Skip to main content

Egypt Fast Facts

By CNN Library
October 11, 2014 -- Updated 2059 GMT (0459 HKT)

(CNN) -- Here's a look at Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab world. Egypt is located in North Africa and is bisected by the Nile River. It shares a border with Israel, Sudan and Libya. It also borders the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

About Egypt:
(from the CIA World Fact Book)
Area: 1,001,450 sq km (about three times the size of New Mexico)

Population: 86,895,099 (July 2014 est.)

Median age: 25.1 (2014 est.)

Capital: Cairo

Ethnic Groups: Egyptian 99.6%, other 0.4% (2006 census)

Religion: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%

GDP: $551.4 billion (2013 est.)

GDP per capita: $6,600 (2013 est.)

Unemployment: 13.4% (2013 est.)

Other Facts:
Egypt has been described as one of the world's great civilizations.

The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea through Egypt. Currently it is 193 miles long, 79 feet deep and 673 feet wide.

More than 90% of Egypt consists of desert.

Egypt achieved full independence from Great Britain in 1952.

Timeline:
3200 BC-332 BC - Ruled by a series of Egyptian dynasties.

332 BC-600s AD - Ruled by Greeks, Romans and Byzantines.

600s AD - The Arabic language and Islamic religion become dominant in Egypt.

1517 - Conquered by the Ottoman Turks.

1798-1801 - Briefly controlled by France.

1858 - La Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez (Universal Company of the Maritime Suez Canal) is formed to dig a canal and operate it for 99 years. The company is privately owned by French and Egyptian interests and would become totally Egyptian owned after 99 years.

April 25, 1859 - Suez Canal excavation begins.

November 17, 1869 - The Suez Canal, 103 miles long, 36 feet deep, able to accommodate single lane traffic, opens for navigation.

1875 - The British government buys Egypt's interest in the Suez Canal company.

1882 - To protect its investment in the Suez Canal, Great Britain takes control of Egypt's government.

1888 - The Convention of Constantinople opens the Suez Canal to ships of all nations in peace and war without discrimination.

February 28, 1922 - Egypt achieves partial independence from its status as a protectorate of the United Kingdom. The country becomes a constitutional monarchy.

1936 - The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 gives Great Britain authority to secure and defend the Suez Canal Zone.

May 14, 1948 - Israel declares statehood. The nations of Trans-Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria attack.

1952 - Egypt achieves full independence from Great Britain.

July 23, 1952 - Army officers, led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, overthrow the monarchy.

June 18, 1953 - Egypt declares itself a republic.

1954 - Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes the prime minister of Egypt.

1954 - Great Britain and Egypt sign a seven-year plan for British troop withdrawal from the canal zone.

June 18, 1956 - British troops withdraw from Egypt.

July 26, 1956 - Egypt nationalizes the canal to finance construction of the Aswan High Dam. This is the first time the canal is closed.

March 1957 - After much negotiation with Great Britain, France, the United States, NATO and the United Nations, the Suez Canal Authority reopens the canal.

1958-1961 - Egypt and Syria form the short-lived country of the United Arab Republic.

June 5-10, 1967 - The Six-Day War is fought between Israel and the Arab nations of Syria, Egypt and Jordan. Israel gains the territory of the Sinai Desert from Egypt.

1970 - The Aswan High Dam on the Nile river is completed at a cost of $1 billion.

September 28, 1970 - President Gamal Nasser dies of a heart attack. He is succeeded by his vice president, Anwar Sadat.

1971 - A new constitution is adopted. It defines Egypt as a democratic, socialist state with Islam as the official state religion.

October 6, 1973 - The Yom Kippur War begins when the Egyptian Air Force launches a daytime surprise attack on Israeli soldiers occupying the east bank of the Suez Canal. Within 20 minutes, the pilots reported 90% of their targets hit.

November 1977 - President Anwar Sadat flies to Israel and addresses the Knesset.

September 1978 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and U.S. President Jimmy Carter meet at Camp David to discuss a peace treaty.

March 26, 1979 - Egypt and Israel formally sign a peace treaty.

October 6, 1981 - During a Cairo military parade commemorating Egypt's victories in 1973, Anwar Sadat is assassinated by a group of Islamic fundamentalists.

October 6, 1981 - Hosni Mubarak assumes the presidency following the assassination of Anwar Sadat. Mubarak is officially sworn in on October 14, 1981. Mubarak is reelected in 1987, 1993, 1999 and 2005.

1990-1991 - Egypt takes a leading role in liberating Kuwait from Iraqi occupation during the first Gulf War.

November 1997 - More than 50 foreign tourists are killed by Islamic extremists in Luxor.

September 7, 2005 - Egypt holds its first multi-candidate presidential election. Hosni Mubarak is wins reelection with 88% of the vote.

January 25, 2011 - In the wake of a government overthrow in Tunisia, protests break out in Egypt. Thousands of people take to the streets to protest corruption and poverty in the country.

February 2011 - President Mubarak announces he will not run for re-election in September. Rioting in Cairo leaves many dead and hundreds wounded as pro and anti-government sides clash in Tahrir Square.

February 10, 2011 - President Mubarak announces he is delegating power to Vice President Omar Suleiman but remaining in office.

February 11, 2011 - Vice President Omar Suleiman announces that Hosni Mubarak has decided "to step down as president of Egypt and has assigned the Higher Council of the Armed Forces to run the affairs of the country."

February 13, 2011 - The Armed Forces Supreme Council dissolves Egypt's parliament and suspends the constitution, adding in plans to appoint a committee to propose constitutional changes to voters.

March 7, 2011 - Essam Sharaf is sworn in as the new prime minister, along with a new cabinet.

March 15, 2011 - Egypt's Interior Ministry dissolves the country's State Security Investigation Service, one of the targets of protests that overthrew Hosni Mubarak.

March 19, 2011 - Egyptians overwhelmingly approve a referendum to amend the constitution. The amendments proposed limiting the president to two four-year terms and putting a six-month limit on emergency laws.

May 19, 2011 - U.S. President Barack Obama announces $1 billion in debt forgiveness for Egypt, as well as $1 billion in loan guarantees to finance key infrastructure work and other projects.

November 25, 2011 - The former prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, Kamal Ganzouri, is asked to serve in that post again.

November 30-December 1, 2011 - The first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak are held.

December 7, 2011 - Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri is granted all presidential powers except control over the military and the judiciary.

December 14, 2011 - Part two of the three-part parliamentary election process begins. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party claim victory in the first round of voting over the Al Nour Party.

January 3, 2012 - The third round of voting for the lower house of parliament begins after Islamist parties performed strongly in the previous rounds.

January 21, 2012 - Two Islamist parties, the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, win about 70% of the seats in elections for the lower house of parliament, according to electoral commission figures.

January 23, 2012 - Egypt's lower house of parliament holds its first session since the uprising that forced former President Hosni Mubarak from power. Mohamed Katatni, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is elected speaker.

February 5, 2012 - 43 people face prosecution in an Egyptian criminal court on charges of illegal foreign funding as part of an ongoing crackdown on NGOs. The defendants include 16 Americans, five Serbs, two Germans, three Arabs and Egyptians. Among the American defendants is Sam LaHood, International Republican Institute country director and the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

May 23, 2012 - Two-day presidential election begins, with 11 candidates vying for the office. This is the first presidential election since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

May 26, 2012 - A runoff between Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik is the result of the two-day election.

June 2, 2012 - Former President Hosni Mubarak is convicted of ordering the killing of protesters in 2011. He is immediately sentenced to life in prison.

June 14, 2012 - The Egyptian parliament is declared invalid by the highest court in the land and is dissolved, and the military rulers take full legislative authority. A new constitution is promised within 24 hours, to be written by a 100-person assembly under the control of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Also, by the court's ruling, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik is permitted to run in the presidential election runoff this weekend.

June 16-17, 2012 - Runoff presidential election between Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik.

June 24, 2012 - The five-member Supreme Presidential Elections Commission announces the winner of the runoff election is Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy, the first freely elected president.

June 30, 2012 - Mohamed Morsy is sworn in as Egypt's first democratically elected president.

July 8-10,2012 - President Morsy and the Higher Constitutional Court go back and forth over the invalidation of parliament. In the end the current parliament remains invalid.

November 22, 2012 - President Morsy issues an order preventing any court from overturning his decisions. He also orders retrials and re-investigations in the deaths of protesters during the 2011 uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak.

November 29, 2012 - Egypt's constituent assembly passes all 234 articles of the new draft constitution.

December 2, 2012 - Egyptian judiciary issues a statement: "The judges of the Supreme Constitutional Court have no choice but to declare to the great Egyptian people that they are unable to perform their sacred mission in light of the current charged situation," after being blocked from entering the court by supporters of President Morsy. All court sessions have been indefinitely suspended.

December 8, 2012 - Morsy cancels most of a controversial decree that gave him sweeping powers. He reverses the section of the decree withdrawing judicial oversight from presidential decisions.

December 25, 2012 - The new Islamist-backed constitution is confirmed to have passed with 64% of the vote and 32.9% turnout of voters.

January 27, 2013 - President Morsy declares a 30-day nighttime curfew for the provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia, saying these areas are in a state of emergency.

June 2, 2013 - The upper house and legislative power of parliament, the Shura Council, is invalidated by the country's highest court. Once a lower house is elected, the Shura Council will be dissolved.

June 30, 2013 - On the first anniversary of President Morsy's election win there are protests in Tahrir Square, and around Egypt, demanding his ouster. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo is closed and the Obama administration urges Morsy to hold early elections.

July 1, 2013 - The Egyptian military tells the country's civilian government it has 48 hours, until the evening of July 3, 2013, to "meet the demands of the people" or it will step in to restore order. The ultimatum is not considered the declaration of a coup.

July 3, 2013 - President Mohamed Morsy is ousted in a military coup.

July 4, 2013 - Adly Mansour, head of the country's Supreme Constitutional Court, is sworn in as interim president in Cairo.

August 14-21, 2013 - Approximately 1,000 Egyptians die in protests against the military government.

October 9, 2013 - The Obama administration announces the suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Egypt over the bloody crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

November 24, 2013 - The Right to Protest law, which bans public gatherings of more than 10 people goes into effect; jail time or heavy fines are the consequences of breaking this law.

December 7, 2013 - 21 female protesters arrested under the Right to Protest Law in November are released. Seven minors were to be jailed until age 18. Their sentences are reduced to three months probation. The 14 adults, all sentenced to 11 years and one month, have sentences reduced to one year suspended sentences.

December 24, 2013 - Two explosions destroy an Interior Ministry building in the city of Mansoura, killing at least 12 and injuring more than 130.

January 18, 2014 - The Egypt Constitutional Committee announces the referendum for the new constitution has passed 98.1% to 1.9%, with an eligible voter turnout of 38.6%. Government opponents are believed to boycotted the vote.

January 25, 2014 - Egyptian media reports at least 49 people were killed and 247 wounded in violence marking the third anniversary of the start of the revolution in Egypt.

February 24, 2014 - The military-backed government headed by Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi resigns.

March 24, 2014 - According to the official MENA news agency, an Egyptian court sentences 528 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges related to violent riots in the city of Minya last August.

March 26, 2014 - Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt's army chief, announces his resignation and declares his candidacy in the national elections.

June 3, 2014 - Abdel Fattah el-Sisi officially wins the presidential election with more than 96% of the vote. Elections were held May 26-28.

July 5, 2014 - Mohammed Badie, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and 36 others receive life sentences for inciting violence. The death penalty which had been handed down for ten additional defendants is upheld on review by the Grand Mufti.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT