million
  12. Ismailia Governorate – Population: Approximately 1.2 million
  13. Kafr El Sheikh Governorate – Population: Approximately 3.2 million
  14. Luxor Governorate – Population: 1.4 million
  15. Matrouh Governorate – Population: 425,000
  16. Minya Governorate – Population: 5.7 million
  17. Monufia Governorate – Population: 4.8 million
  18. New Valley Governorate – Population: Approximately 225,000
  19. North Sinai Governorate – Population: Approximately 525,000
  20. Port Said Governorate – Population: Approximately 750,000
  21. Qalyubia Governorate – Population: Approximately 6.1 million
  22. Qena Governorate – Population: 3.2 million
  23. Red Sea Governorate – Population: 380,000
  24. Sharqia Governorate – Population: 7.7 million
  25. Sohag Governorate – Population: 5.8 million
  26. South Sinai Governorate – Population: Approximately 175,000
  27. Suez Governorate – Population: 800,000

10 Largest Cities by Population

The largest cities in Egypt by population include:

  1. Cairo – Population: 9.1 million
  2. Alexandria – Population: 5.2 million
  3. Giza – Population: 8.7 million
  4. Shubra El-Kheima – Population: 2.5 million
  5. Port Said – Population: 750,000
  6. Suez – Population: 800,000
  7. Luxor – Population: 1.4 million
  8. Mansoura – Population: 1.2 million
  9. Sohag – Population: 900,000
  10. Assiut – Population: 1.1 million

Education Systems

Education in Egypt is provided by both public and private institutions at all levels, from primary school to university. While primary education is compulsory and free for all children, secondary and higher education often require fees. Egypt has a number of prestigious universities, including Cairo University, Ain Shams University, and the American University in Cairo.



Egypt is served by several international airports, with Cairo International Airport being the busiest and most well-connected. Other major airports include Sharm El Sheikh International Airport, Hurghada International Airport, Luxor International Airport, and Aswan International Airport.


Egypt has an extensive railway network operated by the Egyptian National Railways (ENR), connecting major cities and towns across the country. The main line runs from Alexandria in the north to Aswan in the south, with branches to the Red Sea coast and the Sinai Peninsula.


Egypt has a network of modern highways and roads, including the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road, the Cairo-Suez Road, and the Cairo-Luxor-Aswan Highway. The road network facilitates travel and commerce between major cities and tourist destinations.


Egypt has several major ports along the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, including:

  • Port Said
  • Alexandria Port
  • Damietta Port
  • Suez Port
  • Ain Sokhna Port

Country Facts

  • Population: 104 million
  • Capital: Cairo
  • Language: Arabic
  • Religion: Islam (predominantly Sunni)
  • Ethnic Groups: Arab (predominantly), Berber, Nubian
  • Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)
  • ISO Country Code: EG
  • International Calling Code: +20
  • Top-Level Domain: .eg