LANDSCAPE AND CLIMATE

Situated in the northeastern corner of the African continent, Egypt is largely desert. Egypt is divided into four regions: the Nile Valley and the Delta, the Western Desert, the Eastern Desert and the Sinai Peninsula. The Nile River runs through the country, creating a fertile green valley. Ninety percent of the population lives in the Nile Valley and the Delta. Much of Egypt is low-lying desert, but rugged mountains can be found along the Red Sea coast in the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai is rich in natural minerals and there are offshore oil fields.

The city of Alexandria, which lies on the Mediterranean Sea, enjoys a mild climate, but Aswan in the South is extremely hot in the summer. In Cairo, temperatures can rise to 35C in summer and drop to as low as 5C in winter. Like all desert climates, daytime temperatures are hot, but nights are cool.

Farmland yields three harvests a year because of the continuous twelve-month growing season. Many crops can be harvested because they mature in four months. Cotton, rice, corn and sorghum are the main summer crops. Wheat, beans, Egyptian clover, known as berseem, and vegetables are winter crops. Dates are grown and exported from the six major oases in the Western desert. Housing for a constantly increasing population is taking up valuable farmland, so that Egypt is becoming more dependent on imported food items.

Flooding by the Nile, a major problem in the Delta, was solved by the construction of the Aswan Dam. Despite ambitious land reclamation projects by the government, the Sahara is continuing to encroach on the reclaimed and settled land. North Africa is becoming more of a desert every year.

Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name:

Arab Republic of Egypt

Capital:

Cairo

Type of Government:

Republic

Population:

57 million

Area:

1,001,450 sq km

Major Ethnic Groups:

Hamitic and Semitic Arabs

Language:

Arabic

Religions:

Islam and Christianity

Unit of Currency:

Egyptian Pound

National Flag:

Three horizontal bands of white, black and red, with an eagle emblem

Date of Independence:

February 28, 2022