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이집트 아랍 공화국 줄여서 이집트(이집트 아랍어: مَصْر 마스르, 문화어:에짚트)는 아프리카의 북동쪽에 자리 잡고 있는 나라로, 시나이 반도를 통해 서아시아와 이어져 있다. 영토 면적은 약 1,010,000 제곱킬로미터로, 북쪽에는 지중해, 북동쪽으로는 가자 지구와 이스라엘과 접하고 있고, 동쪽에는 홍해, 남쪽에는 수단, 서쪽에는 리비아가 있다.
약 7천6백만 인구 중 절대 대다수가 나일 강변에 거주하는데, 이 지역은 약 40,000 평방킬로미터 넓이로, 이집트에서 유일하게 농사를 지을 수 있는 땅이다. 나머지 사하라 사막 지역에는 사람이 거의 살지 않는다. 이집트 인구의 절반 가량이 도시에 살고 있는데, 대부분 카이로, 알렉산드리아, 그밖에 나일 삼각주의 주요 도시에 집중되어 있다.
이집트는 고대 이집트 문명과 그 산물인 기자의 피라미드와 대 스핑크스 등 세계적인 문화유산으로 유명하다. 남부 도시 룩소르에는 카르낙 신전이나왕들의 계곡 등 고대 유적이 수없이 많다.
또 이 나라는 중동에서 중요한 정치적, 문화적 영향력을 행사하는 국가이다. 또 경제 면에서도 매우 앞선 나라로서, 국가 생산에서 관광, 농업, 산업, 서비스업 부문이 각각 거의 비슷한 비중을 차지한다. 그리하여 이집트 경제는 빠르게 성장하고 있는데, 이는 투자 유치를 위한 입법, 사회 및 정치 안정, 근래의 무역 및 시장 개방 덕분이기도 하다.
1,001,450 제곱킬로미터 면적의 이집트는 세계에서 38번째로 넓은 나라이다. 즉 중앙 아메리카 전역과 비슷한 넓이이며, 에스파냐 국토의 두 배, 영국의 네 배, 미국 텍사스 주와 캘리포니아 주를 합한 크기이다. 대한민국과 비교하면 약 열 배 정도의 크기이다.
그렇지만 이집트의 건조한 기후 때문이 인구는 좁은 나일 강 계곡과 삼각주에 집중되어 있다. 인구의 약 99%가 국토 면적의 5.5%에 집중되어 있다.
이집트는 서쪽에는 리비아, 남쪽에는 수단, 동쪽에는 가자 지구와 이스라엘과 접하고 있다. 이집트는 아프리카와 아시아 두 대륙 사이에 있어 지정학적으로 중요한 위치를 점하고 있다. 아시아와 아프리카 사이에는 수에즈 지협이 있으며, 이곳수에즈 운하를 통해 홍해를 사이로 지중해와 인도양을 연결한다.
나일 강 유역 외에 이집트 국토 경관의 대부분은 사막이다. 바람 때문에 높이 30m가 넘는 사구가 형성되기도 한다. 이집트는 사하라 사막과 리비아 사막의 일부에 속한다. 고대 이집트 시대에 이들 사막은 "붉은 땅"으로 불렸으며, 서쪽의 위협에서 파라오의 고대 왕국을 보호하는 역할을 했다.
최저 해면하 134m의 카타라 저지와 거기에서 칼가를 통과하여 아스완에까지 이르는 대상 저지를 제하면 국토의 대부분이 표고 200m 이상의 대지 또는 산지이다. 시나이 반도에서 홍해 연안에 이르는 산지는 아프리카 지구대(地溝帶)에 연해 있다. 북서부에는 리비아 고원, 남서부에는 케빌 고원이 있다.
이집트의 도시로는 고대부터 대도시였던 알렉산드리아, 아스완, 아시우트, 수도카이로, 엘 마할라, 엘 쿠브라, 쿠푸의 피라미드가 있는 기자, 후르가다, 룩소르, 콤 옴보, 포트 사파가, 포트 사이드, 샴 엘 셰이크, 운하가 있는 수에즈, 자가지그, 알 미냐가 있다. 오아시스로는 바하리야, 엘 다클라, 파라프라, 엘 카르가, 시와가 있다. 보호 지역으로는 라스 모하메드 국립공원, 자라니크 보호구역, 시와가 있다.교통
소규모(小規模)의 것을 제외하고 교통기관은 전부 국영이다. 자동차교통의 발달에 따라 도로도 정비되고 있으며 철도는 1859년에 카이로∼알렉산드리아 철도를 효시로, 카이로를 중심으로 해서 발달해 왔다. 총연장은 광궤(廣軌) 7,102㎞, 협궤(狹軌) 1,400㎞이다. 카이로 공항은 유럽, 아시아, 아프리카의 십자로에 위치해 있기 때문에 국제항공의 요충이 되고 있다. 국도의 총연장은 2만 6,000㎞이며, 나일강은 수단에 이르는 내륙수로 교통로로서 농산물과 광산물의 수송을 주로 한다.  보행자들을 위한 육교나 지하보도, 횡단보도 등이 거의 없는 이집트에서는 해마다 교통 사고로 숨진 사람이 8,000명에 이르고 있다. 차량들의 정비 불량과 난폭 운전, 낙후된 교통 기간 시설이 사고의 주범이다.
이집트는 피라미드와 신전으로 대표되는 수천년의 문화적 전통과 지중해의 여러 문화, 이슬람, 서유럽 문화 속에서 이집트 국민은 붙임성이 있으며 인정미가 넘치고 온화하지만 이기적이며 자기 주장이 강하다. 가정에서는 남편이 절대적 권한을 가지며 결혼에 있어서도 상대자와 혼인자금에 대한 교섭을 갖는 등 여성의 지위가 낮다. 그러나 표면에 나타난 이런 현상과는 달리 실질적 권한은 아내에게 있는 경우가 많다. 이슬람교 계율을 지키는 일은 다른 나라처럼 엄격하지 않다. 문화시설은 카이로와 알렉산드리아 도시에는 잘 정비되어 있다. 카이로에는 전 인구의 8분의 1이 모여 주택난이 가중되고 있다. 계층간 소득격차도 매우 심해 실업자가 많다. 일자리를 찾아 주변의 쿠웨이트나 사우디아라비아, 리비아 등으로 나가는 기술 노동자 수도 꽤 많다. 초등학교는 무상이고 졸업시험을 거쳐 중학교나 실업학교로 진학한다.
중동에서 제일, 아프리카에서는 나이지리아에 이어 두 번째로 인구(2007년 7월1일 현재 8천만명)가 많다. 인구 대부분이 나일 강 유역에 집중되어 있다. 이집트인들은 이슬람의 전래이후 아랍화되어 그들의 정체성을 아랍인으로 본다. 이는 아라비아 아랍인들과의 혼혈및 고대의 이집트인들이 아랍문화에 동화한 결과이다. 그러나 이들은 혈통적으로는 대체적으로 동질적이며 인종적으로 북아프리카와 지중해 동부의 영향이 지배적이다. 아랍문화에 동화하지 않은 고대 이집트인의 언어와 문화를 계승하고 있는 사람들은 초기 기독교의 분파인 콥트교를 믿는 콥트인이다. 기타 소수 민족으로는 아랍계 유목민인 베두인인들과 이집트 남단에 위치한 누비아인과 이집트 서쪽에 위치한 시와인들이 있다.
Egyptians take items out of an electronics store in central Cairo on Jan. 30.
Protests also erupted in Alexandria, with dozens reportedly killed there. This scene is from Jan. 28.
A mother with child watches thousands of Egyptian protesters gather at Tahrir Square in Cairo on Jan. 30. The army sent hundreds more troops and armored vehicles onto the streets of Cairo and other cities but appeared to be taking little action against mass protests.
Volunteers at a mosque in Cairo on Jan. 30 store goods confiscated from looters. Residents reported gangs of youths, some on motorbikes, roaming the streets, looting supermarkets, shopping malls and stores. Some of the gangs made it to affluent residential areas in the suburbs, breaking into luxury homes and apartments.
This government building in Cairo, seen on Jan. 30, was among the properties destroyed by protesters.
A soldier guards the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 29. Looters reportedly took priceless artifacts from the museum.
Protesters plead with an Egyptian soldier inside a military armored personnel carrier that was providing coverage, to use their weapons against riot police during a clash near Egypt's Interior Ministry in Cairo, Jan, 29, 2011. The soldiers providing cover for the advancing protesters refused their pleas to open fire on the security police, while the police defending the ministry battered the protesters with tear gas, buckshot and rubber bullets.
Anti-government protesters pray in front of an Egyptian army tank in Tahrir Square.
The statue of Alexdander the Great in Alexandria is flanked by protesters.
Army tanks guard a road leading to Tahrir Square.
A youth takes photos of the National Democratic party headquarters in Cairo.
Burnt out cars are seen blocking the Quasr El Nil bridge in Cairo on Jan. 29.
Egyptians gather around the burning headquarters of the of the ruling National Democratic party (NDP) in central Cairo on Friday, January 28.
Egyptian anti-government activists clash with riot police in Cairo on Friday, Jan. 28. Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters poured into the streets of Egypt, stoning and confronting police who fired back with rubber bullets, shotguns and tear gas in the most violent and chaotic scenes yet in the cha
A protester holds an Egyptian flag as he stands in front of water canons during clashes in Cairo.
Police gather in Tahrir Square as a car burns in Cairo.
Riot police fire water cannons at protesters attempting to cross the Kasr Al Nile Bridge in downtown Cairo on Friday.
Riot police clash with protesters in Cairo on Jan. 26. Thousands of people defied a ban on protests by returning to Egypt's streets and calling for Mubarak to leave office.
Egyptian opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei is surrounded by reporters as he arrives at Cairo's airport on Jan. 27. ElBaradei has vowed to join anti-government protesters in Cairo.
Egyptians Prepares for Fridays Days of Rage
Tear gas smoke fired by Egyptian police is seen as demonstrators gather in central Cairo on Jan. 25.
An Egyptian Muslim protester, left, kisses an Egyptian Christian holding a coptic cross as they take part in a protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Feb. 6.
An Egyptian anti-government protester prays next to an army tank in Cairo's Tahrir square on Feb. 5.
Egyptian anti-Mubarak protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 5.
An effigy of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak hangs at a traffic intersection in Tahrir Square on Feb. 5, in Cairo.
An anti-government protester keeps watch on a rooftop on the edge of Tahrir Square. Clashes between anti- and pro-government factions in Egypt's central square quieted on Friday.
Antigovernment Protesters Stage Peaceful Protests
Egyptian Unrest Continues, Journalist Targeted
Street Battle Rages on in Cairo
Egyptian protesters cry during Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo.
An Associated Press photographer, Khalil Hamra, is injured during clashes between anti-government demonstrators and their pro-government supporters in Cairo's Tahrir square. The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based media watchdog, said Thursday that it had recorded 24 detentions of journalists, 21 assaults and five cases in which equipment was detained over a 24-hour period. Foreign photographers reported attacks by supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak near Tahrir Square in central Cairo, the focal point of increasingly violent mass demonstrations.
A member of the press lies on the ground after being attacked by mobs while soldiers surround him in Cairo Feb. 3. The United States and Britain condemned the intimidation of foreign reporters covering protests against President Hosni Mubarak.
An anti-government demonstrator throws a projectile at pro-regime opponents during clashes in Cairo's central Tahrir square on Feb. 3.
Two foreign photographers take cover as they follow clashes between pro- and anti- government protesters in downtown Cairo on Feb. 3. Several journalist were arrested by the Egyptian Interior Ministry.
Anti-government demonstrators gather at Tahrir Square in Cairo on Feb. 2. A mostly peaceful week of protests turned violent later in the day.
Pro-government demonstrators, bottom, clash with anti-government demonstrators, top, opposite the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Anti-government protesters clash with supporters of Mubarak at Tahrir Square, Feb. 2.
Protesters Ordered to Leave Tahrir Square
Supporters of Mubarak hold his picture while waving the national flag during a demonstration in Cairo's Muhandisin district on Feb. 2.
Protesters clash with Mubarak supporters in Tahrir Square on Feb. 2.
Tourists make their way to a Cairo airport terminal in an attempt to leave Egypt on Feb. 2.
Injured Egyptian photographer Mohamed Omar (C) of European Pressphoto Agency is held on top of an armored personnel carrier by Egyptian soldiers. Omar was reported to have sustained an injury to his head.
A Mubarak supporter rides a camel through the crowd during a clash between in Tahrir Square on Feb. 2.
Mubarak supporters wave a giant Egyptian flag during a march in Cairo, Feb. 2. Thousands of people marched in support of Mubarak hours after he made a defiant speech promising to serve out the last months of his term and "die on Egyptian soil."
Effigies of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak can be seen hanging from traffic lights, as anti-government protesters gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo early Feb. 2 to watch President Barack Obama live on a TV broadcast from Washington, speaking about the situation in Egypt
An Egyptian demonstrator sleeps with his two children among other protesters demanding the ouster of Egyptian President Hosmi Mubarak in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Feb. 1.
Protesters watch Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek give a speech on a projected television screen in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Feb. 1. In a pre-recorded televised address to the country, President Mubarak announced that he would not run for another term in office, but whether protesting Egyptians would agree with him stay in office until elections later this year is uncertain.
Egyptian protestors pray in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Feb. 1.
Young girls wave Egyptian flags while standing on an armored vehicle outside Tahrir square in Cairo, Feb. 1.
Protesters pray in front of Army tanks during a mass demonstration against the government in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Feb. 1. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians swamped Cairo on Tuesday in the biggest demonstration so far in an uprising against an increasingly isolated President Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptians rally at Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Feb. 1.
Egyptians Biggest Protest Demand Change
An Egyptian soldier pats down Egyptian men waiting in line to enter the Tahrir Square in central Cairo to take part in the 'march of a million' rally in Tahrir Square, Feb. 1.
A tank stands amid crowds as protesters gather on Tahrir Square in Cairo, Feb. 1.
An Egyptian policeman cries as he receives a warm welcome by pro-Mubarak supporters in Cairo on Tueday, Feb. 1, three days after the police disappeared from the streets, following Friday's demonstrations, Egypt's largest anti-Mubarak protest.
Egyptians buy bread before the start of the evening curfew in Cairo, Jan. 31. Everyday life in Cairo has been turned upside down by the largest anti-government protests in decades. Schools are closed and businesses boarded up; the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic is now little more than a trickle; and the capital's famed nightlife has been snuffed out by a 3 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew.
People gather in Cairo international airport while waiting to check in for their flights, Jan. 31. Thousands of Americans and other foreigners scrambled to flee unrest in Egypt, turning the airport into a scene of confusion.
Egyptian special forces secure the main floor inside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo on Monday, Jan. 31. People broke into Cairo's famed Egyptian Museum on Saturday, ripping heads off two mummies and damaging artifacts before being caught and detained.
King Tut's Treasures Defiled in Egypt
Women walk past a damaged shopping center in Cairo, Jan. 31.
A young Egyptian anti-government demonstrator holds her national flag Monday in Tahrir Square.
Anti-government protesters pray in front of an army armored vehicle Monday as a man dressed in a suit, right, poses for a picture taken by a friend at Tahrir Square.
Protesters carry a symbolic coffin of Egyptian journalist Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud in a symbolic funeral ceremony Monday in Tahrir Square. Mahmoud worked for Al-Taawun, a newspaper put out by the Al-Ahram publishing house, and lived near central Tahrir Square.
Anti-government protesters arrange transparent plastic sheets to shelter themselves from the cold night air Monday on Tahrir Square.
Anti-government protesters pray Monday at sunset in Tahrir Square on the 14th day of protests calling for an end to Mubarak's regime.
Demonstrators stand on top of a wrecked police van in Tahrir Square on Feb. 8.
Female anti-Mubarak protesters shout slogans during a demonstration at Tahrir Square on Feb. 8.
Anti-Mubarak protesters take part in a demonstration at Tahrir Square, Feb. 8
Egyptian Wael Ghonim, center, a 30-year-old Google Inc. marketing manager, talks to the crowd in Tahrir Square in Cairo on Feb. 8. A young leader of Egypt's anti-government protesters and newly released from detention, Ghonim joined the massive crowd for the first time Tuesday, greeted by cheers, whistling and thunderous applause when he declared: "We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime."
An Egyptian newly-married couple is surrounded by anti-Mubarak protesters at Cairo's Tahrir Square on Feb. 8.
Egyptian protesters carry candles and hold a poster of an 8-year-old they say is the youngest victim of the events in Cairo on Feb. 8. A preliminary tally of 297 dead has been compiled by one rights group, based on visits to seven hospitals in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mohammed el-Merci fends off questions from local and international journalists at the end of a press conference in Cairo on Feb. 9
An Egyptian camel rider waits for tourists as he passes by the Pyramids in Giza, Egypt's most famous tourist attraction, which reopened to tourists on Feb. 9.
An Egyptian girl sleeps on her mother's shoulder in Tahrir Square on Feb. 9.
Protesters chant anti-government slogans inside Tahrir Square on Feb. 9
Opposition supporters pray and move around Tahrir Square in Cairo on the 16th day of protests against the regime, Feb. 9.
Medical school students and professors march though a downtown street Feb. 10, in Cairo. Hundreds of doctors, lawyers, and other professions banded together and joined the anti-government protest movement.
Egyptian protesters burn the government headquarters of Port Said that they claim delayed their requests to acquire homes, Feb. 10.
An Egyptian army commander, Hassan al-al-Roueini, addresses protesters in Tahrir Square, Cairo on Feb. 10. The commander told the crowd of thousands, "All your demands will be met today.
An Egyptian soldier watches as protesters pray in Tahrir Square, Feb. 10.
Protesters fill Cairo's central square on Feb. 10.
Anti-government demonstrators wave their shoes in Tahrir Square as they show their anger during a speech Feb. 10 by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who refused to step down
Egyptian anti-goverment demonstrators rest early Feb. 11 in front of posters with pictures of people killed during the unrest.
Confusion, Outrage Erupt in Cairo
Anger, Frustration in Cairo
Anti-government protesters and Egyptian soldiers participate in prayers Feb. 11 in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo.
Thousands of protesters march in Alexandria, Egypt, on Feb. 11
Egyptian anti-government protesters flash Arabic banners with the names those who died during the protests as they march in Suez, Egypt, Feb. 11. Egypt's military threw its weight behind Mubarak's plan to stay in office through September elections while protesters fanned out to the presidential palace in Cairo and other key symbols of the regime in a new push to force the leader to step down immediately.
Young anti-government demonstrators sit in a destroyed vehicle on a street near Tahrir Square.
An army officer writes a phrase supporting the change in Egypt on a man's shirt at Tahrir square.
Egyptians pose for family photo in front of an army armored vehicle at Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Egyptians gather in one of the entrances of Tahrir Square as traffic is restored in the area in Cairo, Feb. 13.
Egyptians cross the Nile River after leaving Tahrir Square on Feb. 12 in Cairo. A day after President Hosni Mubarak resigned, Cairo burst with civic pride, with volunteers cleaning and painting Tahrir Square, now synonymous with the revolution that toppled 30 years of authoritarian rule.
Opposition supporters carry a soldier at the front line near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Feb. 12. Pro-democracy activists at Tahrir, the epicenter of an earthquake of popular protest that unseated Hosni Mubarak, have vowed to stay there until the Higher Military Council accepts their agenda for democratic reform.
A protester faces off against Egyptian army military police as they try to remove him and others from Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Feb. 13.
On Egyptian state television, Al-Masriya, Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman delivers an address announcing that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down, in Cairo on Friday.
Anti-government protesters celebrate inside Tahrir Square after the announcement of Mubarak's resignation in Cairo on Friday.
Egyptian anti-government protesters celebrate minutes after the announcement on television of the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday. Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had resigned.
An Egyptian woman cries as she celebrates the news of the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who handed control of the country to the military, Friday night, in Tahrir Square, Cairo.
Egypt is Free: Mubarak Gives Up Office
Egyptians celebrate the news of Mubarak's resignation in Tahrir Square on Friday.
Anti-government protesters celebrate inside Tahrir Square after the announcement of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation in Cairo on Friday.
Egyptian soldiers celebrate with anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square on Friday. Cairo's streets exploded in joy when Mubarak stepped down after three-decades of autocratic rule and handed power to a junta of senior military commanders.
Thousands of Egyptian anti-government protesters celebrate inside Tahrir Square after the announcement of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation on Friday.
An Egyptian reacts in the street after President Hosni Mubarak resigned and handed power to the military in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday, Feb. 11.
Egyptian celebrates in Cairo after the announcement of President Mubarak's resignation.
A spokesman for Egypt's higher military council reads a statement titled “Communiqué No. 3” in this video still on Friday. Egypt's higher military council said it would announce measures for a transitional phase after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
Protesters walk over a barricade after it was taken down to allow free entry to hundreds of thousands of Egyptians in Tahrir Square in Cairo February 11, 2011. A furious wave of protest finally swept Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak from power, sending a warning to autocrats across the Arab world and beyond.
Egyptians celebrate in Tahrir Square after President Hosni Mubarak resigned and handed power to the military on Friday. Egypt exploded with joy, tears, and relief after pro-democracy protesters brought down President Hosni Mubarak with a momentous march on his palaces and state TV. Mubarak, who until the end seemed unable to grasp the depth of resentment over his three decades of authoritarian rule, finally resigned Friday
President Barack Obama makes a statement on the resignation of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in the Grand Foyer at the White House in Washington D.C.
Egyptians set off fireworks as they celebrate in Cairo’s Tahrir Square after President Mubarak resigned and handed power to the military.
Anti-government protesters celebrate inside Tahrir Square after the announcement of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation in Cairo on Feb. 11.