Egypt (Masr (Misr) to Egyptians), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world.
Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometres (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its over 81 million people live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometres (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited.
About half of Egypt’s people live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Monuments in Egypt such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx were constructed by its ancient civilization. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes, and Karnak and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study. The tourism industry and the Red Sea Riviera employ about 12% of Egypt’s workforce.
The economy of Egypt is one of the most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and service at almost equal production levels.
In early 2011, Egypt underwent a revolution, which resulted in the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power.
With a population of around 18 million spreading on either side of the Nile, Cairo is Africa’s largest city; a chaotic, bustling, noisy and vibrant city where past meets present through a diversity of cultures. Cairo encompasses some of the most celebrated monuments in the world, including the pyramids and Sphinx, the Citadel of Salah al Din, early Christian monasteries, churches and holy sites, and the mosques of sultans.