The Sultan Hassan Mosque and city skyline of Cairo are seen from the Muhammad Ali Mosque in Cairo's Citadel on October 21, 2013, in Cairo, Egypt.
CNN  — 

Here’s a look at Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab world. Egypt is located in North Africa and is bisected by the Nile River. It shares a border with Israel, Sudan and Libya. It also borders the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

About Egypt

(from the CIA World Fact Book)
Area: 1,001,450 sq km (about three times the size of New Mexico)

Population: 104,124,440 (July 2020 est.)

Median age: 24.1 years

Capital: Cairo

Ethnic Groups: 99.7%, other 0.3% (2006 est.)

Religion: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Christian (mostly Coptic Orthodox, other Christians include Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Maronite, Orthodox, and Anglican) 10% (2015 est.)

Unemployment: 7.9% (2019 est.)

Other Facts

The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea through Egypt.

More than 90% of Egypt consists of desert.

Egypt achieved full independence from Great Britain in 1952.


3200 BC-332 BC - Ruled by a series of Egyptian dynasties.

332 BC-600s AD - Ruled by Greeks, Romans and Byzantines.

600s AD - The Arabic language and Islamic religion become dominant in Egypt.

1517 - Conquered by the Ottoman Turks.

1798-1801 - Briefly controlled by France.

1858 - La Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez (Universal Company of the Maritime Suez Canal) is formed to dig a canal and operate it for 99 years. The company is privately owned by French and Egyptian interests and would become totally Egyptian-owned after 99 years.

April 25, 1859 - Excavation on the Suez Canal begins.

November 17, 1869 - The Suez Canal opens for navigation.

1875 - The British government buys Egypt’s interest in the Suez Canal company.

1882 - To protect its investment in the Suez Canal, Great Britain takes control of Egypt’s government.

February 28, 1922 - Egypt achieves partial independence from its status as a protectorate of the United Kingdom. The country becomes a constitutional monarchy.

May 14, 1948 - Israel declares statehood. The nations of Trans-Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria attack.

July 23-26, 1952 - In a coup led by General Gamal Abdel Nasser, military officers overthrow the monarchy, leading to a completely independent Egypt.

June 18, 1953 - Egypt declares itself a republic.

1954 - Nasser becomes the prime minister of Egypt.

1954 - Great Britain and Egypt sign a seven-year plan for British troop withdrawal from the canal zone.

July 26, 1956 - Egypt nationalizes the canal to finance construction of the Aswan High Dam. This is the first time the canal is closed.

March 1957 - After much negotiation with Great Britain, France, the United States, NATO and the United Nations, the Suez Canal Authority reopens the canal.

1958-1961 - Egypt and Syria form the short-lived country of the United Arab Republic.

June 5-10, 1967 - The Six-Day War is fought between Israel and the Arab nations of Syria, Egypt and Jordan. Israel gains the territory of the Sinai Desert from Egypt.

1970 - The Aswan High Dam on the Nile river is completed at a cost of $1 billion.

September 28, 1970 - Nasser dies of a heart attack. He is succeeded by his vice president, Anwar Sadat.

1971 - A new constitution is adopted. It defines Egypt as a democratic, socialist state with Islam as the official state religion.

October 6, 1973 - The Yom Kippur War begins when the Egyptian Air Force launches a daytime surprise attack on Israeli soldiers occupying the east bank of the Suez Canal. Within 20 minutes, the pilots report 90% of their targets hit.

September 1978 - Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and US President Jimmy Carter meet at Camp David to discuss a peace treaty.

March 26, 1979 - Egypt and Israel formally sign a peace treaty.

October 6, 1981 - During a Cairo military parade commemorating Egypt’s victories in 1973, Sadat is assassinated by a group of Islamic fundamentalists.

October 6, 1981 - Hosni Mubarak assumes the presidency following Sadat’s assassination. Mubarak is officially sworn in on October 14, 1981. Mubarak is re-elected in 1987, 1993, 1999 and 2005.

1990-1991 - Egypt takes a leading role in liberating Kuwait from Iraqi occupation during the first Gulf War.

September 7, 2005 - Egypt holds its first multi-candidate presidential election. Mubarak wins re-election with 88% of the vote.

January 25, 2011 - Protests break out in Egypt. Thousands of people take to the streets to protest corruption and poverty in the country.

February 2011 - Mubarak announces he will not run for re-election in September. Rioting in Cairo leaves many dead and hundreds wounded as pro and anti-government sides clash in Tahrir Square.

February 10, 2011 - Mubarak announces he is delegating power to Vice President Omar Suleiman but remaining in office.

February 11, 2011 - Suleiman announces that Mubarak has decided “to step down as president of Egypt and has assigned the Higher Council of the Armed Forces to run the affairs of the country.”

February 13, 2011 - The Armed Forces Supreme Council dissolves Egypt’s parliament and suspends the constitution, adding in plans to appoint a committee to propose constitutional changes to voters.

March 7, 2011 - Essam Sharaf is sworn in as the new prime minister, along with a new cabinet.

March 19, 2011 - Egyptians overwhelmingly approve a referendum to amend the constitution. The amendments propose limiting the president to two four-year terms and putting a six-month limit on emergency laws.

May 19, 2011 - US President Barack Obama announces $1 billion in debt forgiveness for Egypt, as well as $1 billion in loan guarantees to finance key infrastructure work and other projects.

November 30-December 1, 2011 - Parliamentary elections are held.

December 7, 2011 - Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri is granted all presidential powers except control over the military and the judiciary.

December 14, 2011 - Part two of the three-part parliamentary election process begins. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party claim victory in the first round of voting over the Al Nour Party.

January 3, 2012 - The third round of voting for the lower house of parliament begins after Islamist parties performed strongly in the previous rounds.

January 21, 2012 - Two Islamist parties, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the Al Nour Party, win about 70% of the seats in elections for the lower house of parliament, according to electoral commission figures.

February 5, 2012 - Forty-three people face prosecution in an Egyptian criminal court on charges of illegal foreign funding as part of an ongoing crackdown on NGOs. The defendants include 16 Americans, five Serbs, two Germans, three Arabs and Egyptians. Among the American defendants is Sam LaHood, International Republican Institute country director and the son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

May 23, 2012 - A two-day presidential election begins, with 11 candidates vying for office. This is the first presidential election since the uprising that toppled Mubarak.

May 26, 2012 - A runoff between Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik is the result of the two-day election.

June 2, 2012 - Mubarak is convicted of ordering the killing of protesters in 2011. He is immediately sentenced to life in prison, but seven months later, his conviction is overturned on technical grounds, and a retrial is ordered.

June 14, 2012 - The Egyptian parliament is declared invalid by the highest court in the land and is dissolved, and the military rulers take full legislative authority. A new constitution is promised within 24 hours, to be written by a 100-person assembly under the control of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

June 16-17, 2012 - Runoff presidential election between Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsy and Shafik.

June 24, 2012 - The five-member Supreme Presidential Elections Commission announces the winner of the runoff election is Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsy.

June 30, 2012 - Morsy is sworn in as Egypt’s first democratically elected president.

July 8-10,2012 - President Morsy and the Higher Constitutional Court go back and forth over the invalidation of parliament. In the end, the current parliament remains invalid.

November 22, 2012 - Morsy issues an order preventing any court from overturning his decisions. He also orders retrials and re-investigations in the deaths of protesters during the 2011 uprising against Mubarak.

November 29, 2012 - Egypt’s constituent assembly passes all 234 articles of the new draft constitution.

December 25, 2012 - The new Islamist-backed constitution is confirmed to have passed with 64% of the vote and 32.9% turnout of voters.

January 27, 2013 - Morsy declares a 30-day nighttime curfew for the provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia, saying these areas are in a state of emergency.

June 2, 2013 - The upper house and legislative power of parliament, the Shura Council, is invalidated by the country’s highest court. Once a lower house is elected, the Shura Council will be dissolved.

June 4, 2013 - An Egyptian court sentences 43 NGO workers to jail. The court sentences 27 NGO workers in absentia to five-year sentences; 11 to one-year suspended jail sentences; and five others to two-year sentences that are not suspended, according to state-run newspaper Al Ahram.

June 30, 2013 - On the first anniversary of Morsy’s election win there are protests in Tahrir Square and around Egypt, demanding his ouster. The US Embassy in Cairo is closed and the Obama administration urges Morsy to hold early elections.

July 1, 2013 - The Egyptian military tells the country’s civilian government it has 48 hours, until the evening of July 3, 2013, to “meet the demands of the people” or it will step in to restore order. The ultimatum is not considered the declaration of a coup.

July 3, 2013 - Morsy is ousted in a military coup.

July 4, 2013 - Adly Mansour, head of the country’s Supreme Constitutional Court, is sworn in as interim president in Cairo.

August 14-21, 2013 - Approximately 1,000 Egyptians die in protests against the military government.

October 9, 2013 - The Obama administration announces the suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Egypt over the bloody crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

November 24, 2013 - The Right to Protest law, which bans public gatherings of more than 10 people, goes into effect; jail time or heavy fines are the consequences of breaking this law.

December 24, 2013 - Two explosions destroy an Interior Ministry building in the city of Mansoura, killing at least 12 and injuring more than 130.

January 18, 2014 - The Egypt Constitutional Committee announces the referendum for the new constitution has passed 98.1% to 1.9%, with an eligible voter turnout of 38.6%. Government opponents are believed to have boycotted the vote.

January 25, 2014 - Egyptian media reports at least 49 people were killed and 247 wounded in violence marking the third anniversary of the start of the revolution in Egypt.

February 24, 2014 - The military-backed government headed by Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi resigns.

March 24, 2014 - According to the official MENA news agency, an Egyptian court sentences 528 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges related to violent riots in the city of Minya last August.

March 26, 2014 - Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s army chief, announces his resignation and declares his candidacy in the national elections.

June 3, 2014 - Sisi officially wins the presidential election with more than 96% of the vote. Elections were held May 26-28.

July 5, 2014 - Mohammed Badie, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and 36 others receive life sentences for inciting violence. The death penalty which had been handed down for 10 additional defendants is upheld on review by the Grand Mufti.

November 29, 2014 - In his retrial, Mubarak is found not guilty of corruption and is acquitted in the deaths of protestors.

February 2, 2015 - An Egyptian court confirms a death sentence for 183 defendants who were convicted of murdering 11 police officers and two civilians in August 2013.

March 31, 2015 - Obama tells Egyptian President Sisi that he is ending the freeze on weapons shipments to Egypt.

April 21, 2015 - Morsy is sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted on charges related to violence outside the presidential palace in December 2012. Morsy is acquitted of murder in the deaths of protesters.

July 1, 2015 - ISIS launches simultaneous attacks on five Egyptian military checkpoints, reportedly killing 17 Egyptian soldiers and injuring 30 others. According to the Egyptian military, 100 terrorists have been killed.

September 12, 2015 - Egypt Prime Minister Ibrahm Mahlab and his cabinet resign, according to a statement released by the President’s office. Sisi accepts their resignations and asks the cabinet to keep working on a caretaker basis until a new government is formed. Sherif Ismail is appointed prime minister.

October-December 2015 - Parliamentary elections take place for the eighth time in four years. The newly elected legislature is seen as largely loyal to Sisi.

February 16, 2016 - A military court finds 116 people – including a 3-year-old child – guilty of killing three people and sabotaging public and private property during a political demonstration in support of ousted President Morsy in January 2014. The child was 16 months old at the time of the protests, and Egyptian officials claim the conviction was a case of mistaken identity.

July 13, 2016 - Amnesty International, in a report titled “Officially, you do not exist,” says hundreds of people are being detained without access to family or a lawyer. Half of the detained may never resurface, the human rights group says in the report, which details harrowing accounts of torture carried out by state agents.

December 11, 2016 - A 12-kilogram TNT bomb explodes in the church of St. Peter and St. Paul, which is attached to St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, leaving at least 23 people dead and dozens injured.

April 9, 2017 - A bomb rips through a Palm Sunday service at St. George’s Church in the northern city of Tanta, killing at least 27 people and wounding 78 others. Not long afterward, at least 22 people are killed and 41 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack outside St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria. ISIS later claims responsibility for the bombings. Sisi says a three-month state of emergency will be declared, after legal and constitutional measures have been completed.

May 26, 2017 - At least 29 people die after an attack on buses carrying Coptic Christians. ISIS later claims responsibility.

August 23, 2017 - The US says it’s cutting almost $100 million in aid to Egypt and holding back another $195 million until it see improvements in Cairo’s track record on human rights and democracy.

September 6, 2017 - A Human Rights Watch report says that Egypt’s police and National Security officers are carrying out widespread and systematic torture of political prisoners, which probably amounts to a crime against humanity.

September 11, 2017 - Egyptian authorities unveil a previously undiscovered 3,500-year-old tomb belonging to a goldsmith and his wife near Luxor in southern Egypt. It contains “mummies, sarcophagi, statuettes, pots and other artifacts,” according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.

November 24, 2017 - At least 305 people are killed and 128 are wounded in an attack by armed men on the al Rawdah mosque in the North Sinai region. While no one has yet claimed the attack, its location and method point to the Islamic State in Northern Sinai (ISNS), an affiliate of ISIS.

April 2, 2018 - Sisi wins a second term in office, garnering 97% of the vote, with 41% of registered voters turning out to cast ballots.

July 25, 2018 - The United States releases $195 million in military aid to Egypt in recognition of “steps Egypt has taken over the last year in response to specific US concerns” about is track record on human rights and democracy, a State Department official tells CNN.

July 28, 2018 - An Egyptian court sentences 75 people to death for participating in a 2013 demonstration in support of the deposed Morsy, and refers their cases to the country’s Grand Mufti for a final decision, according to state-run news agency Ahram Online.

October 6, 2018 - Melania Trump visits Cairo while on her first solo trip as first lady.

July 17, 2019 - Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announces that the gilded coffin of Tutankhamun (King Tut) is undergoing restoration for the first time since it was discovered in 1922.

August 5, 2019 - 20 people are killed and 47 injured following a deadly car crash blast in Cairo. The vehicle that caused the blast was carrying explosives to carry out a “terrorist attack” in a different location.

January 13, 2020 - US citizen Mustafa Kassem dies of heart failure after more than six years detainment in an Egyptian prison.