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08 Egypt

EGYPT
Arab Republic of Egypt جمهورية مصر العربية Gumhūriyyat Miṣr al-ʿArabiyyah

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Thereby, Egypt is a transcontinental country, and is considered to be a major power in North Africa, Mediterranean Region, African continent, Nile Basin, Islamic World and the Red Sea. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west. See also: Egypt (Lonely Planet), Official Tourism Site, Useful Arabic Phrases 1, Useful Arabic Phrases 2.

The BEDOUIN (from the Arabic badawī (بدوي), pl. badū), are a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group (previously nomadic, currently mostly settled) found throughout most of the desert belt extending from the Atlantic coast of the Sahara via the Western Desert, Sinai, and Negev to the Arabian Desert. Non-Arab groups, notably the Beja of the African coast of the Red Sea, are sometimes referred to as Bedouin as well.

CAIRO (Arabic: القاهرة‎ al-Qāhira literally “The Victorious”) is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in North Africa and the Middle East as well as one of the most densely-populated cities in the world. Nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a center of the region’s political and cultural life. Even before Cairo was established in the tenth century, the land composing the present-day city was the site of national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo is also associated with Ancient Egypt due to its proximity to the Great Sphinx and the pyramids in adjacent Giza. See also: Ancient Egypt, The Egyptian Museum, King Tutankhamun, Great Sphinx of Giza, Egyptian pyramids.

HURGHADA (Arabic: Al Ghardaqah, الغردقة) is a city in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt. It is a tourist center located on the Red Sea coast.

The city was founded in the early 20th century, and since the 1980s has been continually enlarged by Egyptian and foreign investors to become the leading seashore resort on the Red Sea. Holiday villages and hotels provide aquatic sport facilities for sailboarders, yachtsmen, scuba divers and snorkelers.

Hurghada stretches for about 36 kilometres (22 mi) along the seashore, and it does not reach far into the surrounding desert. The resort is a destination for Egyptian tourists from Cairo, the Delta and Upper Egypt, as well as package holiday tourists from Europe, notably Italians, Russians, Czechs and Germans. Until a few years ago it was a small fishing village. Today Hurghada counts 248,000 inhabitants and is divided into three parts: Downtown (El Dahar) is the old part; Sekalla is the city center, and El Memsha (Village road) is the modern part. Sakkala is the relatively modest hotel quarter. Dahar is where the town’s largest bazaar, the post office and the long-distance bus station are situated. See also: Mannai Tours excursions (example of available tours with prices from Hurghada).

The Grand Hotel (Hurghada)

The Grand Resort Hotel

A Souq (Arabic: سوق, also souk, suk, sooq, souq, or suq; technical transliteration sūq is a commercial quarter in an Arab or Berber city. The term is often used to designate the market in any Arabized or Muslim city. It may also refer to the weekly market in some smaller towns where neutrality from tribal conflicts would be declared to permit the exchange of surplus goods. In Modern Standard Arabic the term refers to markets in both the physical sense and the abstract economic sense (e.g., an Arab would speak of the souq in the old city as well as the souq for oil, and would call the concept of the free market السوق الحرّ al-sūq al-ḥurr).

LUXOR (Arabic: الأقصر al-Uqṣur) is a city in Upper (southern) Egypt and the capital of Luxor Governorate. The population numbers 376,022 (1999 survey), with an area of approximately 416 square kilometres (161 sq mi). As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor has frequently been characterized as the “world’s greatest open air museum”, as the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor stand within the modern city. Immediately opposite, across the Nile River, lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Thousands of international tourists arrive annually to visit these monuments, contributing a large part towards the economy for the modern city. 

The Karnak Temple Complex-usually called simply Karnak-comprises a vast conglomeration of ruined temples, chapels, pylons and other buildings, notably the Great Temple of Amen and a massive structure begun by Pharaoh Amenhotep III (ca. 1391-1351 BC). It is located near Luxor, some 500 km south of Cairo, in Egypt. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut (“The Most Selected of Places”) and the main place of worship of the Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex takes its name from the nearby (and partly surrounded) modern village of el-Karnak, some 2.5 km north of Luxor. See also: Colossi of Memnon.

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