In Egypt’s chapter of our famous things across the globe series, we have invited our fellow blogger Monica of “Ahlan Monica” What is Egypt famous for? This is her interesting response!
While its Ancient History is a huge part of its appeal and mystery – and likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Egypt, there’s so much more than this incredible country is famous for! Let’s explore what Egypt is known for!
10 Things Egypt is famous for
It goes without saying that the last standing Ancient Wonder of the World, the Great Pyramids, is synonymous with Egypt. These Pyramids were built for Pharaohs Menkaure, Khafre, and Khufu, and housed their worldly possessions that they believed they would take with them into the afterlife. No photos can really do the Pyramids justice as when you experience it for yourself first hand. You’ll stand in sheer awe at the size of them and imagine just how these massive stones were built into these structures in ancient times.
But, would you be surprised to know that these 3 pyramids aren’t the only in the country? It’s said that there’s over 100 throughout the country and many discoveries are still constantly happening.
These ancient Egyptian tombs have such an allure and mystery to them that it’s no wonder that this amazing site is one of the most recognizable in the world.
#2 The Sphinx
Located in the Great Pyramids Complex, is one of its protectors, the Sphinx. With the body of a lion and the face of a human this mythological creature still captivates people over 4000 years after being built.
While the Sphinx we see today is still massive, it’s missing something… a big chunk of its nose. We still don’t know the true story of why or how this came to be, but nonetheless it now adds to its charm!
#3 Egyptian Cotton
There have been songs written about Egyptian Cotton – it’s that infamous! It has the reputation of having better quality and stronger fibers. It’s usually associated with more premium products and with that comes a higher price tag. When you add the ‘Egyptian’ before the cotton, it automatically brings to mind luxury.
Egyptian cotton is in fact one of the country’s largest exports and it’s used in everything from clothing to bedding all over the world.
While Egyptian cuisine is delicious, the national dish and the favorite dish in Egypt is Koshary. While each of the parts that make up Koshary is everything but Egyptian, it’s the mixing of these ingredients that makes it uniquely theirs.
Koshary originated during the 19th century and combines Italian, Indian and Middle Eastern culinary elements. This is a carb-heavy dish made up of rice, macaroni, and lentils. Then it’s topped up with tomato sauce, chickpeas, garlic vinegar, and the best part, fried onions. My mouth is watering just thinking about this popular street food. You can find it everywhere in Egypt.
#5 Mo Salah
While there are many famous Egyptians renown around the world, like actor Omar Sherif, there’s an Egyptian who has recently overtaken the (soccer) world, Mohamed Salah!
Mo Salah currently plays for Liverpool in the English Premier League and is also on the Egyptian national team, obviously.
From very humble beginnings in a small town in Egypt, he’s worked his way to be considered as one of the best players in the world. He’s charming, down to earth, and beloved by Egyptians and foreigners alike! Together with Brazilian Roberto Firmino and the Senegalese Sadio Manè he makes the world’s best forward trident in Liverpool.
Cairo, the capital of Egypt itself, is known as the city of a thousand minarets and the country as a whole is home to over 100,000 mosques. Islamic history is rich throughout Egypt with some of the most impressive mosques in the world located there.
From the architecture to the detailed inscriptions, the mosques in many ways are pieces of art and not only places of worship. It’s unlikely you’ll travel to Egypt without visiting a mosque. Among the most beautiful are Ibn Tulun (the oldest), Mohammed Ali (known as the alabaster mosque) and Sultan Hassan (one of the largest).
For those who know, they know. But for many others, it may be Egypt’s best-kept secret – their jaw-dropping beaches.
From the Meditteranean to the Red Sea, Egypt has no shortage of beach vacation options. For the avid snorkelers, divers, or just beachgoers, there’s something here for everyone.
Crystal blue waters with pristine sandy beaches are what await you throughout Egypt’s coasts. From Marsa Matrouh to Hurghada, Dahab or Sharm el Sheik, the beaches here are so blue that you’ve only dreamed of.
#8 Film industry
The Egyptian film (for both movies and tv shows) industry is famous throughout the Middle East. Egypt has produced nearly 3 quarters of all films in the region since the early 1900’s.
So often if you are looking to learn an Arabic dialect, Egyptian is always recommended, as it’s the most widely understood due to the popularity of their media in the Arab world.
#9 Pharaonic History
From the valley of the kings to the temples of Philae, there’s so much fascinating ancient pharaonic history spread throughout the country.
Taking a Nile Cruise through Upper Egypt from Luxor to Aswan, in particular, will take you on a ride through the most remarkable Egyptian sites. From the temple of Karnak to Abu Simbel, the main attractions are for the most part in impeccable conditions, particularly if you take their age into consideration. Despite still being shrouded in mystery, these historic monuments tell the story of the Ancient Egyptians and how they celebrated life and death.
The Nile itself is also famous, as it’s the provider of life and most cities were established in its banks. Even during Roman times, the Nile banks were considered the most fertile land of the empire.
Egypt is so much more than just its ancient history! Like many of its neighboring countries, Egypt participated in the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011. It was a revolution fueled with hope from the younger generations excited to make an impact in their countries.
In January of that year, the country started demonstrations that resulted in the downfall of their 30-year ruler, Hosni Mubarak in only 18 short days. This, then, led to the first democratic election that saw Mohamed Morsi into office. About a year later he was ousted by the Military and replaced by current President el-Sisi.
While like many countries in the region, Egypt has its ups and downs, Egyptians are hopeful for the future. Understanding this pivotal time in its more recent history will help appreciate what led them to where they are today.
About the author
Ahlan (or hi!) I’m Monica, the travel blogger behind Ahlan Monica. I’m a marketer by day and I’m often found planning my next travels by night. I’m Canadian born and Egyptian by marriage. Currently based in Ottawa, but spend a lot of time in what I now consider my second home, Cairo.
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