Egypt

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About

Citadel

  • Egypt is located in north-eastern Africa
  • Egypt also extends into Asia through the area of the Sinai Peninsula.
  • The capital of Egypt is Cairo and the city holds the feature of being the largest city in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Egypt is bordered by Israel, Jordan, Sudan and Libya.
  • The country is surrounded by the Mediterranean and Red Seas
  • The country is known as ‘Misr’ or ‘Masr’ in the local language.
  • Egypt is spread over an area of approximately 995,450 sq km, which comprises mainly of desert and desert like areas.
  • The main language of Egypt is Egyptian Arabic, with English and French also spoken there. Travelers are unlikely to encounter difficulties finding someone who speaks English, especially in tourist centers.
  • Egypt is best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and pyramids.
  • Less well-known is Egypt’s medieval heritage, including ancient churches, monasteries and mosques.

 

HISTORY

  • A unified kingdom arose around 3200 B.C. and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia.
  • The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines.
  • It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries.
  • Britain seized control of Egypt’s government in 1882
  • Moderately independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt gained full power following World War II.


FACTS

    Sphinx, Giza

    • A large number of household objects were invented or used by the ancient Egyptians, including lock and keys, combs, scissors, wigs, makeup, deodorants, toothbrush and toothpaste.
    • Ancient Egyptians used cosmetics as far back as 5,000 years ago. However, it was meant to protect the skin from sunlight, and not for beauty care.
    • Egyptian architect Imhotep, who lived almost 5,000 years ago, is the earliest scientist to be known by name today.
    • Egyptians invented the art of painting on plaster. Even cement was first used by them only.
    • Ancient Egyptians used to play a game, using large stones set up as pins and small stones as a ball, which was quite similar to the bowling we do today.
    • Egyptians were among the very first people to invent writing, along with ink and paper.
    • Pharaoh Pepi II of Egypt is known for having the longest reign as a monarch, which lasted from around 2294 BC to about 2220 BC.
    • Senet, a game played in ancient Egypt, is one of the oldest known board games of the world.
    • The earliest known wine cellars have been discovered in Egypt.
    • The earliest will was prepared by Nek’ure, the son of the Egyptian Pharaoh Khafre, who died in circa 2601 BC.
    • The pyramids of Egypt are the last remaining ancient wonder of the world. They have been given an ‘honorary status’ in the list of the new ‘Wonders of the World’.
    • In ancient Egypt, women could participate in business ventures, own land, represent themselves in court and even become doctors.
    • Egyptians have been known to have invented the 365 days calendar and the 24-hour division of the day.

Avg. Costs

Beach in Alexandria

  • You rarely have to pay more than US 35 for a three-course meal
  • Egyptian national dish – Foul sandwiches, fava beans wrapped in pita bread – It usually cost around 3-6 US dollars
  • Scoop of ice cream – 3 EGP
  • Meal at fast food restaurant – 40 EGP
  • Fancy meal at restaurant – 150 EGP
  • Camel ride – 100 EGP
  • Pyramid visit/tour – Giza 60, Khufu 100, Khafree 20, Great Pyramid 100 EGP (charge extra for cameras)

 

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Pyramids

  • Egypt is generally a safe and friendly country to travel.
  • Egyptians on the whole are very friendly – if you are in need of assistance they will generally try to help you as much as they are able.
  • Egyptian men will make compliments to women; do not take offense if they do this to you.
  • Pick pocketing is a problem in Egypt’s bigger cities, particularly Cairo. Many locals opt not to carry wallets at all, instead keeping their money in a clip in their pocket.
  • On the upside, violent crime is rare, and you are highly unlikely to be physically mugged or robbed.
  • It is recommended to demand prices for absolutely everything beforehand to avoid a vicious argument.

 

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Climate

Red Sea

  • Generally in Egypt, the summers are hot and dry and the winters, moderate.
  • November through March are definitely the most comfortable months for travel in Egypt.
  • The climate, however, does vary a little bit depending on where you are in the country.
  • The north coast along the Mediterranean Sea receives some of the heaviest rain in the country during winter months.
  • Thunderstorms along with heavy rain showers that often last several hours are not uncommon here, as well as in Alexandria, Marsa Matruh and all other coastal areas.
  • In some years the rainstorms can last for a whole day or so, though the rain tends to be less heavy.
  • Hail is also not uncommon, especially out in the desert where the weather is usually colder and allows for ice to fall and even frost to form on non-rainy days.
  • In the Sinai Mountains and also the Red Sea mountains, there is generally more rain as rain clouds tend to develop when warm air evaporates and rises as it moves across higher terrain.
  • Floods in these areas are common as so much rain can fall in a very short amount of time.
  • In higher elevations such as on top of the Sinai Mountains, temperatures can drop much more than the surrounding areas, allowing for snowfall in winter months.
  • December and January are usually the coldest months of the year, although it is normally warmer the further south you go and within the bigger cities.
  • Visitors should be aware that most houses and apartments in Cairo and Egypt do not have central heating like countries with colder climates as the main weather concern in Egypt is the heat.

Places to See

Sea Resort

Abu Simbel Temples

  • One of the most famous ancient Egyptian sites
  • The two temples of Abu Simbel were carved out of sandstone cliffs high above the River Nile in 1257 BC, under the orders of Pharaoh Ramses II (1304-1237 BC).

 

 

 

Pyramids of Giza

  • Located in Cairo
  • One of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the Pyramids of Giza are Egypt’s prime tourist attraction.
  • The oldest, the Great Pyramid of Cheops, was completed in around 2600 BC, and is Egypt’s largest at 136m (448t) high.
  • Around 2.5 million limestone blocks were used to house the sarcophagus of King Cheops.
  • Nearby are three smaller pyramids built for the queens
  • The Sphinx guards the entire site, thought to be some 2,600 years older than the pyramids themselves.

View Map

 

 

 

Egyptian Museum of Antiquities

  • With more than 120,000 artifacts spanning Egyptian history from the earliest dynasties to the Roman era, the museum represents the world’s largest collection of its kind. Take around three to four hours to see the highlights, and another half day if possible.  The Royal Mummy Room houses the corpses of 11 of Egypt’s pharaohs.

 

 

 

Hurghada Beaches

  • Hurghada claims the prize of being the first commercial dive base in the Red Sea
  • Once an isolated and modest fishing village, it’s now a thriving tourist resort devoted entirely to diving and snorkelling enthusiasts.
  • It has more than 40km (25 miles) of hotels along the beach
  • The resort is now home to more than 60,000 people and hundreds of hotels.

 

 

 

Mount Sinai

  • For centuries, pilgrims of different denominations have been making the journey up historic Mount Sinai to witness the sunrise across the desert landscape.
  • The three-hour trek is breathtaking, but if it sounds too ambitious, stay overnight at St Catherine Monastery, hire a camel and walk down in leisure.

View Map

Etiquette

Country Customary Information:
• Cash, credit cards and gold over the value of EGP500.00 must be declared

Communication Etiquette:
• Greetings are based on class and religion of a person
– Best to follow the lead of the Egyptian
– Handshakes are customary among the same sex
– Women must extend her hand first
• Social class is the determinant of your access and power in society
– Upper, middle, lower
• Eat with right hand only
– Salting your food is considered an insult

Business Etiquette:
• They prefer to do business with people they know and respect
– Expect time spent to build this relationship
– Who you know is far more important than what you know
• Appointments are necessary
– Always reconfirm a few days in advance
• The judge based on your appearance
– Men – formal and conservative, dark suits, lightweight
– Avoid visible jewelry
– Women – be careful to cover yourself appropriately, skits and dresses must cover sleeves and knees
• Business cards are exchanged, without any formal ritual
– Treat it with respect – and read before putting it in your case

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