Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country in North Africa that includes the Sinai Peninsula, a land bridge to Asia. Covering an area of about 1,001,450 square kilometers (386,560 square miles), Egypt borders Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east. The northern coast borders the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern coast borders the Red Sea.
Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa. The vast majority of its estimated 78 million people (2007) live near the banks of the Nile River (about 40,000 km² or 15,450 sq miles) where the only arable agricultural land is found. Large areas of land form part of the Sahara Desert and are sparsely inhabited. Around half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with the majority spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most famous monuments, including the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx; the southern city of Luxor contains a particularly large number of ancient artifacts such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. Today, Egypt is widely regarded as an important political and cultural centre of the Middle East.