General Country Information

The modern Arab Republic of Egypt was declared in 1952 after a coup d’état orchestrated by army officer Gamal Abd Al-Nasser.

The charismatic Nasser was succeeded by Anwar Sadat, who agreed to an unpopular peace treaty with Israel in 1978. As a result, Sadat was murdered in 1981.

Since then the country has been ruled by Hosni Mubarak, who was re-elected for a fifth consecutive term in 2005 in a typical single-candidate election. Mubarak’s leadership, and his apparent plan to groom his son to be his successor, is heavily contested, most notably by the grassroots Egyptian Movement for Change, known locally as Kifaya (Enough!), and the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood. In 2007 Mubarak won a referendum for some thirty-four constitutional amendments that allowed for the drafting of a new anti-terrorism law to replace the emergency legislation in place since 1981.

Egypt is widely regarded as an important political and cultural centre of the Middle East.

Egypt’s population is estimated at 77.5 million, 90 percent of which is Sunni Muslim. Egypt also has a significant population of Coptic Christians.

More general information is available at BBC Country Profile and at Wikipedia in both English and Arabic.

Official information can be found at the website of the Egypt State Information Service in Arabic, English, and French.