Modern Egypt


After the departure of the French expedition, Mohamad Ali, who was an officer in the Ottoman Army, rose to power with the support of the Egyptian people. His rule extending from 1805 to 1849 was an eventful period in Egypt's modern history. He is regarded as the father of modern Egypt who set the country on the march towards modernization.

In 1863, Khedive Ismail, a member of Mohamad Ali's dynasty, rose to power. If Mohamad Ali had started the process of modernization, it was Ismail who completed it. It was during his reign, in 1869, that the Suez Canal was inaugurated.

Towards the end of the 19th Century, and exactly on August 12th 1882, British troops landed at Alexandria marking the beginning of British occupation which lasted for 74 years. The beginning of the 20th century witnessed the awakening of the national conscience aiming at ending the British occupation. Mustafa Kamel, Sa'ad Zaghloul, Mustafa El Nahas and many others were prominent figures who strove to achieve two national objectives; independence and constitutional reform.

On the 28th of February 1922, Britain unilaterally declared the termination of the British Protectorate and declared Egypt an independent state. After the 1948 Palestine War, political, economic and social frustration intensified in Egypt. This led to the formation of the Free Officers Movement, which was created by a group of young officers who felt that they had been betrayed by their own government.

On the 23rd of July 1952, the Free Officer Movement led by Gamal Abd El-Nasser seized power in a bloodless revolution which allowed King Farouk to leave the country with a full royal salute. On the 18th of June 1953, the monarchy ended and Egypt was declared a Republic and Mohamad Naguib was named as the first President. In 1954 Nasser assumed control as the second president. During Nasser's presidency, extensive agricultural and industrial development projects were carried out. Progressive economic and social reforms were implemented for the benefit of the majority of the Egyptian people.

With the death of President Nasser in September 1970, Anwar El-Sadat assumed office. On October 6th, 1973, the Egyptian army crossed the Suez Canal, stormed the Bar Lev line and recaptured parts of Sinai occupied by Israel in 1967. To overcome the state of belligerency, President Sadat announced his historic initiative to visit Israel in pursuit of lasting peace, which he did in November 1977. Finally, the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty was signed in March 1979. The Sadat period witnessed changes in the political, social and economic domains, and at the same time, the private sector was given a greater share in the country's economy through the implementation of the "Open Door Policy".

In October 1981, Vice President Hosny Mubarak is the successor of Sadat as president. Economic reformation was undertaken under Mubarak's, success in diverting finance towards productive investment in industry and agriculture. A process of successful privatization has started, the stock exchange has been revived, and reform programs with the IMF and the World Bank have been signed and implemented.

For dreams to come true, a set of mega projects have been launched, in order to expand Egypt's urban and demographic map beyond the old valley and Nile Delta, that have became so overcrowded. Major projects in the southern & the northern parts started. These projects provide for Egypt a gateway to embark into the 21st century and 3rd millennium, paving the way for building a new society based on information and communication technologies and on technological revival to assimilate the new mechanisms of the future world.