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English and French are widely spoken, especially in tourist towns. German, Italian and Russian are also spoken in many hotels on the Red Sea. m. m. each day, except for Fridays and public holidays. Banks are closed on Fridays and Saturdays. m. m. every day except Sunday. Please note that all these times may vary during Ramadan. Payment Credit cards and traveller's checks are accepted in major hotels and large stores. Most tourist shops also allow you to make purchases in foreign currency. GB 20 36 19/12/06 11:37 Page 16 Photos Standard photographic film (100 or 200 ASA) is easy to buy in Egypt.

Video cameras usually incur a surcharge (video tax) and filming is prohibited at the Aswan Dam and in the Valley of the Kings. Population The population of Egypt is over 72 million. 45% of the population lives in urban areas. Cairo has over 17 million inhabitants and Alexandria over 4 million. Post You can buy stamps at post offices or from your hotel reception desk. A letter usually takes about a week to reach its destination (longer during Ramadan). Post offices are closed on Fridays. Public holidays Fixed dates: 1st January: New Year’s Day 7th January: Coptic Christmas Day 19th January: Coptic Epiphany 25th April: Sinai Liberation Day 28th April: Sham el-Nassim (Pharaonic Spring Festival) 1st May: Labour Day 23rd July: Revolution Day (commemorating the abolition of the monarchy in 1952) 6th October: Armed Forces Day Dates that change according to the Muslim calendar: Eid al-Fitr: marks the end of Ramadan Eid al-Adha: Feast of Sacrifice (70 days after the end of Ramadan, commemorating Abraham’s obedience to God) Ras as-Sana Hijriya: Islamic New Year Mawlid al-Nabi: Birthday of the Prophet Mohammed Religion The majority of Egyptians have been Muslim since the 12th/13th century, the remainder of the population being essentially Coptic (Egyptian Christians).

Geography Egypt covers an area of approximately one million square kilometres, consisting very largely of desert (97%). Consequently 95% of the inhabitants live in just 4% of the country. Egypt is bisected from south to north by the Nile River, and is divided into 26 administrative provinces. The capital is Cairo and the principal cities are Alexandria, Port Said, Sharm El-Sheikh and Aswan. Guides Egyptian guides may escort you around tourist sites and museums. They all possess qualifications from the Institute of Egyptology.

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Egypt - Nothing Compares


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