by: Kylah MacDonald

Egypt characteristics

Climate, characteristics, and physical features

Egypt is located in the Sahara desert; therefore, has a dry, arid climate. Temperatures are hot in summer and warm and mild in the winter. However most people living in Egypt are used to the weather, so climate doesn't always affect the way people live. Egypt's highest point is Mount Catherine at 8,625 feet. Siwa is Egypt's most remote desert oasis and is near the Liberian border. Most people live in Cairo, Egypt because it's major trade center. Many people in Egypt are farmers, craftspeople, or nomadic traders. Some people are archaeologists or build pyramids. The Suez Canal and Nile river are modes of transportation used a lot by traders. Many that don't live in cities also use camels to travel. Nowadays driving cars is common.

Government and politics

Egypt is a unitary state with a semi-presidential system; Egypt is also a republic. The people of Egypt do not have many freedoms, but slowly rights are increasing and Egypt is becoming a democracy. In Egypt's executive branch there is a president as the chief of state, a prime minister heading the government, and a cabinet that was elected March 1, 2014. In the legislative branch there is a legislature and house of representatives. Egypt also has a judicial branch. There are two levels of court, highest courts and subordinate courts. All judges are chosen by the president and the Supreme Judiciary Council. On January 25, 2011 the Arab Spring occurred in Egypt. People marched along the street calling for an end to corruption, injustice, poor economic conditions, and the 30 year reign of their president Hosni Mubarak. In just 18 days street protests turned into a national revolution that eventually removed Mubarak and his National Democratic Party from power. Since the spring there have still been many problems with the government, and on January 25, 2015; the 4 year anniversary, 18 people were killed and many were injured or arrested while protesting. It's the most recent action of the democracy movement. Today the leader of the government is Mohammed Morsi and he was the first democratic Islamic leader.

Culture of Egypt

The population of Egypt is mostly made out of Egyptians and Arabs. In some places in Egypt there are also Berber and Nubian populations. For many centuries Arabic has been the official written and spoken language of Egypt. Arabic is used by both Muslim and Christian citizens. The majority of people in Egypt today are Sunni Muslims. Islam governs their social and political lives. The literacy rate for the total population is 73.9%. The literacy rate for females is 65.8% and the literacy rate for males is 81.7%. Many more males are able to read and write, however they are beginning provide more money so that girls can also go to school. Around 20-30% of Egypt's population live below poverty line, with little access to clean water, food, healthcare, and education. The life expectancy for people living in Egypt is about 71 years old. Many Egyptian artists today find a lot of inspiration from Ancient Egypt. Today hieroglyphs are a popular form of art to look at and re-create. Most Egyptian artists paint pictures of ancient temples and pyramids. The Egyptians are very athletic people and enjoy peaceful sports. Today football (soccer) is a very popular sport and Egypt has won many national titles. Many Olympic sports such as swimming, weightlifting, basketball, and volleyball are also encouraged. Hunting and fishing were a very popular pastimes for the rich; however these things were chores for the lower class. Many pastimes in Egypt are very competitive, such as boxing and wrestling. A very popular indoor game is senet, this means "passing". Senet is a board game played in ancient Egypt.

Natural resources and economy of Egypt

Egypt has a mixed economy; before the Arab Spring, Egypt did not have many freedoms. However in 2015 Egypt is letting go of some of these restrictions and giving citizens more freedom. It is now considered an emerging market economy. In order to import goods into Egypt you must pay a tariff. Over the years tariffs have been eliminated or reduced in different areas. Egypt does have voluntary trade but for some things it is not voluntary. Entrepreneurship is encouraged in Egypt, but in order to start a business you need money and money is scarce. There are many small businesses owned by private owners but they are small and not often successful. This is because it costs so much money. Natural resources in Egypt include oil, natural gas, minerals, papyrus plant, and the River Nile. As Egypt's population increases natural resources are becoming harder to provide and give, such as water. People are using and going through natural resources faster than they are able to be produced. However the government is working on finding other sources of resources.

Environmental Issues in Egypt

A major environmental issue in Egypt is pollution. There are unclean streets, polluted air, disease infested water, sewage, and excessive garbage. This can create many health problems in the country. Environmental issues are not at the forefront of people's mind in African countries, however they should be. Many of these countries need a functioning environment to support themselves and to stabilize their economy.