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History of Egypt

Powerful Essays
History of Egypt

The rich history of Egypt is tied very closely with the Nile River’s fertile banks and existence as a source of water. Flowing south to north, this massive river has had a tremendous impact on agriculture, transportation, religion, migration of populations, and culture as a whole. The narrow Nile Valley as well as the surrounding deserts provided defense and isolation from the arising cultures of the time. Over many centuries, the rainfall has affected the levels of flooding on the Nile and therefore the way in which the Egyptians had to live. This region is rich with cultural and historical records of the ongoing relationship of culture and society with the environment and the Nile.

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and is the biggest city not only in Egypt but the Middle East as well. With a current population of over 15 million inhabitants, the city has evolved for over four thousand years with a variety of social and cultural influences. Northern Africa has been occupied by Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Turks and monuments that still stand today are evidence of these influences. Cairo has been known by many names, including Memphis, Heliopolis, Babylon, and, Al-Qahira. The city was a center of religious development for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam throughout its thirty or more dynasties.

Over 8,000 years ago, Northern Africa was rich with diverse wildlife including elephants, buffalo, hippopotami, and giraffe (Lamb). However by 5,000 BC, some of these species began to die out or migrate from this region, perhaps due to the increased migration of humans and settling near the Nile. The Nile was the best and only source of fresh water in the area and its annual flooding and receding le...

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...In 1882, the British seized control of Egypt until it could repay its debts. Egypt gained its independence in 1952 and has continued to grow, with Cairo being the centerpiece of ongoing development (www.lonelyplanet.com).

Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, the West Bank of the Nile River was concreted over to make room for urban sprawl. The relationship of the city with the Nile was becoming less cooperative and increasingly damaging to its natural state. Cairo expanded north into Nasr City in what has become an eyesore to the landscape. Cairo has even expanded up and over the Muquattam Hills, which once stood as a barrier to previous eastern growth. The rapid expansion of Cairo seems as if it will pose a serious problem to the Nile and its resources as transportation, industry, and residential construction litter the banks of the once coveted and worshipped Nile.
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