Egypt explores the history, culture, and people of one of the most important countries in the Middle East. Made up mostly of barren deserts, Egypt occupies a strategically important position at the crossroads of Africa and Asia, marked by the Suez Canal. With fewer fossil-fuel resources than many of its Middle Eastern neighbors, Egypt is especially important in international politics. As the first Arab country to sign a treaty with Israel, Egypt risked many of its alliances for the sake of peace. The country was the home of one of the world's most advanced ancient cultures, and its heritage as the land of pyramids and hieroglyphics plays an important part in its thriving tourist industry. In the early twenty-first century, Egypt is struggling to make progress in its government at home, moving toward more open elections while also confronting problems with its environment and the threat of terrorism.
Egypt - An Overview 4 History 8 Landscape and Climate 14 Population and Settlements 18 Government and Politics 22 Energy and Resources 26 Economy and Income 30 Global Connections 34 Transportation and Communications 38 Education and Health 42 Culture and Religion 46 Leisure and Tourism 50 Environment and Conservation 54 Future Challenges 58 Time Line 60 Glossary 61 Further Information 62 Index 63 About the Author 64