Thousands of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square on June 24 to cheer the result of the country’s presidential election. Mohamed Morsi, a 60 year old politician, won the elections by a narrow margin. These elections are an important milestone in the country, and mean a lot to many Egyptians.
In January 2011, people in Egypt started protesting. The people demanded for the country’s president, Hosni Mubarak, to step down. They wanted a change in the government. Mubarak had been the president of Egypt for almost 30 years, and was vice-president for 6 years before that. The people of Egypt had been dissatisfied with the way Mubarak and his government had been running the country. There weren’t enough jobs for people. Food and housing prices were very high.
Mubarak’s government tried to stop the protests. However, the protests increased and the protesters were very united. One of the main areas where protests were held was the Tahrir Square in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. After almost three weeks of protests, Mubarak resigned. The army took over and started temporarily leading Egypt until the next president was elected.
The time since Mubarak stepped down has not been easy for the people of Egypt. Egyptians were unhappy with the speed of changes in the country. They have held several protests in the country demanding the military leaders to speed things up. A year and a half later, the Egyptians finally have a new leader.
Mubarak has been tried in the Egyptian court for his government’s treatment of the protesters. Recently, he was held responsible for the deaths of some protesters, and was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
One of the words that comes to mind when you hear “Egypt” is “pyramids”. Over 100 pyramids have been discovered in the country. The biggest of these pyramids is The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as Khufu’s Pyramid. It is over 50 stories high and was built around 2560 BC. This pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years! Ancient Egyptians believed that life exists after death. So when their Kings and Queens died, they preserved their bodies by a process called mummification, where they would take out some of the internal organs, dry the bodies, and wrap them with cloth. They built pyramids which were tombs, and kept the mummified bodies inside. With the bodies they kept things that their King and Queens might need in their life after death – gold, food, furniture, clay pots. The pyramids took many years to build. Can you imagine how a 50-storey high building could be built without bulldozers, cranes, and forklifts?! Thousands of workers would push huge heavy stones over ramps to create the high pyramids. You can watch a video about this.
Did you know?
Senet, an Ancient Egyptian board game, is one of the oldest known board games in the world.