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Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Egypt

 In Living Abroad

When someone mentions pyramids, pharaohs, or sphinx, we all think of the same mysterious country, known for numerous ancient monuments and ruins – we all think of Egypt. Since Ancient Egypt is considered to be the cradle of civilization, this area has been explored so many times throughout the history, but it seems as if the more archaeologists study the iconic monuments Egypt boasts, the more questions there are to answer.

Today Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa. Even though more than 90% of this country consists of desert area, there are also some urban areas, which are inhabited by one half of all residents of Egypt. Its largest and capital city, Cairo, is the 15th largest city in the world and it is actually known for its nightlife, for there are numerous jazz and dance clubs, pubs and bars. If you enjoy vivacious nightlife, you will without a doubt have a great time in Cairo in case you decide to visit it.

If your vacation is getting closer and you’ve decided that your next destination is Egypt, you’ll be happy to hear that there is also a long list of various museums that you might want to visit, most of them located in Cairo. Since Egypt was in contact with so many nations and civilizations throughout its long history, these museums offer diverse contents, so it can be said there’s a little bit for everyone, depending on your field of interest.

In spite of the fact that there are so many museums and even more artifacts, Tutankhamun’s burial mask is still one of the top tourist attractions of the Egyptian Museum.

As previously mentioned, pyramids are inevitably associated with Egypt. For this reason, many people probably assume that the world’s largest pyramid is located there. However, you should know that this is not true. The world’s largest pyramid is actually in Mexico and it’s called The Great Pyramid of Cholula.

Another misconception when it comes to pyramids lies in the widely spread belief that Egypt has the greatest number of them in the world, while, actually, Sudan has more.

Finally, most people have been thought that these magnificent constructions were built by slaves. However, the people who built them were paid laborers and they were paid 1 gallon of beer per day.

As for religion, today 90% of Egyptians belong to the Muslim world, and the remaining 10% are Christians. However, this was not always the case. Believe it or not, between the fourth and the sixth century, it was actually Christianity that dominated in Egypt.

We all know that there are certain colossal sculptures that have become the hallmarks of the cities or even countries in which they are built. For instance, we just can’t help but think of New York when we see the Statue of Liberty and we can’t possibly imagine it anywhere else. But, you should now that this work of art was originally intended for Egypt, not New York. However, the Egyptians rejected it because they thought it was too old fashioned.

In addition to misconceptions about the pyramids and the rest of the aforementioned peculiarities about Egypt that not many people know of, we provide you with a list of even less known facts about this culturally rich country.

  • The tradition of exchanging rings during a wedding ceremony has its roots in Egypt.
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and many of its passageways have not been explored yet.
  • The great Ancient Egypt King Tutankhamun was only 18 years old when he died.
  • Cleopatra was Greek, not Egyptian.
  • Egyptians care so much about Islam that as many as 86% of them believe that someone who decides to abandon Islam deserves death penalty.
  • In Alexandria, there is a library in which you can find a copy of all the web pages on the Internet since it was launched in 1996.
  • Egypt has the greatest number of Facebook users among Middle Eastern countries (5 million).
  • Egyptians were the first ones to use the calendar we know today; they divided the year that way so as to predict the Nile’s annual flooding.
  • In Ancient Egypt, women were the ones who had more rights than men, including even the right to divorce.
  • The oldest dress in the world (around 5,000 years old) was found it Egypt.
  • Between Egypt and Sudan, there are around 2,000 km2 of land which neither of the two countries has claimed so far.
  • Even though cats were the most worshiped animals in Ancient Egypt, its official animal today is the Steppe eagle.
  • Egyptians invented the first sailing boats.

These are only some of the numerous interesting facts about Egypt that have been found out so far. As the years go by, we believe that there will be more and more discoveries and, needless to say, more and more reasons for you to pack your luggage and visit at least some of the great attractions and archaeological wonders of this country. Don’t miss your chance to see the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, to visit “the city that never sleeps”, to see some of the oldest artifacts… Don’t miss your chance to visit the cradle of civilization.

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