Nearly 5,000 years ago, on the eastern edge of the Sahara Desert, one of the world's earliest and greatest civilizations began to flourish. That civilization, Egypt, has held a firm grip on the human imagination ever since, with its powerful pharaohs, its awe-inspiring pyramids, and its mysterious religious beliefs. But Egypt is much more than a land of unsurpassed archaeological wonders. Today, it is the most populous Arab country; it was also the first Arab nation to make peace with Israel. As this ancient land struggles with the many problems of the 21st century, it remains a vital member of the global community. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of Egypt.