The Nile River, probably the most famous river of the ancient world,
is the reason for Egypt’s reputation as one of the greatest
civilizations in human history. It is often referred to in history
as the “lifeblood” of Egypt, the cradle of modern civilization. The
richness of the soil from the river’s yearly flooding, combined with
the relative isolation of the nation because of vast deserts all
connived to make ancient Egypt a great kingdom.
The last Egyptian dynasty fell in 314 BC to the Persians. Then came
the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. The Arabs introduced the Islam
religion and Arab language to the locals. They ruled Egypt for more
than six centuries. The Ottoman Turks conquered Egypt in 1517 and
retained hold until the 17th century.
The building of the Suez Canal in 1869 put
Egypt on the map again as a major hub of transportation. The British
seized control over the Egyptian government in 1882 but it was still
part of the Ottoman Empire until 1914. Egypt became fully independent in
The climate in Egypt is hot and dry during the summer and moderate
during winter. The terrain is a huge plateau of desert ended only by the
Nile delta and valley. Droughts occur every year and earthquakes, flash
floods, and landslides are a frequent occurrence. Windstorms called
khamsin, a phenomenon characterized by hot, relentless winds, occur
during springtime, dust storms, and sandstorms.
Egypt’s main tourist attraction is its rich ancient history, culture,
and arts. Monuments such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the
Karnak Temple, and many more fill tourists with awe and wonder.
Knowledgeable guides, most of them history and archeology students, are
hired by travel agencies to act as tour guides to some of the most
scenic places in Egypt such as the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
The capital of Egypt is Cairo and it is the largest city in Africa. It
is also the Egypt’s center of industry and commerce. Cairo has several
cultural and historical attractions and tourism plays a major part in
the city’s economy. It is also known as the “Jewel of the Nile”.
Cairo sits between Egypt’s twin streams
just at the Delta. A sprawling city, Cairo is the greatest metropolis in
the Islamic world. Abundant in bazaars, mosques, and citadels, Cairo is
also home to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. This museum is a
must-see as it houses over 12,000 artifacts from ancient Egyptian
history. Objects from the tombs of the Pharaohs and members of the royal
family from the Middle Kingdom found during archeological digs in Dashur
are preserved and on display in this museum.
A favorite among archeology fans and tourists, Luxor is the location of
some of the most awesome sites in the world. Here, one can see the
Valley of the Kings and Queens, memorials of Ramses and Amenophis, as
well as Amenhotep’s temple. Probably the most famous site in Luxor is
the tomb of King Tutankhamen, or King Tut as it he is popularly known.
Aswan offers tourists the best views of the Nile River. A gateway to
Africa, Aswan is known for its floating restaurants, sailboats, and
serene ambience. The Kitchener and Elephantine Islands offer beautiful
garden and ancient artifacts to its visitors.
Located on the biblical Red Sea, Dahab is Egypt’s resort town. Before,
it had been a backpacker’s spot, now tourists in general love to come to
this city. With its proximity to another biblical site, Mt. Sinai, Dahab
affords travelers reasonably priced accommodations as well as a vast
range of activities from coral diving to exploratory trips to the
historical desert where Moses was reputed to have trekked.
Another famous city is that of Alexandria.
Equal only to Rome in ancient times, Alexandria still has a few tricks
up its sleeves. Visitors will enjoy its enormous library, the
Greco-Roman Museum, as well the city’s town square.
Last, but not the least, is the city of Giza. Here, the most
breathtaking and awesome ancient monuments can be found. The Great
Sphinx, the Great Pyramid, and many more great monuments that are all
that is left of a bygone era. The city is not only known for its
historical significance, it is also known as being the center of modern
Egyptian culture with numerous markets, restaurants, and nightclubs.
Egypt has many things to offer visitors. But it is its ancient past
which draws people to visit this “Cradle of Civilization”.