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History of Egypt

The Arab Republic of Egypt with its capital in Cairo is located on the northeastern corner of Africa. This strategic location has made the country an important hub for trade.

The Nile river valley and delta was home to the world’s earliest urban and literate societies and its pharaonic history is well known. Alexander the Great conquered the region in 323 BCE making it part of the Hellenistic world. Later on it was controlled by the Romans and then by the Mamluks who ruled over Egypt from 1205 until the Ottomans took over 3 centuries later.

In 1798, Napoleon invaded but was defeated with the help of the British in 1801. The Ottoman commander Muhammed Ali then established an independent kingdom and introduced modernizing reforms which increased Egypt’s economic and military power.

However, the building of the Suez Canal during the 1860s brought Egypt close to bankruptcy and Britain invaded in 1882, putting the country under colonial administration.

The Free Officer’s Revolution, led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, overthrew the corrupt monarchy in 1952 which marked the beginning of the Arab Republic of Egypt. In 1954 the British forces withdrew but when Nasser nationalized the #SuezCanal two years later, they invaded again, accompanied by French and Israeli forces. Former vice president, Anwar Sadat, succeeded Nasser and reoriented Egypt towards the West. Sadat negotiated peace with Israel in the Camp David Accords but was assassinated by Islamic militants in 1981. Hosni Mubarak replaced him but resigned following the 2011 demonstrations leaving the military in control. In 2012 the military transferred power to the government but overthrew it again when demonstrations broke out against the elected president of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammed Morsi. A new constitution was adopted which banned religious parties and the former army chief Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi won presidential elections in 2014 and 2018. However, opponents in the elections had withdrawn before or were arrested. Currently, #Egypt is in dispute with Ethiopia over a mega dam on the blue #Nile and faces confrontation with Turkey in Libya.

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