Egyption History & Travel - 2010

Egypt from further plundering, theft, desecration, or exploitation. Indeed, he IS the modern Pharaoh of old Egypt.

There are 78,866,635 Egyptians living today on that narrow strip of land along the Nile and in the Nile delta, making Egypt the 16 th most populous nation in the world. It is estimated that during all the millennia of ancient Egypt no more than 1,000,000 people lived there at any one time. Today, Egypt is a young country with a median age of 24. Life expectancy is an average of 72 years with women outliving men by about 5 years. It is believed that life lasted no more than 40 years for most ancient Egyptians though there were some very long-lived Pharaohs like Pepi I, Amenhotep, and Ramses the Great, these men making it into their late 80s and early 90s! The ethnicity of most residents of this country is labeled Egyptian (99.6%) and the religion most practiced is Islam (somewhere between 85 and 90%) with the rest being Coptic Christians. National ID cards are required in Egypt and religion is a pertinent identifying label since Muslim men are not allowed to marry non-Muslims. The number of Jews remaining in Egypt was 55 during the time we visited; about 35 live in Alexandria and 20 in Cairo. Christians are not legally persecuted or discriminated against in this country where Islam is the state-supported religion. The literacy rate shows the second class citizenship accorded to Egypt's women: 83% per cent of men are considered literate but only 60% of women. A strange figure when considered against ancient Egypt's culture in which women had more rights than in any other group of people in the ancient world. Women could buy and sell property then, they could divorce their husbands, they could even study to be scribes so they were literate. And of course, in the royal class, women were very powerful as leaders, mothers, and regents, and at least one woman became Pharaoh in her own right and actually ruled as a woman, not a male impersonator (Hatshepsut, 5 th ruler in the 18 th Dynasty from 1479 to 1457). At least 20% of Egypt's citizens today live below the established poverty line and there is a huge divide between rich people and poor ones. There is only a very small middle class and 10% of the citizens control the vast amount of the country's riches, resources, land, and everything else. That may not be so different from ancient times when there were


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