Facts For Kids- Egypt
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Egypt

Although Egypt is located in Northeastern Africa, it is often associated with Middle Eastern countries.  This is because Egyptian religion and culture is much more like the Middle East than it is like Africa.

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Egypt's People
Life in modern Egypt is both modern and traditional.  In the big cities, such as Cairo, you will see people wearing jeans and sneakers as well as more traditional dress. Clothing in Egypt is generally conservative because followers of Islam obey rules that require shoulders and knees of all people to be covered.  Traditional dress for men is a galabayya.  It is a long, cotton robe.  In traditional dress, women wear a black dress over their house clothes when going out in public.   They also wear a veil that covers their head and face.

The major religion of Egypt is Islam and people who practice this religion are called Muslims.  Muslim people are usually very traditional in their lives and beliefs. 

At one time, camels were the main way that people traveled in Egypt.   People still ride camels, but more often for sport and fun than for transportation.  The most common forms of transportation are trains, buses, and automobiles.

Egypt's Homes
Egyptian homes are also found in both modern and traditional styles.  In the cities, modern homes exist near businesses built of steel and glass.  Villages are often populated with homes made of mud and brick.  Other traditional people may live in goatskin tents.

Egypt's Culture
Egypt is one of the oldest known cultures in the world, dating back at least 51,000 years.  The history and ruins of ancient Egypt draw many tourists to visit this country.  Ancient Egypt was ruled by a person called a Pharaoh.  Many Pharaohs were buried in pyramids that tourists can still see today in Egypt.  Another attraction that is special to Egypt is the Great Sphinx of Giza.  It is the largest   statue to survive from ancient times.  It has the head of a man and the body of a lion.

Ancient Egyptians developed the world's first government and found ways to write information down and do mathematics.    Hieroglyphics are a form of ancient writing.  Egyptians also invented papyrus, an ancient form of paper, that was made from a reed plant that grew along the Nile River.

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Egypt's Foods
Bread is served at most every meal in Egypt.  Bread is usually made from corn, barley, or rice instead of wheat.  Rice, couscous, beans, and fruits are also served.  Egyptian people do not eat much meat, milk, or dairy foods.   When meat is eaten, it is usually beef, lamb, goat, or rabbit.
Egypt's Activities
Swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving are popular activities at the many beaches along the Mediterranean and Red Sea.

Camels, donkey, rodents, and bats are some of the few mammals that live in Egypt.  Egypt is also home to over 30 varieties of snakes, including the venemous cobra.

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Egypt's Holidays and Celebrations 
Eid al-Adha is a religious practice that takes place around February.  At this time, Muslims in Egypt make a pilgrimage (called haj) to Mecca.  Each Muslim is expected to make a pilgrimage once in their lifetime.  Each village celebrates as people pass through.  The streets are decorated and children wear their best clothes.
Egypt's Land
Most of Egypt is covered by the Sahara Desert and the country gets little rainfall.   There is one major river called the Nile River.  Some people have referred to Egypt as the gift of the Nile.  That is because the Nile River is so important to the people who live in Egypt.  If the Nile was not there, then people would not be able to survive in the dry, sandy desert climate.  About 99% of Egypt's population lives near the Nile River.

The Nile river flows through Egypt and provides water to this desert land.  Many people live on or near the Nile.  Boats use the Nile to transport people and goods to other areas.

Egypt's Cities
Luxor is a town in central Egypt.  It attracts many tourists because it contains the ruins of this great temple.

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Egypt's Facts:
Area: 386,900 sq. mi.
Capital City: Cairo
Population: 69 million
Main Language: Arabic
Currency: Egyptian pound
Industries: textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, petroleum, construction, cement, metals




References:
All images from Microsoft Office Clip Art and Gallery licensed through Microsoft Front Page and Microsoft.
Map images from Lonely Planet, http://www.lonelyplanet.com

Graham, Leland and Brandon, Traci.  A Trip Around the World.   North Carolina: Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company,  1996.
Graham, Leland and Brandon, Traci.  Another Trip Around the World.   North Carolina: Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company,  1996.
Adams, Ganeri, and Kay.  The DK Geography of the World.  New York: DK Publishing,  1996.

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