chapter 22

egypt, algeria , nigeria, ghana


egypt is across the red sea from saudi arabia, where the messenger of Islam , Muhammad , was born. Like most countries in north africa, islam is now the major religion in Egypt. in fact, it is the country´s official religion. While the people of egypt share their common bond of their religious practice their lives differ greatly depending on whether they live in a city or a rural village.

About half of egyptians live in cities. Cairo, the nations capital and largest city has more than 9.5 million people, more people than live in Los Angeles and Chicago combined.

Many people move to the cities from rural life. they hope to find jobs and better education, most people that live in the villages live along the Nile or the Suez canal. most villages make their living by farming.


like many people in many parts of the world algerians adapt to their climate by resting during the hottest hours of the day. if you were visiting Adrar, an oasis city in the algerian sahara, during midday, the temperature outside would be about 124 degrees F. To survive in that heat, people must drink enough water to produce 2 to 4 gallons of perspiration per day.

the berbers and the arabs are algerias two main ethnic groups. the berbers have lived in north africa since at least 3000 b.c.. many historians think they migrated from southwest asia.

about half of algerias people live in cities where mosques and open air marketplaces called souqus are common.

older parts of the cities are caled casbahs.


the language of nigeria is not nigerian because it doesnt exist. nigerians speak more than 250 languages! the languages of nigeria match their ethnic groups.

you can see that nigeria borders do not match the borders of any other ethnic group.

nigeria is multiethnic which means that many ethnic groups live within its borders.

why are there so many ethnic groups and languages within one country?

before europeans arrived, what is now nigeria was ruled my many groups, including the hausa,the yoruba, and the ibo. but when europeans drew nigerias border , they did not think about ethnic groups.

about 20% of nigerias peole are yoruba and many of them still live in lagos, the city state they built 500 years ago. most yoruba are farmers. the ibo have traditionally lived in rural farmers in the southeast and have not built any large cities like kano or lagos


IN 1947, nkruhmah a 26 year old student sailed from ghana to the united states. at that time, ghana was called the gold coast and was ruled by great britain over 60 years.

he was aware people in his country did not have freedom and equality and when he saw the statue of liberty for the first time, it made him determined to bring freedom not only to his country but to the whole continent.

in 1947 he returned.

the akan are the largest group of ghana. when the akan give power to a new leader, they also give a warning. in 1957 nkrumah gave a moving speech to his people great britain had finally agreed to give them sovereighnty.

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