Country of the World Egypt
About the country Egypt, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.
NATIONS AND THEIR RULER
Lay of the Land: Egypt is largely a dry, windswept desert in the northeast corner of Africa, but it also includes the Sinai Peninsula in Asia. There are four main regions: the Nile valley and delta, where almost 99% of the people live on 4% of the land--most living in flatroofed, sun-baked mud houses and farming the broad regions of the delta and the narrow depression following the 950-mi. course of the Nile through Egypt; the barren Western Desert, occupying two thirds of Egypt; the Eastern Desert, rising from the Nile Valley and becoming mountains along the Red Sea; and the Sinai Peninsula, a mountainous desert with few oases.
Size: 386,659 sq. mi. (1,001,450 sq. km.).
Population: 39.7 million.
Who Rules: With the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970, Anwar el-Sadat was nominated by the National Assembly to be president of the United Arab Republic. Despite the fact that Sadat received 90.4% of the popular vote in a referendum, few expected him to be a strong leader. Yet within a year he had squashed a coup, purged his rivals, and entrenched himself as popular leader. He renamed the legislature the People's Assembly and the country the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Who REALLY Rules: Sadat runs a one-man show, but he has eliminated the nastiest and most repressive practices of Nasser's regime. He enjoys the support of most of the people, the military, and the Arab Socialist Union, Egypt's only legal political party. His political opposition claims that his regime is stocked with opportunists and profiteers who are taking advantage of his economic liberalization measures. Indeed, a widening gap between rich and poor and ever worsening living conditions are straining his support among the masses.
Egypt is an overpopulated, impoverished land where over 90% of the people struggle along on a per capita income of $200 a year. Tens of thousands of squatters live in the mausoleums of the Islamic cemeteries on the fringes of Cairo, called the "cities of the dead." Yet there is also a conspicuous wealthy class in Cairo, who vacation at the "Pearl of the Mediterranean," Alexandria, with its 40 mi. of beach and seafood restaurants.
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