Egypt

Occupying the northeast corner of Africa, Egypt is divided by the highly fertile Nile Valley. Its essentially pro-Western, military-backed regime is being challenged by Islamic fundamentalists.


Geography:

Fertile Nile Valley separates arid Libyan Desert from smaller semiarid eastern desert. 

Sinai peninsula has mountains in south.

Climate:

Summers are very hot, but winters are cooler. 

Rainfall is negligible, except on the coast.

People & Society:

Despite a long tradition of ethnic and religious tolerance, the rise of Islam has sparked clashes between Muslims and Copts (Coptic Christianity is one of the Church’s earliest branches). 

Women play a full part in education and the economy, though this is threatened by Islamism. 

Rapidly growing population is a problem. 

Poverty is rife around Cairo.

Economy:

Oil and gas. 

Cotton. 

Tolls from the Suez Canal. 

Successful tourist industry, in spite of terrorist attacks. 

High birth-rate and rural poverty.

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