Egypt is currently the most populous Arab country and has the second largest economy, behind Saudi Arabia. It has been an ally of the West since the mid-1970s and has significantly influenced relations between western and Arab countries. Following sharp increases in population and political revolution, Egypt is now struggling.
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Ancient Egypt is what most of us know about this country. We all learned about mummification, Cleopatra, and the Nile River but little about life there today. These are incredible pieces of Egypt's cultural past but the world's limitless fascination with this history can lead us astray about the current state of this country. People there don't ride camels or wear winged eyeliner. Instead, residents of Cairo suffer through outrageous traffic - something that tends to happen when your city holds 19 million people - and Egyptians tend to dress conservatively, in line with Muslim custom.
Just as in the past, Egypt is dependent on the resources of the Nile River. So even with it's large populations (about 88 million), most people are squeezed along the river's borders. Egypt has seen a population boom in recent year. The Guardian reports that, from 2006 to 2012, the birth rate rose 40 percent. Resources, including jobs, schooling, and housing can't keep up. Politically, Egypt is adjusting to extreme changes as well. The country forced out its President Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring revolution but has yet to find stability.
Read more about Life in Egypt:
BBC: Egypt profile - Overview
National Geographic Kids: Egypt