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Egyptian History

Egypt is one of the richest, oldest and most varied of any country in the world and its location has made it an important area. The country itself dates back to the unification of the Lower and the Upper Kingdoms, in about 3180 BC, which marked the starting point in Egyptian history. It became one of the most powerful and greatest civilizations the world has seen.

The country has been ruled by many foreign rulers and the first was that of Alexander the Great, in 332 BC. He brought peace and economic stability to the region and it lasted for almost eight centuries. The country was then fought over between the invading Arab armies, and then became part of the Ottoman Empire, and finally ruled by the French under Napoleon. In 1805 after Napoleon was defeated independence was won with Muhammad Ali being recognized as Sultan.

In 1869, the Suez Canal was opened, but it brought financial troubles to the country and it led to internal political struggles. The British saw this and moved in and occupied the country from 1882 to 1936. In that year Egypt once again became independent, but Britain still had strong control economically and politically over the country. In 1952 a revolution broke out under the leadership of Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser. Nasser took control of the Suez Canal and took all the revenues and gave them to the Egyptian treasury. This led to the Suez Crisis of 1956, in which a combined Anglo-French-Israeli military operation attempted to seize and depose Nasser. The failure of not getting Nasser out of power greatly enhanced his standing and inspired supporters throughout the Middle East who shared his vision of a united Arab world, free from foreign interference. This led to a more anti-Israeli cry in the region which led to the Six Day War in 1967 between Egypt and Israel. With the defeat of Egypt and Arab forces by Israel, it led to Egypt giving up control of the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza strip. Peace eventually came in 1979 under the Camp David accord and to this day Israel and Egypt have kept there peace agreement.

In 1987, Hosni Mubarak became leader of the country and with his views of wanting a peaceful Middle East; many Western governments welcomed him as leader. His government has been closely involved in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations during the early 1990s and broadly supportive of the 1994 Oslo agreement between the two sides. Egypt is US ally and after Israel, Egypt is the world’s largest single recipient of US aid, so the government had done everything almost possible to keep there good relations to the Americans. With the 2011 revolution and overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the world is waiting to see which direction the country will officially go in.



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