Cultural Communication Patterns

Egypt, the country of origin of Egyptian Americans,
has a landmass of 386,900 square miles (about one and
a half times the size of Texas) and a population of over
82 million people, giving it a population density of
over 177 per square mile. More than 95 percent of the
land is barren desert, resulting in 90 percent of the
population’s living on 3 percent of the total land area,
in the Nile Valley and Delta (CIA World Factbook,
2011). The Nile has been and still is significant in shaping
life and living patterns in Egypt. The average annual
rate of population increase is 1.75 percent, with a birth
rate of 22.94 per 1000 and an infant mortality rate
of 25.2 per 1000 (CIA World Factbook, 2011). The
capital, Cairo, has almost 11 million people, followed
in population by Alexandria with 4.3 million people
(CIA World Factbook, 2011).
Egypt is bordered by Libya on the west, Sudan on
the south, the Mediterranean Sea on the north, and
the Red Sea and Israel on the east. The eastern region,
across the Suez Canal, is Sinai. Egypt’s climate
is hot and dry most of the year. The average daily
temperature on the Mediterranean coast is 68°F with
a maximum of 88°F, and in Aswan, average temperatures
are 80°F but can reach 120°F with little or no
humidity. The Mediterranean region receives most of
the country’s annual rainfall (7.5 in.). The northern
summers are balmy with moderate temperatures and
80 percent humidity. Between March and April,
khamsi winds blow in from the Western Desert at up
to 93 miles per hour. Except for a few hills outside
Cairo, Egypt has a flat terrain on both sides of the
southern Nile valley and the Sinai Peninsula. The
Nile River, a main artery for Egypt and an orientation
point for its terrain, runs through the center of
the country from south to north to the Mediterranean
Sea. The Nile—considered to be Egypt’s
lifeline—provides water and supports agriculture.