Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is indeed a continent with distinct people and nationalities. In this review of lifestyle culture of Africa: Egypt is our focus – the land of the Pharaohs!
Egypt was the home of one of the principal civilizations of the ancient Middle East. Like Mesopotamia, it was the site of one of the world’s earliest urban and literate societies. Pharaonic Egypt thrived for some 3,000 years under different native dynasties, with brief periods of foreign rule. It became part of the Roman Empire and later part of the Byzantine Empire, until its conquest by Arab Muslim armies in 639–642 CE.
The Nile River has been the lifeline of Egypt for much of human history. Egypt’s topography is dominated by the Nile. Its land frontiers border Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and Israel to the northeast. Its northern border is the Mediterranean sea, and in the east is the Red Sea.
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Culture and Lifestyle
The culture of Egypt has thousands of years of recorded history. Ancient Egypt was among the earliest civilizations in Middle East and Africa. Arabic is the formal and official language of the state which is used by the government and newspapers. Meanwhile the Egyptian Arabic dialect or Masri is the official spoken language of the people.
About 75% of Egypt’s population is Muslim, with a Sunni majority. About 22% of the population is Coptic Christian. The other religions and other forms of Christianity comprise the remaining three percent. Despite western influences, most Egyptians are very conservative with their dressing. So many women wear clothes that cover all parts of their bodies.
Lifestyles in the larger cities vary greatly from those of the countryside and are similar to patterns found in urban culture worldwide. Western manners and values have heavily influenced urban tastes in art, literature, cuisine, and other areas.
Throughout Egypt, the family remains the most important link in the social chain. In rural areas tribal identity is still strong, and great stock is put into blood relationships. Tribal affiliations are all but extinct in urban areas. The day-to-day navigation of state bureaucracy and business relationships in urban areas is facilitated by extensive patronage systems. This links the local family with far-reaching groups of relatives and friends. The population density of the inhabited area is such that the presence of people is obvious everywhere.
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Notable Facts About Egypt
The national food of Egypt is called fūl medames , consisting of slowly cooked broad beans and spices that is usually served with side dishes and bread. Also much loved are mulūkhiyyah and Kuftaha.
Egypt is one of the Arab world’s literary centres and has produced many of modern Arabic literature’s foremost writers. The Egyptian artists were one of the first major civilizations to codify design elements in art.
Egypt is predominantly desert. The northern region of Egypt is bounded by two deserts, the Arabian Desert and the Libyan Desert. Most of the country lies within the wide band of desert that stretches eastwards from Africa’s Atlantic Coast into southwest Asia.
Ancient Egypt divided their civilization into two parts: Upper and Lower Egypt. Upper Egypt referred to the Nile valley south of the delta. Meanwhile, Lower Egypt referred to the Nile delta, where the river flowed into the Mediterranean Sea.
The traditions of wedding rings go back to Ancient Egypt. To the Ancient Egyptians, wedding rings and their circular shape symbolized unending love between spouses. In Ancient Egypt, circles represented the concept of eternity. Eventually, the tradition of wedding rings passed on to the Greeks and Romans, which lasts until today.
Egyptian pyramids are actually tombs. Originally, the Ancient Egyptians built these pyramids as a final resting place for Egyptian royalty. To them, pyramids symbolize how light descends from the Sun to the Earth, the same way that a pyramid descends from its peak to the ground.
From this review of the lifestyle culture of Africa: EGYPT is indeed a land of many deserts and the Nile River. Wherever to go to in this vast country, you are sure to discover many beautiful things! Would you like to visit this land of ancient civilization? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.