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The Arab Republic of Egypt
, commonly known as Egypt
, (romanized Misr, in Egyptian Arabic Másr), is a republic in North Africa. While most of it is geographically located in Africa, the Sinai Peninsula east of the Suez Canal is in Asia and Egypt is often associated with the Middle East.
Covering an area of about 1,020,000 km?, Egypt shares land borders with Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and Israel and the Gaza Strip to the northeast and has coasts on the north and east by the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, respectively.
Egypt is the fifteenth most populous country in the world. The vast majority of its 77 million population (2005) live near the banks of the Nile River (about 40,000 km?), where the only arable agricultural land is found. Large areas of land are part of the Sahara Desert and are sparsely inhabited. The majority of Egyptians today are urban, living in the great Arab population centers of greater Cairo, the largest city in Africa, and Alexandria.
Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most stunning ancient monuments, including the Giza Pyramids, the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings; the southern city of Luxor contains a particularly large number of ancient artifacts. Today, Egypt is widely regarded as the main political and cultural centre of the Arab and Middle Eastern regions.
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