EGYPTIAN Facts & Figures

Size: 387,048 square miles

Population: 81,015,887

Capital:  Cairo

Currency: Egyptian Pound

Weather / Climate:

Most of Egypt's rain falls in the winter months. South of Cairo, rainfall averages only around 2 to 5 mm (0.1 to 0.2 in) per year and at intervals of many years. On a very thin strip of the northern coast the rainfall can be as high as 410 mm (16.1 in), mostly between October and March. Snow falls on Sinai's mountains and some of the north coastal cities such as Damietta, Baltim, Sidi Barrany, etc. and rarely in Alexandria. Frost is also known in mid-Sinai and mid-Egypt.

Temperatures average between 80 °F (27 °C) and 90 °F (32 °C) in summer, and up to 109 °F (43 °C) on the Red Sea coast. Winter temperatures average between 55 °F (13 °C) and 70 °F (21 °C). A steady wind from the northwest helps lower temperatures near the Mediterranean coast. The Khamaseen is a wind that blows from the south in spring, bringing sand and dust, and sometimes raises the temperature in the desert to more than 100 °F (38 °C).

Prior to the construction of the Aswan Dam, the Nile flooded annually (colloquially The Gift of the Nile) replenishing Egypt's soil. This gave the country consistent harvest throughout the years.

The potential rise in sea levels due to global warming could threaten Egypt's densely populated coastal strip and have grave consequences for the country's economy, agriculture and industry. Combined with growing demographic pressures, a significant rise in sea levels could turn millions of Egyptians into environmental refugees by the end of the century, according to some climate experts.

Taken from wikipedia

EGYPTIAN languages

Official language

The official language of Egypt is the literary Arabic and is used in most written media. Egyptian Arabic is the commonly spoken language, and is occasionally written in Arabic script or Latin script. English, French, and Germanare also widely spoken and used in business and educated circles.

Arabic languages

Arabic came to Egypt in the 7th century, and Egyptian Arabic has become the modern spoken language of the Egyptians. Of the many varieties of Arabic, Egyptian Arabic is the most widely understood first dialect in the Middle East-North Africa, probably due to the influence of Egyptian cinema throughout the Arabic-speaking world.

A Bedouin Arab minority speaks a variety of Bedouin Arabic mostly in the Sinai Peninsula. Sudanese Arabic is also spoken by the Sudanese minority.

Nubian languages

In the Upper Nile Valley, around Kom Ombo and Aswan, there are about 300,000 speakers of Nubian languages, mainly Nobiin, but also Kenuzi-Dongola.

Historical languages

The Egyptian languages (also known as Copto-Egyptian) consist of ancient Egyptian and Coptic, and form a separate branch among the family of Afro-Asiatic languages. The Egyptian language is among the first written languages, and is known from hieroglyphic inscriptions preserved on monuments and sheets of papyrus. The Coptic language, the only extant descendant of Egyptian, is today the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The "Koiné" dialect of the Greek language was important in Hellenistic Alexandria, and was used in the philosophy and science of that culture, and was also studied by later Arabic scholars.

Immigrant languages

There are also about 42,000 (2004) speakers of Modern Greek in Alexandria, and a comparable number of Armenian speakers, mostly in Cairo, and there are also around 7,500 speakers of Italian between Alexandria and Cairo

Other languages

Approximately 77,000 speakers of Beja live in the Eastern Desert and along the coast of the Red Sea.

Some 234,000 (2004) Dom speak the Domari language (an Indo-Aryan language related to Romany) and are concentrated north of Cairo and in Luxor.

The Berber languages are represented by Siwi, spoken by about 5,000 in the Siwa Oasis.

Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Egypt

EGYPTIAN people

Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East and the third-most populous on the African continent (after Nigeria and Ethiopia). Nearly 100% of the country's 80,810,912[1] (2011 est.) people live in three major regions of the country: Cairo and Alexandria and elsewhere along the banks of the Nile; throughout the Nile delta, which fans out north of Cairo; and along the Suez Canal. These regions are among the world's most densely populated, containing an average of over 3,820 persons per square mile (1,540 per km².), as compared to 181 persons per sq. mi. for the country as a whole.

Small communities spread throughout the desert regions of Egypt are clustered around oases and historic trade and transportation routes. The government has tried with mixed success to encourage migration to newly irrigated land reclaimed from the desert. However, the proportion of the population living in rural areas has continued to decrease as people move to the cities in search of employment and a higher standard of living.

According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics and other proponents of demographic structural approach (cliodynamics), the basic problem Egypt has is unemployment driven by a demographic youth bulge: with the number of new people entering the job force at about 4% a year, unemployment in Egypt is almost 10 times as high for college graduates as it is for people who have gone through elementary school, particularly educated urban youth, who are precisely those people that were seen out in the streets during 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Egypthas a population of 82,999,393 (APR 2011).[5] According to the OECD/World Bank statistics population growth in Egypt from 1990 to 2008 was 23.7 million and 41 %.[4]

According to the International Organization for Migration, an estimated 2.7 million Egyptians live abroad and contribute actively to the development of their country through remittances (US$ 7.8 in 2009), circulation of human and social capital, as well as investment. Approximately 70% of Egyptian migrants live in Arab countries (923,600 in Saudi Arabia, 332,600 in Libya, 226,850 in Jordan, 190,550 in Kuwait with the rest elsewhere in the region) and the remaining 30 % are living mostly North America (318,000 in the United States, 110,000 in Canada) and Europe (90,000 in Italy).[6]

The vast majority of the population of Egypt consists of ethnic Egyptians (99.6% according to the CIA Fact-book, 76.4 million(2007est)according to Al-Ahram Weekly). The vast majority of Egyptians are native speakers of modern Egyptian Arabic (Masri). According to the CIA World Factbook, approximately 91% of the population is Muslim and 9% is Christian (8% Coptic Orthodox, 1% other Christian).

Ethnic minorities in Egypt include the Bedouin Arab tribes of the Sinai Peninsula and the eastern desert, the Berber-speaking community of the Siwa Oasis and the Nubian people clustered along the Nile in the southernmost part of Egypt. There are also sizable minorities of Beja and Dom.

The country was host to many different communities during the colonial period, including Greeks, Italians, Syrians, Jews and Armenians, though most either left or were compelled to leave after political developments in the 1950s. The country still hosts some 90,000 refugees and asylum seekers, mostly Palestinians and Sudanese.

Taken from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Egypt

EGYPTIAN food

Egyptian cuisine makes heavy use of legumes and vegetables, as Egypt's rich Nile Valley and Delta produce large quantities of high-quality crops.

Egyptian cuisine's history goes back to Ancient Egypt. Archaeological excavations have found that workers on the Great Pyramids of Giza were paid in bread, beer, and onions, apparently their customary diet as peasants in the Egyptian countryside. Dental analysis of occasional desiccated loaves found in tombs confirm this, in addition to indicating that ancient Egyptian bread was made with flour from emmer wheat. Though beer disappeared as a mainstay of Egyptian life following the Muslim conquest of Egypt in the year 654,onions remain the primary vegetable for flavoring and nutrition in Egyptian food. Beans were also a primary source of protein for the mass of the Egyptian populace, as they remain today.

Egyptian cuisine is notably conducive to vegetarian diets, as it relies heavily on vegetable dishes. Though food in Alexandria and the coasts of Egypt tends to use a great deal of fish and other seafood, for the most part Egyptian cuisine is based on foods that grow out of the ground. Meat has been very expensive for most Egyptians throughout history, and a great deal of vegetarian dishes have developed to work around this economic reality.

Bread

Bread forms the backbone of Egyptian cuisine. Bread is consumed at almost all Egyptian meals; a working-class or rural Egyptian meal might consist of little more than bread and beans. The local bread is a form of hearty, thick, glutenouspita bread called Eish Masri or Eish Balad . In modern Egypt, the government subsidizes bread, dating back to a Nasser-era policy. In 2008, a major food crisis caused ever-longer bread lines at government-subsidized bakeries where there would normally be none; occasional fights broke out over bread, leading to fear of rioting.[2] Egyptian dissidents and outside observers of the former National Democratic Party regime frequently criticized the bread subsidy as an attempt to buy off the Egyptian urban working classes in order to encourage acceptance of the authoritarian system; nevertheless, the subsidy has continued after the 2011 Revolution.

On a culinary level, bread is most commonly used as an edible utensil besides providing the carbohydrate and much of the protein in the Egyptian diet. Egyptians use bread to scoop up food, sauces, and dips and to wrap kebabs, falafel, and the like in the manner of sandwiches. Most pita breads are baked at high temperatures (450°F or 232°C), causing the flattened rounds of dough to puff up dramatically. When removed from the oven, the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, which allows the bread to be opened into pockets, creating a space for use in various dishes.

Aish Merahraheis an Egyptian flat bread made with 5-10% ground fenugreek seeds and maize. It is part of the traditional diet of the Egyptian countryside, prepared locally in village homes. The loaves are flat and wide, and usually about 50 cm in diameter. The bread is made of maize flour that has been made into a soft dough that is fermented overnight with a sourdough starter, shaped into round loaves that are then allowed to rise or "proof" for 30 minutes before being flattened into round disks, which are then baked. They can be kept for days in an airtight container. The addition of fenugreek seeds increases the protein content, storage length and digestibility of the bread; on the other hand, it causes the eater to exude a distinctive odor in his or her sweat, which is occasionally mocked by more urban Egyptians.

Egyptian cuisine is characterized by dishes such as Ful Medames, Koshari, rice-stuffed pigeon, 'Molokheyya, and Fetir Meshaltet. Egyptian cuisine also shares similarities with food of the Eastern Mediterranean region, such as rice-stuffed vegetables, grape leaves, Shawerma, Kebab, Falafel, Baba Ghannoug, and baklava Some Egyptians consider Koshari - a mixture of rice, lentils, and macaroni - to be the national dish.

In addition, Ful Medames (mashed fava beans) is one of the most popular dishes. Fava bean is also used in making falafel (also known as "ta`meyya"), which originated in Egypt and spread to other parts of the Middle East.

Ancient Egyptians are known to have used a lot of garlic and onion in their everyday dishes. Fresh mashed garlic with other herbs is used in spicy tomato salad and is also stuffed in boiled or baked aubergines (eggplant). Garlic fried with coriander is added to Mulukhiyya , a popular green soup made from finely chopped jute leaves, sometimes with chicken or rabbit. Fried onions can be also added to Koshari.

Egyptian desserts are not so different from other Eastern Mediterranean desserts. Basbousa, sometimes called Harissa (in Morocco and Alexandria), is a spicy dish made from semolina and is soaked in a sugar syrup. It is usually topped with almonds and traditionally cut vertically into pieces so that each piece resembles a diamond shape. Baklava is a sweet dish made from many layers of phyllo pastry, an assortment of nuts, and soaked in a sweet syrup. Eish el-Saraya[4]Fatir are pancakes (filo dough) stuffed with everything from eggs to apricots or fruit of choice. Polvorón  is a common dish in all of North Africa. It is a sweet dish similar to kahk but much thinner. It is like shortbread and is usually topped with roasted almonds.

Kahk is a traditional sweet dish served most commonly during Breakfast Feast in Egypt. It is a shortbread biscuit covered with icing sugar, which may be stuffed with dates, walnuts, or agameya  (like Turkish-delight) or just served plain. Kunafah  is a dish of batter "fingers" fried on a hot grill and stuffed with nuts (usually pistachios), meats, heavy whipped cream or sweets. Luqmat al-Qadi  literally translates to "The Judge's Bite". They are small, round donuts which are crunchy on the outside and soft and syrupy on the inside. They may be served with dusted cinnamon and powdered sugar. Qatayef  is a dessert reserved for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, a sort of sweet crêpe filled with cheese or nuts. Roz be laban is made with short grain white rice, full-cream milk, sugar, and vanilla. It may be served dusted with cinnamon. Umm Ali , a national dish of Egypt, is a raisin cake soaked in milk and served hot.

Other desserts include:

  • Feteer meshaltet[5]
  • Couscous Egyptian style.
  • Halawa
  • Honey and coconut pie.
  • Ladida
  • Malban
  • Mehalabeyya
  • Melabbes

Cakes

Traditional apple cakes are seasoned with various spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon, which provide additional flavour. Upon the addition of spices the batter can also be accompanied by crushed nuts, the most popular being walnuts and almonds. Sponge cake is a cake based on flour (usually wheat flour), sugar, and eggs, sometimes leavened with baking powder, that derives its structure from an egg foam into which the other ingredients are folded Vanilla slice , from French: Mille-feuille) is a pastry made of several layers of puff pastry alternating with a sweet filling, typically pastry cream, but sometimes whipped cream, or jam. It is usually glazed with icing or fondant in alternating white and brown (chocolate) strips, and combed.

Religious varieties

Although Ramadan is a month of fasting for Muslims in Egypt, it is usually when Egyptians pay a lot of attention to food in variety and richness, since breaking the fast is a family affair, often with entire extended families meeting at the table just after sunset. There are several special desserts almost exclusive to Ramadan such as Kunafah and Qatayef. In this month, many Egyptians will make a special table for the poor or passers-by, usually in a tent in the street, called Ma'edet Rahman which translates literally as Table of (God) the Gracious (Merciful). These may be fairly simple or quite lavish, depending on the wealth and ostentation of the provider (dancer and actress Fifi Abdou's Ma'edah is famous for its unusual richness to the point where jokes about it are common).

Observant Copts (Egypt's Oriental OrthodoxChristian population) observe fasting periods according to the Coptic Calendar that practically extend to more than two-thirds of the year. The Coptic diet for fasting is essentially vegan. During this fasting, Copts will usually eat vegetables and legumes fried in oil as they avoid meat, chicken, and dairy products including butter.

Beverages

Tea  is the national drink in Egypt, followed only distantly by Egyptian or Turkish coffee. Egyptian tea is uniformly black and sweet, usually not served with milk, and generally in a glass. Tea packed and sold in Egypt is almost exclusively imported from Kenya and Sri Lanka. The Egyptian government considers tea a strategic crop and runs large tea plantations in Kenya. Egyptian tea comes in two varieties, Koshary and Saiidi.

Koshary tea, popular in Lower (Northern) Egypt, is prepared using the traditional method of steeping black tea in boiled water and letting it sit for a few minutes. It is almost always sweetened with cane sugar and is often flavored with fresh mint leaves. Adding milk is also common. Koshary tea is usually light, with less than a half teaspoonful of tea per cup considered to be near the high end.

Saiidi tea is common in Upper (Southern) Egypt. It is prepared by boiling black tea with water for as long as 5 minutes over a strong flame. Saiidi tea is extremely heavy, with 2 teaspoonfuls of tea per cup being the norm. It is sweetened with copious amounts of cane sugar (a necessity since the formula and method yield a very bitter tea). Saiidi tea is often black even in liquid form.

Tea is a vital part of daily life and folk etiquette in Egypt. Tea typically accompanies breakfast in most households, and drinking tea after lunch is a common practice. Visiting another person's household, regardless of socioeconomic level or the purpose of the visit, entails a compulsory cup of tea; similar hospitality might be required for a business visit to the private office of someone wealthy enough to maintain one, depending on the nature of the business. A common nickname for tea in Egypt is "duty" (pronounced in Arabic as "wa-jeb" or "wa-geb"), as serving tea to a visitor is considered a duty, while anything beyond is a nicety.

Green tea is a recent arrival to Egypt (only in the late 1990s did green tea become affordable) and is highly unpopular. This contrasts with certain parts of the Maghreb and Sahara, where gunpowder tea has traditionally been used to make Touareg tea and the tea for the Moroccan tea ceremony.

Besides true tea, tisanes (herbal teas) are also often served at the Egyptian teahouses. Karkadeh, a tea of dried hibiscussepals is particularly popular, as it is in other parts of North Africa. It is generally served extremely sweet and cold but may also be served hot. This drink is said to have been a preferred drink of the pharaohs. In Egypt and Sudan, wedding celebrations are traditionally toasted with a glass of hibiscus tea. On a typical street in downtown Cairo, one can find many vendors and open-air cafés selling the drink. In Egypt, karkadeh is used as a means to lower blood pressure when consumed in high amounts. Tisanes of mint, cinnamon, dried ginger, and anise are also commonly found, as is sahlab. Most of these tisanes are considered to have medicinal properties, as well; particularly common is a tisane of hot lemonade in which mint leaves have been steeped and sweetened with honey, used to combat mild sore throat.

Coffee is considered a part of the traditional welcome in Egypt. It is usually prepared in a small coffee pot, which is called dalla or kanakah in Egypt. In Egypt, sugar cane juice is called "aseer asab" and is an incredibly popular drink served by almost all fruit juice vendors, who can be found abundantly in most cities.

Licorice teas and carob juice drinks are traditionally drunk during the Islamic month of Ramadan, as is qamar ad-din, a thick drink made by reconstituting sheets of dried apricot with water. The sheets themselves are often consumed as candy.

A sour, chilled drink made from tamarind is popular during the summer.

Taken from wikipedia

Places to go in EGYPT

 

 

 

 

.

 

Doing business in EGYPT

Egypt's economy depends mainly on agriculture, media, petroleum exports, and tourism; there are also more than three million Egyptians working abroad, mainly in Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf and Europe. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1970 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population, limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress the economy.[88]

The government has invested in communications and physical infrastructure. Egypt has received U.S. foreign aid (since 1979, an average of $2.2 billion per year) and is the third-largest recipient of such funds from the United States following the Iraq war. Its main revenues however come from tourism as well as traffic that goes through the Suez Canal.

Egypthas a developed energy market based on coal, oil, natural gas, and hydro power. Substantial coal deposits are in the northeast Sinai, and are mined at the rate of about 600,000 metric tons (590,000 long tons; 660,000 short tons) per year. Oil and gas are produced in the western desert regions, the Gulf of Suez, and the Nile Delta. Egypt has huge reserves of gas, estimated at 1,940 cubic kilometres (470 cu mi), and LNG is exported to many countries.

Economic conditions have started to improve considerably after a period of stagnation from the adoption of more liberal economic policies by the Government, as well as increased revenues from tourism and a booming stock market. In its annual report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has rated Egypt as one of the top countries in the world undertaking economic reforms.[89] Some major economic reforms taken by the new government since 2003 include a dramatic slashing of customs and tariffs. A new taxation law implemented in 2005 decreased corporate taxes from 40% to the current 20%, resulting in a stated 100% increase in tax revenue by the year 2006.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Egypt has increased considerably in the past few years, exceeding $6 billion in 2006, due to the recent economic liberalization and privatization measures taken by minister of investment Mahmoud Mohieddin.

Although one of the main obstacles still facing the Egyptian economy is the trickle down of the wealth to the average population, many Egyptians criticize their Government for higher prices of basic goods while their standards of living or purchasing power remains relatively stagnant. Corruption is often cited by Egyptians as the main impediment to further economic growth.[90][91][92] The Government promises major reconstruction of the country's infrastructure, using money paid for the newly acquired third mobile license ($3 billion) by Etisalat.[93]

Egypt's most prominent multinational companies are the Orascom Group and Raya Contact Center. The IT sector has expanded rapidly in the past few years, with many start-ups selling outsourcing services to North America and Europe, operating with companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and other major corporations, as well as many small and medium enterprises. Some of these companies are the Xceed Contact Center, Raya, E Group Connections and C3. The sector has been stimulated by new Egyptian entrepreneurs with Government encouragement.

An estimated 2.7 million Egyptians abroad contribute actively to the development of their country through remittances (US$ 7.8 billion in 2009), as well as circulation of human and social capital and investment.

Taken from wikipedia

EGYPT: useful links

www.ancientegypt.co.uk

www.touregypt.net/

www.egypt.travel

www.eyelid.co.uk

Feefo logo

Quality Accreditations

BSL Interpreting Public Helpline

bsl

Check if your interpreter is booked or leave feedback.

Tell your friends and colleagues about our services



Recommend Pearl Linguistics

We are pleased to now offer customers who provide us with a referral a range of incentives from discounts on future work through to champagne or spa days depending upon the work referred.







Separate emails with a comma, limited to 10.



 
Cancel

* a copy of this email will be sent to Pearl Linguistics
Subscribe to our newsletter and win prizes!

We compile a newsletter occasionally when we have significant news or information of interest to tell you. These could be anything from our company’s new services or achievements through to interesting information on the languages we work with as well as the related countries and cultures. You will also be the first one to know if we are running any discount campaigns.

Another reason to subscribe to the newsletter is that for each newsletter we hold a prize draw and randomly select a lucky subscriber to receive one of our great prizes such as

Pearl promises your information will never be shared with another party.

And you can easily unsubscribe at any time. Just enter your details below:





 
Cancel