LIFE3 AFRICAN AND CULTURE
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SUBJECT PACE NUMBER CONTENTS
Egypt officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental
country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner
of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a
Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip (Palestine) and
Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east,
Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba
lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the
Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share
a land border with Egypt. 1
Egypt is the most populated country in the Arab world
and the third most populous on the African continent, with
about 95 million inhabitants as of 2017. Its population grew
rapidly from 1970 to 2010 due to medical advances and
increases in agricultural productivity enabled by the Green
Revolution. Egypt's population was estimated at 3 million
when Napoleon invaded the country in 1798.Egypt's people
are highly urbanised, being concentrated along the Nile
(notably Cairo and Alexandria), in the Delta and near the
Suez Canal. Egyptians are divided demographically into
those who live in the major urban centres and the fellahin,
or farmers, that reside in rural villages. The total inhabited
area constitutes only 77,041 km², putting the physiological
density at over 1,200 people per km2, similar to
The official language of the Republic is Arabic. The
spoken languages are: Egyptian Arabic (68%), Sa'idi Arabic
(29%), Eastern Egyptian Bedawi Arabic (1.6%), Sudanese
Arabic (0.6%), Domari (0.3%), Nobiin (0.3%), Beja (0.1%),
Siwi and others. Additionally, Greek, Armenian and Italian,
and more recently, African languages like Amharic and
Tigrigna are the main languages of immigrants.
The main foreign languages taught in schools, by order
of popularity, are English, French, German and Italian.
Egypt has the largest Muslim population in the Arab
world, and the sixth world's largest Muslim population, and
home for (5%) of the world's Muslim population. Egypt also
has the largest Christian population in the Middle East and
Egypt is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country with
Islam as its state religion. The percentage of adherents of
various religions is a controversial topic in Egypt. An
estimated 85–90% are identified as Muslim, 10–15% as
Coptic Christians, and 1% as other Christian
denominations, although without a census the numbers
cannot be known. Other estimates put the Christian
population as high as 15–20%. Non-denominational
Muslims form roughly 12% of the population.
Egypt is a recognised cultural trend-setter of the Arabic-
speaking world. Contemporary Arabic and Middle-Eastern
culture is heavily influenced by Egyptian literature, music,
film and television. Egypt gained a regional leadership role
during the 1950s and 1960s, giving a further enduring
boost to the standing of Egyptian culture in the Arabic-
Egyptian identity evolved in the span of a long period of
occupation to accommodate Islam, Christianity and
Judaism; and a new language, Arabic, and its spoken
descendant, Egyptian Arabic which is also based on many
Ancient Egyptian words.
Egyptian cuisine is notably conducive to vegetarian
diets, as it relies heavily on legume and vegetable dishes.
Although food in Alexandria and the coast of Egypt tends to
use a great deal of fish and other seafood, for the most part
Egyptian cuisine is based on foods that grow out of the
ground. Meat has been very expensive for most Egyptians
throughout history, so a great number of vegetarian dishes
have been developed.
Some consider kushari (a mixture of rice, lentils, and
macaroni) to be the national dish. Fried onions can be also
added to kushari. In addition, ful medames (mashed fava
beans) is one of the most popular dishes. Fava bean is also
used in making falafel (also known as "ta‘miya"), which may
have originated in Egypt and spread to other parts of the
Middle East. Garlic fried with coriander is added to
molokhiya, a popular green soup made from finely chopped
jute leaves, sometimes with chicken or rabbit.
The Sudan or North Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan 7
(Arabic: ﺟﻤﻬﻮرﻳﺔ اﻟﺴﻮدانJumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in
Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, Libya to the
northwest, Chad to the west, the Central African Republic to the
southwest, South Sudan to the south, Ethiopia to the southeast,
Eritrea to the east, and the Red Sea to the northeast. Sudan has a
population of 43 million (2018 estimate) and occupies 1,886,068
square kilometres (728,215 square miles), making it Africa's third-
largest country and also the third-largest in the Arab world. It was the
largest country in Africa and the Arab world by area before the
secession of South Sudan in 2011.
In Sudan's 2008 census, the population of northern,
western and eastern Sudan was recorded to be over 30
million. This puts present estimates of the population of
Sudan after the secession of South Sudan at a little over 30
million people. This is a significant increase over the past
two decades, as the 1983 census put the total population of
Sudan, including present-day South Sudan, at 21.6 million.
The population of Greater Khartoum (including Khartoum,
Omdurman, and Khartoum North) is growing rapidly and
was recorded to be 5.2 million.
Aside from being a refugee-generating country, Sudan
also hosts a large population of refugees from other
countries. According to UNHCR statistics, more than 1.1
million refugees and asylum seekers lived in Sudan in
August, 2019. The majority of this population came from
South Sudan (858,607 people), Eritrea (123,413), Syria
(93,502), Ethiopia (14,201), the Central African Republic
(11,713) and Chad (3,100). Apart from these, the UNHCR
report 1,864,195 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's).
Sudan is a party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the
Status of Refugees.
Approximately 70 languages are native to Sudan.
Sudanese Arabic is the most widely spoken language
in the country. It is the variety of Arabic, an Afroasiatic
language of the Semitic branch spoken throughout Sudan.
The dialect has borrowed much vocabulary from local Nilo-
Saharan languages (Nobiin, Fur, Zaghawa, Mabang). This
has resulted in a variety of Arabic that is unique to Sudan,
reflecting the way in which the country has been influenced
by Nilotic, Arab, and western cultures. Few nomads in
Sudan still have similar accents to the ones in Saudi
Arabia. Other important languages include Beja (Bedawi)
along the Red Sea, with perhaps two million speakers. It is
the language from the Afroasiatic family's Cushitic branch
that is today spoken in the territory. The second most
spoken language in eastern Sudan is the Tigre language,
spoken by the other portion of the Beja, the Bani-amir and
by the Tigre people.
At the 2011 division which split off South Sudan, over
97% of the population in the remaining Sudan adheres to
Islam. Most Muslims are divided between two groups: Sufi
and Salafi (Ansar Al Sunnah) Muslims. Two popular
divisions of Sufism, the Ansar and the Khatmia, are
associated with the opposition Umma and Democratic
Unionist parties, respectively. Only the Darfur region has
traditionally been bereft of the Sufi brotherhoods common
in the rest of the country.
Long-established groups of Coptic Orthodox and Greek
Orthodox Christians exist in Khartoum and other northern
cities. Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox communities also
exist in Khartoum and eastern Sudan, largely made up of
refugees and migrants from the past few decades. The
Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church also has
Sudanese culture melds the behaviors, practices, and
beliefs of about 578 ethnic groups, communicating in 145
different languages, in a region microcosmic of Africa, with
geographic extremes varying from sandy desert to tropical
forest. Recent evidence suggests that while most citizens
of the country identify strongly with both Sudan and their
religion, Arab and African supranational identities are much
more polarising and contested.
Most Sudanese wear either traditional or western attire.
A traditional garb widely worn by Sudanese men is the
galabiya, which is a loose-fitting, long-sleeved, collarless
ankle-length garment also common to Egypt. The galabiya
is often accompanied by a large turban and a scarf, and the
garment may be white, colored, striped, and made of fabric
varying in thickness, depending on the season of the year
and personal preferences.
The most common dress for Sudanese women is the
thobe or thawb, pronounced tobe in Sudanese dialect. The
thobe is a white or colorful long, one piece cloth that
women wrap around their inner garments, usually covering
their head and hair.
Due to a 1991 penal code (Public Order Law), women
were not allowed to wear trousers in public, because it was
interpreted as an "obscene outfit." The punishment for
wearing trousers could be up to 40 lashes, but after being
found guilty in 2009, one woman was fined the equivalent
of 200 U.S. dollars instead
Eritrea officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in Eastern Africa, 13
with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia in the south,
Sudan in the west, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern
and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the
Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2
(45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of
the Hanish Islands.
Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic
groups in its population of around five and a half million.
Eritrea's population increased from 3.2 million to
approximately 5,755,124 between 1990 and 2020.The
average number of children born to Eritrean mothers is 4.1.
Ethnic composition. There are nine recognized ethnic
groups according to the government of Eritrea.An
independent census has yet to be conducted, but the
Tigrinya people make up about 55% and Tigre people
make up about 30% of the population. A majority of the
remaining ethnic groups belong to Afroasiatic-speaking
communities of the Cushitic branch, such as the Saho,
Hedareb, Afar and Bilen. There are also a number of Nilotic
ethnic groups, who are represented in Eritrea by the
Kunama and Nara. Each ethnicity speaks a different native
tongue but, typically, many of the minorities speak more
than one language. The Rashaida represent about 2% of
Eritrea's population.They reside in the northern coastal
lowlands of Eritrea as well as the eastern coasts of Sudan.
The Rashaida first came to Eritrea in the 19th century from
the Hejaz region.
Eritrea is a multilingual country. The nation has no
official language, as the Constitution establishes the
"equality of all Eritrean languages". Eritrea has nine
national languages which are Tigrinya language, Tigre,
Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Nara, and Saho. Tigrinya,
Arabic, and English serve as de facto working languages,
with English used in university education and many
technical fields. While Italian, the former colonial language,
holds no government recognized status in Eritrea, it is
spoken by a few monolinguals and Asmara has Scuola
Italiana di Asmara, a long running Italian government-
operated school. Also, native Eritreans assimilated the
language of the Italian Eritreans and spoke a version of
Italian mixed with many Tigrinya words: Eritrean Italian.
Tigrinya serves as the de facto language of national
identity. With 2,540,000 total speakers of a population of
5,254,000 in 2006, it is the most widely spoken language,
particularly in the southern and central parts of Eritrea.
According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2010,
62.9% of the population of Eritrea adheres to Christianity,
36.6% follows Islam, and 0.4% practices folk religion. The
remainder observes Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and
other faiths, or are religiously unaffiliated (0.1%).The U.S.
Department of State estimates that, as of 2011, 50% of the
population of Eritrea adheres to Christianity, 48% follows
Islam, and 2% observes other religions, including traditional
faiths and animism. Christianity is the oldest world religion
practiced in the country, and the first Christian monastery
Debre Sina (monastery) was built during the 4th century.
Since May 2002, the government of Eritrea has officially
recognized the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church
(Oriental Orthodox), Sunni Islam, the Eritrean Catholic
Church (a Metropolitanate sui juris), and the Evangelical
Lutheran church. All other faiths and denominations are
required to undergo a registration process. Among other
things, the government's registration system requires
religious groups to submit personal information on their
membership to be allowed to worship.
One of the most recognizable parts of Eritrean culture is
the coffee ceremony. Coffee is offered when visiting
friends, during festivities, or as a daily staple of life. During
the coffee ceremony, there are traditions that are upheld.
The coffee is served in three rounds: the first brew or round
is called awel in Tigrinya , the second round is called
kalaay , and the third round is called bereka.
Traditional Eritrean attire is quite varied among the
ethnic groups of Eritrea. In the larger cities, most people
dress in Western casual dress such as jeans and shirts. In
offices, both men and women often dress in suits. A
common traditional clothing for Christian Tigrinya
highlanders consists of bright white gowns called zurias for
the women, and a white shirt accompanied by white pants
for the men. In Muslim communities in the Eritrean lowland,
the women traditionally dress in brightly colored clothes.
Besides convergent culinary tastes, Eritreans share an
appreciation for similar music and lyrics, jewelry and
fragrances, and tapestry and fabrics as many other
populations in the region.
A typical traditional Eritrean dish consists of injera
accompanied by a spicy stew, which frequently includes
beef, chicken, lamb or fish. Overall, Eritrean cuisine
strongly resembles those of neighboring Ethiopia,Eritrean
cooking tend to feature more seafood than Ethiopian
cuisine on account of their coastal location. Eritrean dishes
are also frequently "lighter" in texture than Ethiopian meals.
They likewise tend to employ less seasoned butter and
spices and more tomatoes, as in the tsebhi dorho delicacy.
wikipedia. (2020). wikipedia : Egypt. Retrieved December REFERENCE
28, 2020. From : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt.
wikipedia. (2020). wikipedia : Sudan. Retrieved December
28, 2020. From : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudan.
wikipedia. (2020). wikipedia : Sudan. Retrieved December
28, 2020. From : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eritrea#Religion.