"Among the peoples of the ancient Near East, only the Egyptians have stayed where they were and remained what they were, although they have changed their language once and their religion twice. In a sense, they constitute the world's oldest nation". Arthur Goldschmidt Jr.
Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa (after Nigeria and Ethiopia), and the fifteenth-most populous in the world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Saharadesert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
The English name Egypt is derived from the Ancient GreekAígyptos (Αἴγυπτος), via Middle FrenchEgypte and LatinAegyptus. It is reflected in early GreekLinear B tablets as a-ku-pi-ti-yo. The adjective aigýpti-, aigýptios was borrowed into Coptic as gyptios, and from there into Arabic as qubṭī, back formed into قبطqubṭ, whence English Copt. The Greek forms were borrowed from Late Egyptian(Amarna) Hikuptah "Memphis", a corruption of the earlier Egyptian name
(⟨ḥwt-kȝ-ptḥ⟩), meaning "home of the ka (soul) of Ptah", the name of a temple to the god Ptah at Memphis.
Miṣr (Arabic pronunciation: [mesˤɾ]; مِصر) is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while Maṣr (Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [mɑsˤɾ]; مَصر) is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrewמִצְרַיִם (Mitzráyim). The oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadianmi-iṣ-rumiṣru, related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier".
The ancient Egyptian name of the country was
km.t, which means black land, likely referring to the fertile black soils of the Nile flood plains, distinct from the deshret (⟨dšṛt⟩), or "red land" of the desert. This name is commonly vocalised as Kemet, but was probably pronounced [kuːmat] in ancient Egyptian. The name is realised as kēme and kēmə in the Coptic stage of the Egyptian language, and appeared in early Greek as Χημία (Khēmía). Another name was ⟨tꜣ-mry⟩ "land of the riverbank". The names of Upper and Lower Egypt were Ta-Sheme'aw (⟨tꜣ-šmꜥw⟩) "sedgeland" and Ta-Mehew (⟨tꜣ mḥw⟩) "northland", respectively.