Famous and Interesting Facts About Egypt for Kids
- Ancient Egypt History
- Geography of Egypt
- Climate of Egypt
- Some World Famous Sights in Egypt
- Plants and Animals of Egypt
- People and Culture of Egypt
- Food and Drinks of Egyptians
- Government and Economy of Egypt
- Language and Religion of Egyptians
- Currency of Egypt
- Facts About Modern Egypt
- Other Fun Facts About Egypt for children
The Arab Republic of Egypt is quite a large country belonging to northern Africa. It is so large that the land area of Egypt is three times larger than USA/New Mexico. Egypt is interestingly placed on the world map. It is because Egypt is a transcontinental country. It spans two continents, namely Africa and Asia. A land bridge in Egypt connects the two continents, called the Sinai Peninsula. Continent-wise, this peninsula lies in Asia.
Egypt is a Mediterranean country since the Mediterranean Sea lies to its north. Its capital city is Cairo. Towards the northeast border lies Israel and Gaza Strip (Palestine). The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba lie to the east, Libya towards the west, and Sudan towards the south of it. Egypt’s longest border is shared with Sudan. The world’s longest river, the Nile, enters the Mediterranean Sea to the north of Cairo. The Nile has been of utmost importance to Egypt in the past. It won’t be wrong to say that Egypt would have been a desert without the Nile River. Let us now explore some more fascinating stuff about Egypt.
Ancient Egypt History
To begin with, let us first dive into the history of Egypt and learn some important facts that built this country the way it is today!
- Some 8000 years ago, hunters and fishermen were the first to live on River Nile’s bank. They used to grow crops and raise animals here, ultimately building towns and villages. To carry out trade with neighbors, they learned sailing. And hence a civilization was established by 3000 BC.
- The upper and lower kingdoms united around 3100 BC under a strong king, later called Pharaoh. The kings in this era built huge temples, pyramids, and other important monuments.
- By 1000 BC, Egypt split into small parts with the fall in the kingdom. The stronger neighbors attacked and won over the territory, and Romans took control in 31 BC.
- In AD 640, Muslims took control and founded Cairo, the capital.
- In the 16th century, Egypt came under Ottoman Turkish Empire.
- British took over Egypt in 1882 to command the popular trade route of the Suez Canal.
- Egypt won independence in 1952 and took back Suez Canal in 1956.
- Egypt and Israel made a peace pact by signing an agreement in 1979.
- The capital cities – Thenis, Memphis, Avaris, Tanis, Amarna, Sais, and Alexandria – were ancient Egypt’s most important cities. These capitals changed over time.
- In 2011, a widespread protest began regarding president Mubarak’s government again, and he resigned and left the capital city. Since then, many democratic elections have taken place, but the military holds a powerful position.
- Because of the Nile River, Egypt has been a powerful civilization in the past. The river provided food, water, soil, and transportation to the local people. Great floods each year would make the soil fertile for farming.
Geography of Egypt
We have briefly described the geography of this country in the introduction. Some astonishing facts about the geography of Egypt are:
- Egypt is generally divided into two sections; Lower Egypt is the northern part, and Upper Egypt is the southern part. These sections are called this way because the Nile River flows south to north.
- Southern Egypt has deserts and low mountains.
- Northern Egypt has deserts in the west and the east and wide valleys near the Nile River.
- The triangular Nile River Delta lies to the north of Cairo and is full of farms.
- The highest mountain is Mount Catherine and is situated on the Sinai Peninsula.
- Egypt’s landscape mostly contains deserts and a few oases, and Egypt has a part of the Libyan Desert and the Sahara Desert.
Climate of Egypt
After reading about the geography of Egypt, you must have already figured out that Egypt would be a dry and hot nation. Let us still know some more facts about the climatic conditions of Egypt:
- The country experiences a hot and dry climate. Rainfall happens during winter when you can expect a little snowfall on the mountain region of the Sinai Peninsula.
- The Libyan Desert and the Sahara Desert are a considerable part of Egypt. Dry and hot winds blow north from the Sahara Desert through Egypt to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. These are called khamsins. Khamsins produce sandstorms that last for a few days and sometimes destroy crops.
- The Sinai Peninsula is the least dry region of Egypt.
Some World Famous Sights in Egypt
The country has a glorious past and exquisite geography. And hence, it has some amazing landmarks which are worth knowing about like:
- Cairo: It is the capital and the largest city of Egypt and is home to many remarkable sights and locations. These include the Citadel, the Cairo Tower, and the Egyptian Museum. You can also explore many Islamic buildings like hammams, madrassas, and mosques. The most famous mosque of the city is Sultan Hassan Mosque.
- Alexandria: The second largest city of Egypt was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC and hence the name Alexandria. The lighthouse of Alexandria was once one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Other important sites in the city are the sphinx and the ancient Pompey’s Pillar.
- Giza: Giza holds the famous pyramid complex, and it is just a 13km drive from Cairo.
- Sharm El Sheik: It is the most famous tourist resort. The resort lies on the Red Sea and has some picturesque diving sites and blissful beaches.
- Whale Valley or Wadi Al-Hitan: This site is listed in the UNESCO world heritage site. It is because the fossils once found in this spot hold evidence about the evolution of whales.
- Thebes and Luxor: Thebes was once the capital city of Egypt, and the ancient ruins are found here in the city of Luxor. The popular Karnak Temple lies in the Thebes complex, and it contains reconstructed temples and buildings.
- Valley of the Kings: It lies near Luxor city. The site holds 64 tombs and chambers. In this location, the kings and the people of noble families during the New Kingdom were buried.
- Mount Sinai: In the local language, it is called the Jabal Musa and is located on the Sinai Peninsula, joining Asia and Africa.
Plants and Animals of Egypt
- The vegetation is quite variable throughout the country with the scarcity of rain.
- The coastal strip of Egypt contains rich vegetation, especially during the Spring season.
- You will find small desert plants, thorny shrubs, and herbs on parts of the Sinai Peninsula and the Eastern Desert.
- The only tree found throughout the country is the Acacia tree.
- Other common trees in Egypt are eucalyptuses, sycamores, and casuarinas.
- Since the Nile delta and valley has a good amount of water, you can find date palms here. Other water plants found here are reeds, lotus, and grasses, and grasses found are esparto and bamboo.
- Some extinct animals of the country are giraffes, hippopotamuses, ostriches, and sacred ibises.
- You can find crocodiles in the Nile River but only south of the Aswan Dam.
- Other widely found animals of the region are donkeys, camels, sheep, horses, goats, mongoose, jackals, hares, rodents, desert lynxes, gazelles, and desert foxes.
- An endangered species of the country is the Nubian ibex.
- Egypt is also known for its sea life. There are plenty of turtles, Dolphins, sharks, and rays found in the ocean waters. The ocean water holds more than 1200 species of fishes, out of which some fishes are exquisite and vibrant. The Red Sea has 300 species of corals.
- There are abundant kinds of birds in Egypt too. The famous ones are eagles, falcons, kites, hoopoes, egrets, and crows.
People and Culture of Egypt
What truly defines a country? It is the people and their culture that define a country. So, let us know the Egyptian culture and people a little better!
- 90% of Egyptians are Muslims. While remaining 10% are Copts which is the oldest branch of Christianity.
- The most populous country of the Middle East is Egypt. The most population lives along the bank of the River Nile. Few people live in oases in the desert as well.
- Most of the country’s population is Egyptian Arabs.
- The official language of Egypt is Arabic. However, many educated people converse in French and English as well.
- You will find great Arabic literature in Egypt.
- Dance and music play an important role in Egyptian culture, and belly dance is this country’s most famous dance form.
- Egypt has some internationally renowned museums which showcase the treasure of ancient Egypt. Some famous museums are the Coptic Museum, Egyptian Museum, and Museum of Modern Art.
- The most popular national sport is Football.
- You will generally find vegetarian food in Egypt because of the vegetation across the Nile River. Contrarily, the Egyptian coast and Alexandria are known for their seafood.
Food and Drinks of Egyptians
- Egyptian food mainly uses fruits and vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, okra, grapes, eggplants, and dates. It also uses spices like garlic, cumin, and coriander.
- Beans, rice, and other grains are widely cultivated and consumed in large quantities.
- Pita bread is served with almost all meals.
- The most popular meats in the country are lamb and chicken, but they are expensive.
- Seafood and fish dishes are found near the Nile River.
- Some famous Egyptian dishes are Dukkah, Eish Balad, Molokhia, Kofta, and Kushari.
Government and Economy of Egypt
It would be essential to know how does such a big economy run. So here it is:
- Egypt followed monarchy until 1952, and it became a republic after that. Then it became a democratic republic only in 2014.
- Egypt has 27 administrative units called governorates. Cairo, Port Said, Alexandria, Luxor, and Suez have governorate status. A governor heads each governorate, and the President appoints every governor.
- President is the head of state. They are elected for a 6-year term and can be re-elected one time.
- The cabinet ministers are appointed by the President, including the Prime Minister, the head of government.
Here are some Egypt economic facts:
- Egypt is one of the largest natural gas and oil producers in Africa. It exports petroleum and crude oil products, and some other exports include textiles and agricultural products like rice, corn, and wheat. Egypt produces high-quality cotton.
- The important trading partners of Egypt are China, the UK, the UAE, and the USA.
- The manufacturing industry also contributes to the economy. Egypt manufactures medicines, textiles, food products, garments, cement, paper products, and chemicals of many kinds.
- Water transportation plays a vital role in the economy.
- The tourism industry also contributes a good amount to the economy. Many visitors come to witness the country’s ancient history and monuments.
Language and Religion of Egyptians
- Arabic is the official language of Egypt.
- The languages brought by immigrants are Armenian, Greek, Italian, and African.
- Foreign languages taught in school are English, German, French and Italian.
- The largest Muslims population of the Arab world and the sixth-largest in the world lives in Egypt. Hence Islam is the state religion.
- The largest Christian population in North Africa and the Middle East lives in Egypt.
- In the past, religion was very crucial to the Egyptians. They had more than 2000 deities. One of the most astonishing facts about Egyptian gods is that they could turn into animals. The same animal could represent a different diety depending on the area, temple, and time frame. The most worshipped gods were Ra, Isis, Osiris, Horus, Seth, Sobek, Bastet, Thoth, and Kheper.
- The three religions recognized in Egypt are Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
Currency of Egypt
- The Egyptian Pound (E£) is the official currency of the country.
Facts About Modern Egypt
Following are the notable facts about modern-day Egypt:
- Capital: Cairo
- Name: Arab Republic of Egypt
- Language: Official is Arabic
- Government: Presidential Republic
- Literacy: 72% population over 15 years of age can read and write
- Currency: Egyptian Pound which is equal to 100 Piastres
- National Day: 23rd July
- Population: 104 million as of 2021
- National Symbols: White Lotus (national flower) and Golden eagle (national animal)
- National colors: White, red, and black
- National Anthem: “Bilady, Bilady, bilady”
Other Fun Facts About Egypt for children
- The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest pyramid of Egypt.
- Egypt invented our 365-day calendar.
- Cats were considered sacred in ancient Egypt.
- Both men and women wore makeup in Egypt. They thought makeup had healing powers, and since it is mainly hot and dry, they used makeup to protect them from the sun.
- Moldy bread was used to fight infections.
- The Pharaoh generally covered their hair.
- Ancient Egypt plays a significant role in the Bible. The people of Israel were kept captive in Egypt for years as slaves, and it was Moses who helped them escape and took them to the promised land.
- Many mathematicians and scientists belong to Egypt.
- Egyptians invented cosmetics, medicine, ways to construct buildings, plows for farming, toothpaste, and musical instruments.
- Egypt was the first civilization to invent writing.
Reading and knowing Egypt is altogether a different experience. You get that ancient-time vibe, along with how smart and intelligent people carved this country into a powerful civilization in the past and how people used the country’s resources wisely to build it into a country that stood out from the rest. We hope the facts collection helps your kids know Egypt in the best possible way!