Most people will have learned about the ancient Egyptian culture in school, with stories of the pyramids and pharaohs. This culture has had a huge impact on the rest of the world. Modern Egypt has been strongly influenced by the west, but it is also a very conservative Arab Muslim country.
History of Egypt
There is evidence of people living in this part of the world since at least 10,000 BC. The people here lived by fishing and by hunting and gathering. At some point around 8000 BC, the land in Egypt became far less fertile, and this forced the people to move closer to the Nile, leading to the creation of towns. King Menes created the first real Egyptian Kingdom in 3150 BC - this soon led to the rule of the country by pharaohs who were royal blood and often considered gods. From 100 AD to about 600 AD, the local population mostly converted to Christianity, but in the seventh century, Muslim raiders conquered the country.
Napoleon Bonaparte attempted to conquer Egypt in 1798 but ultimately failed, and in the end, control of the country fell into the hands of a mercenary unit known as the Albanians who were closely aligned with the Ottoman Turks. In 1923 Egypt created a parliamentary system for ruling the country, and in 1953 a Republic was formed. In 2011, a revolution managed to dispose the leader of Egypt. There was further unrest in 2012 involving clashes between those who wish to modernise Egypt and Islamists.
Language of Egypt
The official language of Egypt is Arabic. Most citizens are also able to speak at least some English, and many people are fluent in English. There are also about 300,000 speakers of Nubian languages.