Facts About : Egypt

    • The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Completion of the Suez Canal in 1869 elevated Egypt as an important world transportation hub. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty from Britain in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands of Egypt's population through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.
      Inspired by the 2010 Tunisian revolution, Egyptian opposition groups led demonstrations and labor strikes countrywide, culminating in President Hosni MUBARAK's ouster. Egypt's military assumed national leadership until a new parliament was in place in early 2012; later that same year, Mohammed MORSI won the presidential election. Following often violent protests throughout the spring of 2013 against MORSI's government and the Muslim Brotherhood, and massive antigovernment demonstrations, the Egyptian Armed Forces intervened and removed MORSI from power in July 2013 and replaced him with interim president Adly MANSOUR. In January 2014, voters approved a new constitution by referendum and in May 2014 elected Abdel Fattah Al SISI president. Legislative elections are expected by the end of 2015.

Geography :: EGYPT

    • Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula
      27 00 N, 30 00 E
      total: 1,001,450 sq km
      land: 995,450 sq km
      water: 6,000 sq km
      country comparison to the world: 30
      more than eight times the size of Ohio; slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico
      Area comparison map: 
      total: 2,612 km
      border countries (4): Gaza Strip 13 km, Israel 208 km, Libya 1,115 km, Sudan 1,276 km
      2,450 km
      territorial sea: 12 nm
      contiguous zone: 24 nm
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or the equidistant median line with Cyprus
      continental shelf: 200 nm
      desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters
      vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta
      lowest point: Qattara Depression -133 m
      highest point: Mount Catherine 2,629 m
      petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, rare earth elements, zinc
      agricultural land: 3.6%
      arable land 2.8%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 0%
      forest: 0.1%
      other: 96.3% (2011 est.)
      34,220 sq km (2003)
      57.3 cu km (2011)
      total: 68.3 cu km/yr (8%/6%/86%)
      per capita: 973.3 cu m/yr (2000)
      periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes; flash floods; landslides; hot, driving windstorms called khamsin occur in spring; dust storms; sandstorms
      agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam; desertification; oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats; other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents; limited natural freshwater resources away from the Nile, which is the only perennial water source; rapid growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural resources
      party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
      controls Sinai Peninsula, only land bridge between Africa and remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez Canal, a sea link between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; size, and juxtaposition to Israel, establish its major role in Middle Eastern geopolitics; dependence on upstream neighbors; dominance of Nile basin issues; prone to influxes of refugees from Sudan and the Palestinian territories

People and Society :: EGYPT

    • noun: Egyptian(s)
      adjective: Egyptian
      Egyptian 99.6%, other 0.4% (2006 census)
      Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
      Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 90%, Christian (majority Coptic Orthodox, other Christians include Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Maronite, Orthodox, and Anglican) 10% (2012 est.)
      religious affiliation: 
      88,487,396 (July 2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 16
      0-14 years: 31.89% (male 14,430,312/female 13,790,448)
      15-24 years: 17.64% (male 7,985,589/female 7,620,404)
      25-54 years: 38.45% (male 17,307,230/female 16,715,153)
      55-64 years: 6.86% (male 2,971,475/female 3,100,747)
      65 years and over: 5.16% (male 2,058,911/female 2,507,127) (2015 est.)
      population pyramid: 
      total dependency ratio: 62.3%
      youth dependency ratio: 53.8%
      elderly dependency ratio: 8.5%
      potential support ratio: 11.8% (2015 est.)
      total: 25.3 years
      male: 24.9 years
      female: 25.6 years (2015 est.)
      1.79% (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 65
      22.9 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 69
      4.77 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 195
      -0.19 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 118
      urban population: 43.1% of total population (2015)
      rate of urbanization: 1.68% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
      CAIRO (capital) 18.772 million; Alexandria 4.778 million (2015)
      at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
      0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
      15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
      25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
      55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
      65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
      total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
      total: 21.55 deaths/1,000 live births
      male: 23 deaths/1,000 live births
      female: 20.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 81
      total population: 73.7 years
      male: 71.06 years
      female: 76.47 years (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 126
      2.83 children born/woman (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 61
      60.3% (2008)
      5.1% of GDP (2013)
      country comparison to the world: 142
      2.83 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
      0.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
      urban: 100% of population
      rural: 99% of population
      total: 99.4% of population
      urban: 0% of population
      rural: 1% of population
      total: 0.6% of population (2015 est.)
      urban: 96.8% of population
      rural: 93.1% of population
      total: 94.7% of population
      urban: 3.2% of population
      rural: 6.9% of population
      total: 5.3% of population (2015 est.)
      0.02% (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 128
      8,800 (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 98
      300 (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 98
      degree of risk: intermediate
      food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
      water contact disease: schistosomiasis
      note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)
      27.7% (2014)
      country comparison to the world: 17
      6.8% (2008)
      country comparison to the world: 77
      3.8% of GDP (2008)
      country comparison to the world: 117
      definition: age 15 and over can read and write
      total population: 73.8%
      male: 82.2%
      female: 65.4% (2015 est.)
      total: 14 years
      male: 14 years
      female: 13 years (2012)
      total number: 1,066,526
      percentage: 7% (2005 est.)
      total: 24.8%
      male: 14.7%
      female: 54.1% (2010 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 37

Government :: EGYPT

    • conventional long form: Arab Republic of Egypt
      conventional short form: Egypt
      local long form: Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah
      local short form: Misr
      former: United Arab Republic (with Syria)
      name: Cairo
      geographic coordinates: 30 03 N, 31 15 E
      time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
      27 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazat); Ad Daqahliyah, Al Bahr al Ahmar (Red Sea), Al Buhayrah, Al Fayyum, Al Gharbiyah, Al Iskandariyah (Alexandria), Al Isma'iliyah (Ismailia), Al Jizah (Giza), Al Minufiyah, Al Minya, Al Qahirah (Cairo), Al Qalyubiyah, Al Uqsur (Luxor), Al Wadi al Jadid (New Valley), As Suways (Suez), Ash Sharqiyah, Aswan, Asyut, Bani Suwayf, Bur Sa'id (Port Said), Dumyat (Damietta), Janub Sina' (South Sinai), Kafr ash Shaykh, Matruh, Qina, Shamal Sina' (North Sinai), Suhaj
      28 February 1922 (from UK protectorate status; the revolution that began on 23 July 1952 led to a republic being declared on 18 June 1953 and all British troops withdrawn on 18 June 1956); note - it was ca. 3200 B.C. that the Two Lands of Upper (southern) and Lower (northern) Egypt were first united politically
      Revolution Day, 23 July (1952)
      several previous; latest approved by a constitutional committee in December 2013, approved by referendum 14-15 January 2014, ratified by interim president 19 January 2014 (2015)
      mixed legal system based on Napoleonic civil and penal law, Islamic religious law, and vestiges of colonial-era laws; judicial review of the constitutionality of laws by the Supreme Constitutional Court
      accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
      birthright citizenship: no, unless the father was born in Egypt
      dual citizenship recognized: only with prior permission from the government
      residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
      18 years of age; universal and compulsory
      Chief of state: President Abdelfattah Said ELSISI (since 8 June 2014)
      head of government: Prime Minister Sherif ISMAIL (since 12 September 2015); note - Prime Minister Ibrahim MEHLAB resigned 12 September 2015
      cabinet: Cabinet sworn in 17 June 2014
      elections/appointments: president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26-28 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2018); prime minister appointed by the president, approved by the House of Representatives
      election results: Abdelfattah Said ELSISI elected president; percent of vote in 1 round - Abdelfattah Said ELSISI (independent) 96.6%, Hamdeen SABAHI (Egyptian Current Party ) 3.4%
      description: unicameral House of Representatives (Majlis Al-Nowaab); 596 seats; 448 members directly elected by individual candidacy system, 120 members - with quotas for women, youth, Christians and workers - elected in party-list constituencies by simple majority popular vote, and 28 members selected by the president; member term NA
      elections (for new House of Representatives): initial election scheduled in two phases - 17-28 October and 21 November-2 December 2015
      highest court(s): Supreme Constitutional Court or SCC (consists of the court president and 10 justices); the SCC serves as the final court of arbitrator on the constitutionality of laws and conflicts between lower courts regarding jurisdiction and rulings; Court of Cassation (CC) (consists of the court president and 550 judges organized in circuits with cases heard by panels of 5 judges); the CC is the highest appeals body for civil and criminal cases, also known as “ordinary justices"; Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) - consists of the court president and organized in circuits with cases heard by panels of 5 judges); the SAC is the highest court of the State Council
      judge selection and term of office: under the 2014 constitution, all judges and justices selected by the Supreme Judiciary Council and appointed by the president of the Republic; tenure NA
      subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; courts of limited jurisdiction; Family Court (established in 2004)
      officially recognized: Al-Asala [Ehab SHIHA]
      Al-Dustour (Constitution) Party [Hala SHOKRALLAH]
      Al-Karama Party [Mohamed SAMY]
      Al-Nour [Yunis MAKHYUN]
      Al-Wasat Party [Mohamad Abdel LATIF]
      Al-Watan [Imad Abd al-GHAFUR]
      Building and Development Party or BDP [Tarek al-ZOMOR]
      Congress Party [Omar Mokhtar SEMEIDA]
      Egyptian National Movement Party [Ahmed SHAFIK]
      Egyptian Social Democratic Party [Mohamed Aboul GHAR]
      El Tagamu'u Party [Sayed Abdel AAL]
      Free Egyptians Party [Essam KHALIL]
      New Wafd Party [Sayed al-BADADWI]
      Popular Current Party [Hamdeen SABAHI]
      Reform and Development Party [Mohamad Anwar al-SADAT]
      Socialist Popular Alliance [Abdel Ghafar SHOUKR]
      Strong Egypt Party [Abdel Moneim Aboul FOTOUH]
      chief of mission: Ambassador Yasser REDA (since 17 September 2015)
      chancery: 3521 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
      telephone: [1] (202) 895-5400
      FAX: [1] (202) 244-4319
      consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York
      chief of mission: Ambassador R. Stephen BEECROFT (since 18 December 2014)
      embassy: 5 Tawfik Diab St., Garden City, Cairo
      mailing address: Unit 64900, Box 15, APO AE 09839-4900; 5 Tawfik Diab Street, Garden City, Cairo
      telephone: [20] (2) 2797-3300
      FAX: [20] (2) 2797-3200
      three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the national emblem (a gold Eagle of Saladin facing the hoist side with a shield superimposed on its chest above a scroll bearing the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white)
      note: similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars in the white band, Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band, and Yemen, which has a plain white band
      golden eagle, white lotus; national colors: red, white, black
      name: "Bilady, Bilady, Bilady" (My Homeland, My Homeland, My Homeland)
      lyrics/music: Younis-al QADI/Sayed DARWISH
      note: adopted 1979; the current anthem, less militaristic than the previous one, was created after the signing of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel; Sayed DARWISH, commonly considered the father of modern Egyptian music, composed the anthem

Economy :: EGYPT

  • Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley, where most economic activity takes place. Egypt's economy was highly centralized during the rule of former President Gamal Abdel NASSER but opened up considerably under former Presidents Anwar EL-SADAT and Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK. Cairo from 2004 to 2008 pursued business climate reforms to attract foreign investment and facilitate growth. Poor living conditions and limited job opportunities for the average Egyptian contribute to public discontent, a major factor leading to the January 2011 revolution that ousted Mubarak. The uncertain political, security, and policy environment since 2011 caused economic growth to slow significantly, hurting tourism, manufacturing, and other sectors and pushing up unemployment. Weak growth and limited foreign exchange earnings have made public finances unsustainable, leaving authorities dependent on expensive borrowing for deficit finance and on Gulf allies to help cover the import bill. Egypt's current Constitution passed in a referendum that took place in January 2014.
    $943.1 billion (2014 est.)
    $923.1 billion (2013 est.)
    $904.1 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 24
    $286.4 billion (2014 est.)
    2.2% (2014 est.)
    2.1% (2013 est.)
    2.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    $10,900 (2014 est.)
    $10,600 (2013 est.)
    $10,400 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 126
    13.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    11.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    12.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    household consumption: 80.3%
    government consumption: 12%
    investment in fixed capital: 13%
    investment in inventories: 0.5%
    exports of goods and services: 15%
    imports of goods and services: -20.7%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 14.6%
    industry: 38.9%
    services: 46.5% (2014 est.)
    cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats
    textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons, construction, cement, metals, light manufactures
    1.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    28.26 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    agriculture: 29%
    industry: 24%
    services: 47% (2011 est.)
    13.4% (2014 est.)
    13.2% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    25.2% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 4%
    highest 10%: 26.6% (2008)
    30.8 (2008)
    32.1 (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    revenues: $65.48 billion
    expenditures: $99.14 billion (2014 est.)
    23% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    -11.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    93.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    91.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
    note: data cover central government debt and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions
    country comparison to the world: 18
    1 July - 30 June
    10.1% (2014 est.)
    9.5% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    9.75% (30 October 2014)
    8.75% (5 December 2013)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    11.8% (31 December 2014 est.)
    12.29% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    $60.18 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $53.71 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    $219 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $199.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    $225.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $217.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    $73.04 billion (30 November 2014 est.)
    $58.01 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $48.68 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    -$2.356 billion (2014 est.)
    $6.39 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    $27.15 billion (2014 est.)
    $27.87 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    • crude oil and petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals, processed food
      Italy 9.2%, Saudi Arabia 7.4%, India 7.2%, Turkey 5.4%, US 4.2% (2014)
      $55.26 billion (2014 est.)
      $55.46 billion (2013 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 53
      machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, fuels
      China 11.2%, Germany 7.9%, US 7.4%, Kuwait 5.1%, Italy 4.6%, Ukraine 4.4%, Russia 4.2%, Turkey 4.1% (2014)
      $15.13 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
      $16.12 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 71
      $41.32 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
      $45.75 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 61
      $79.19 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
      $76.76 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 50
      $6.684 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
      $6.475 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 62
      Egyptian pounds (EGP) per US dollar -
      7.1 (2014 est.)
      6.8708 (2013 est.)
      6.06 (2012 est.)
      5.9358 (2011 est.)
      5.6219 (2010 est.)

Energy :: EGYPT

Communications :: EGYPT

    • total subscriptions: 6.32 million
      subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 7 (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 26
      total: 95.3 million
      subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 17
      general assessment: underwent extensive upgrading during 1990s; principal centers at Alexandria, Cairo, Al Mansurah, Ismailia, Suez, and Tanta are connected by coaxial cable and microwave radio relay
      domestic: largest fixed-line system in the region; multiple mobile-cellular networks with a near 100-percent penetration of the market
      international: country code - 20; landing point for Aletar, the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable networks, Link Around the Globe (FLAG) Falcon and FLAG FEA; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, 1 Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat); tropospheric scatter to Sudan; microwave radio relay to Israel; a participant in Medarabtel (2015)
      mix of state-run and private broadcast media; state-run TV operates 2 national and 6 regional terrestrial networks, as well as a few satellite channels; about 20 private satellite channels and a large number of Arabic satellite channels are available via subscription; state-run radio operates about 70 stations belonging to 8 networks; 2 privately owned radio stations operational (2008)
      AM 42 (plus 15 repeaters), FM 22, shortwave 1 (2010)
      64 (2010)
      total: 42 million
      percent of population: 48.3% (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 15

Transportation :: EGYPT

    • 83 (2013)
      country comparison to the world: 66
      total: 72
      over 3,047 m: 15
      2,438 to 3,047 m: 36
      1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
      under 914 m: 6 (2013)
      total: 11
      2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
      1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
      914 to 1,523 m: 4
      under 914 m:
      3 (2013)
      7 (2013)
      condensate 486 km; condensate/gas 74 km; gas 7,986 km; liquid petroleum gas 957 km; oil 5,225 km; oil/gas/water 37 km; refined products 895 km; water 65 km (2013)
      total: 5,085 km
      standard gauge: 5,085 km 1.435-m gauge (62 km electrified) (2014)
      country comparison to the world: 34
      total: 137,430 km
      paved: 126,742 km (includes 838 km of expressways)
      unpaved: 10,688 km (2010)
      country comparison to the world: 37
      3,500 km (includes the Nile River, Lake Nasser, Alexandria-Cairo Waterway, and numerous smaller canals in Nile Delta; the Suez Canal (193.5 km including approaches) is navigable by oceangoing vessels drawing up to 17.68 m) (2011)
      country comparison to the world: 29
      total: 67
      by type: bulk carrier 16, cargo 20, container 3, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 12, roll on/roll off 9
      foreign-owned: 13 (Denmark 1, France 1, Greece 8, Jordan 2, Lebanon 1)
      registered in other countries: 42 (Cambodia 4, Georgia 7, Honduras 2, Liberia 3, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 1, Moldova 5, Panama 11, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Saudi Arabia 1, Sierra Leone 3, unknown 1) (2010)
      country comparison to the world: 62
      major seaport(s): Mediterranean Sea - Alexandria, Damietta, El Dekheila, Port Said; Gulf of Suez - Suez
      oil terminal(s): Ain Sukhna terminal, Sidi Kerir terminal
      container port(s) (TEUs): Alexandria (1,108,826), Port Said(East) (2,617,043), Port Said(West) (1,138,753)
      LNG terminal(s) (export): Damietta, Idku (Abu Qir Bay)

Military :: EGYPT

Transnational Issues :: EGYPT

  • Sudan claims but Egypt de facto administers security and economic development of Halaib region north of the 22nd parallel boundary; Egypt no longer shows its administration of the Bir Tawil trapezoid in Sudan on its maps; Gazan breaches in the security wall with Egypt in January 2008 highlight difficulties in monitoring the Sinai border; Saudi Arabia claims Egyptian-administered islands of Tiran and Sanafir
    refugees (country of origin): 70,023 (West Bank and Gaza Strip); 12,730 (Sudan); 5,149 (Iraq) (2014); 128,019 (Syria); 7,365 (Somalia) (2015)
    stateless persons: 20 (2014)
    transit point for cannabis, heroin, and opium moving to Europe, Israel, and North Africa; transit stop for Nigerian drug couriers; concern as money laundering site due to lax enforcement of financial regulations