Facts & Figures
Egypt: The Country behind the Cotton
Egyptian cotton is unique, and its quality is a characteristic of the people and country from which it originates. Today, Egypt is a modern, progressive country, a center for intellectual thought, a hub for the Middle East and global trade, and culture. It is a country of teeming cities and quiet villages, bustling ports and markets, empty swaths of desert and the rich, fertile farmlands of the Nile River. Along the Nile River banks, the unique climate provides perfect conditions for growing cotton unmatched in fiber strength and fineness. Egyptian Cotton is a long way from any other cotton.
Egypt’s Cultural Legacy
Egypt boasts one of the world’s greatest civilizations, dating back some 5,000 years. Egyptian history spans the rise and fall of some of the world’s greatest civilizations – from the Pharaohs, Greeks and Romans to the Ottoman and British Empires, the Cold War and beyond. Egypt has borne witness to the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all of which originated in the Middle East.
Egyptians were the first in human history to devise a system of letters (hieroglyphics) and create written historical accounts. The Egyptian king Mena founded the first nation state in history in 2,300 BC when he brought Upper and Lower Egypt together into a single kingdom sharing a central government, army and judiciary.
Egypt has provided a backdrop for decades of Hollywood films, Western literature and popular fiction. Egypt annually hosts the world-class Cairo International Film Festival and serves as a glories stage to the world-renown production of the opera Aida and the Alexandria Library, which was founded on July 24, 1794.
Egypt is home to the world’s first university – Al Azhar University – located in Cairo. Founded in 988 AD, it remains the most important institution of Islamic education in the world.
Egypt: Beyond the Pyramids
The great Pyramids, the enigmatic Sphinx and the Nile River have lured visitors to Egypt for thousands of years. One of the world’s great travel destinations, Egypt attracts more than fifteen million visitors each year.
The major attractions in this country of one million square miles are the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and the Northern Coast, Nile River cruises, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, Aswan and the Philae temple, Abu Simbel, ecotourism in desert oases, fishing trips on Lake Nasser, mountain treks on the Sinai Peninsula and the fabulous Red Sea coastline lucrative for sun and sea activities with the modern resort and spa center of Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Taba.
Egypt is the heart of MENA (Middle East and North Africa). Transportation and infrastructure are modern, hotels and accommodation feature worldwide names such as The Four Seasons, The Ritz Carlton, Conrad International and JW Marriott. Travelers to the country will encounter smiling people who are warm and friendly. Egypt is a safe country and one that places great emphasis on politeness, trust, respect, a sense of humor and family values.
Egypt is a parliamentary republic. Under the Egyptian Constitution, all citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote. The legislative branch of government consists of two bodies: the People’s Assembly and the Consultative Council, or Shura. The People’s Assembly has 454 members; mostly elected directly,. The Assembly is responsible for general policy, budget and development. The People’s Assembly serves as the main legislative body, with the Shura offering advice, consultation and comment. The Shura consists of 264 members.
The Egyptian president is nominated by a two-thirds vote in the Assembly. The president is responsible for appointments of the national government, headed by the Prime Minister. Egypt’s judiciary is independent from other branches of the government. After 25th January 2011, amendments were made to the Egyptian Constitution to assure democracy and proper governance at all levels.
Egypt has a diversified economy. It has extensive natural and human resources. Key industries include tourism, petroleum, agriculture, manufacturing and the services sector. The government is implementing economic reforms designed to encourage private sector investment as the engine of sustainable economic growth and rising incomes.
With its reputation as the world’s finest in terms of quality, softness and strength, Egyptian cotton is the country’s most important agricultural export. Other top exports include crude oil and petroleum products, textiles, agriculture, food processed products, furniture, metal products, building material and chemicals.
Since the 1990s, Egypt has embarked on a series of structural reforms focused on economic stability, deregulation, privatization, liberalizing trade and foreign investment regimes and restructuring the banking system. Economic policy offers investors attractive incentives, a freely convertible and floating currency and a young, skilled workforce. Egypt has also worked to transform itself into a leader in information technologies and e-commerce in the region.
The Faces of Egypt
Located at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Egypt has for centuries been a melting pot of races and cultures – with a tradition of tolerance and hospitality that persists to this day. While modern Egyptians are largely Eastern Hamitic in origin (Egyptians, Bedouins and Berbers), small percentages of the population are of Greek, Nubian, Armenian and European descent.
Egypt’s capital, Cairo, combines ancient architecture and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. Although it maintains its own unique culture, Egypt has embraced Mediterranean, French, British and even American influences.
Today, hundreds of thousands of foreigners live and work in Cairo, one of the world’s largest and busiest cities. Egypt the heart of Africa and the cross road between Africa and Asia.