Known for its ancient civilization that gave us timeless relics such as the Pyramids, the Great Sphinx, the Abu Simbel Temples, and the Bangles’ Walk Like An Egyptian, Egypt is an arid transcontinental country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia.
Egypt is one of the most populated countries in the Middle East, but because of the whole warm and dry thing, 99% of the population crowds along the Nile River, utilizing only 5% of the total land mass.
It may thrill you to learn Egypt has been traced back to the beginning of the Mesolithic and Epipaleolithic period, as well as the first part of the Holocene epoch!
Good old pharaoh King Menes was the first to unite the two distinct Egyptian settlements, known as Upper and Lower Egypt, into one kingdom in 3100 BC.
And King Menes ushered in a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt over the next three millennia.
And speaking of Pharaohs, Egypt was involved with that whole keeping the Jews as slaves thing. According to the story of Passover, the Jews escaped slavery in Egypt after God inflicted the nation with ten plagues.
Egypt then entered the Hellenistic period, which means it became Greek-influenced. There were many civil rebellions during this period due to unwanted regimes.
One of the most famous rulers from this era was Cleopatra, who ended this period of Ptolemaic rulers when she committed suicide with her lover.
Then Egypt entered the Byzantine era, where Byzantine equals the Romans y’all. The Romans governed the Egyptian province that flourished due to the Nile Valley’s rich harvests and the advanced craftsmanship producing glass and other luxury items — but culturally Egypt remains very Greek, and Christianity is rife.
Then in the year 639, Muslim Arabs conquered Egypt.
And these Muslim Arabs brought an orthodox version of their religion to Egypt, known as Sunni Islam. Over the next six centuries, The Islamic government nominated their Egyptian Muslim rulers.
Then Egypt fell on hard times. First because the country was invaded by the Ottoman Empire, where Ottoman equals the Turkish y’all. And then because Egypt was hit by a plague that killed nearly half the population.
And then all kinds of hell broke lose, as the French came into power and then fell, followed by anarchical conditions while various factions vied for power.
Ultimately an Albanian tax collector named Muhammad Ali became Egypt’s leader and established a dynasty that ruled until the 1950s, kicking off the period known as Modern Egypt.
And then, from the 1950s on, Egypt became an Egyptian Republic with an actual President — but in the 1960s the troubled country declared Emergency Law, a condition under which Egypt has operated ever since.
Speaking of Egypt — and sister mercy, Bossy has been writing this eye crossing tutorial for two days and there’s no end in sight when Bossy can cease speaking of Egypt — the Egyptians and the French entered into an agreement to dig out the waterway which would connect Europe and Asia without the need to travel all the way around Africa. This became known as the Suez Canal.
But then England and the United States began to worry over Egypt’s burgeoning relationship with both Russia and China, and so the U.S. and England withdrew their funding of a dam project, which led Egypt to declare that the Suez Canal was all their own — and before you could count to This is so Middle School, England and France and Israel invaded Egypt in what would become known as the Suez Crisis.
And then ten years later there was this thing called the Six Day War between Egypt and Israel and other neighbors, which basically confirmed Israel’s prominence as the area’s military power.
Then Anwar el-Sadat becomes President of Egypt and he does some warring with Israel until eventually becoming pals with Israel’s Menachem Begin and the two sign a peace treaty at Camp David in the 1970s.
The assassinated Anwar el-Sadat is succeeded by his Vice-President — and just guess who that is? It’s Hosni Mubarak.
For thirty years Mubarak follows Sadat’s diplomatic footsteps, although Mubarak’s primary goal is Egypt’s development and growth. The Muslim fundamentalist aren’t crazy about Mubarak either, and as a result, during the 1990s terrorism became more of a concern in Egypt, which staggers tourism, which threatened Egypt’s economy, which led to some martial law stuff and the squashing of human rights, which angered Egypt’s citizenry.
Mubarak’s largest organized fundamentalist opposition is the Muslim Brotherhood, which, although fragmented in their concerns, has largely become a mainstream movement comprised of all different types of people.
The main grievances against President Mubarak are the various forms of human rights brutality and corruption surrounding the current regime, including the inability to vote someone else into office when Mubarak himself set the guidelines for who can run against him.
The latest round of very effectual citizen protests came on the heels of the Tunisian protests. Despite the fact it is a political overthrow, some reports of Egypt’s protests have underlined the peaceful nature of the uprising.
The problem, of course, is that the crowd isn’t unified under one concern, and there have been factions, looters, and other aggressors that have resulted in attempts to quell these situations. Egypt’s police force has been replaced by military troops.
Recently Mubarak dissolved his government and is trying to buy time until September’s election so he can be involved with the country’s transition to a new regime. Barack O’Boyfriend agrees that a slow and careful transition is in order — Obama believes Mubarak’s Vice President should transition the country into September’s election — but since Mubarak always considered the United States an ally, Egypt’s citizenry doesn’t currently hold the U.S. opinion in such high esteem.
It’s always threatening when a powerful country becomes unstable — especially considering Egypt’s tenuous relationship with its Middle East neighbors — but Mubarak’s opposition is for the most part rallying behind the law scholar, diplomat, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, as someone who can lead negotiations toward a new government.
The next few days and weeks should reveal a lot. Unless, wait, Bossy has been writing this post for so long, is it still the year 2011?