Egypt is the fifteenth most populous country in the world and its 78.8 million populations, as per the census held in 2006, live near the fertile banks of the river Nile, having an area of about 15,500 sq miles. The area is the only farming land found in the country, where agriculture is possible. The major part of the country forms a part of the Sahara Desert and is not much inhibited. The urban areas in the country is densely populated , with majority spread across greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major towns in the Nile Delta. Incidentally, Cairo is the largest city in Africa and the Middle East.
Egypt holds one of the richest evidence of ancient civilisation and some of the world’s ancient and famous monuments attract millions of tourists to the country. These monuments include the Giza Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza. You will find a large number of ancient artifacts such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings, in the southern city of Luxor. In the present days, Egypt has come to be known as the main political and cultural centre of the Middle East. About 2,000 years back the ancient culture of Egypt started to decline and disappeared, and the last trace of the culture ceased to exist in the year 391 AD, when the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I closed all pagan temples throughout the Roman Empire. It was during the invasion of Egypt by Napoleon that Europe got to see the wonderful artifacts of the Egypt, when the long lost culture started to be awakened.
During the yearly flooding of the Nile, the water enriched the soil on the banks of the river that brought in good harvests and wealth to the land. The daily life in ancient Egypt revolved around this fertile land. The people of ancient Egypt built mud-brick homes for themselves in the villages of the country and grew some of their own food and traded the rest in the villages for food and other goods which they could not produce. Most of these people worked in the fields as farmers and many of them worked as craftsmen and scribes. A small handful of people were nobles and together, they formed the inhabitants of ancient Egypt.
The ruler of the ancient Egyptian Kingdom, in the pre-Christian and pre-Islamic period are is referred to as a Pharaoh. Such rulers were believed to be the re-incarnation of Horus, who is an ancient God of the ancient Egyptian religion, whose cult survived long enough for him to evolve and gain many names over time. The Pharaoh was the most powerful person in Egypt and was the political leader and religious head of the Egyptian people and held the name of ‘Lord of the Two Lands’. He was the head priest of every Temple in Egypt, and represented the Gods on Earth and would build the temples all over the country to honour the Gods. He would also perform rituals for the well being of his country. He owned all of the land, made laws, collected taxes, and defended Egypt against foreigners.
At first, the word Pharaoh referred to the house where the King of Egypt resided and this translated to the ‘great house’. With time the king himself came to be known as the Pharaoh. The interesting point is that the King was never officially referred to by this name and the official designation of the King for ancient Egypt was ‘nesw-bit’, which combined the two dimensions of the King. While ‘nesw’ referred to the divine dimension that he had, ‘bit’ referred to the King as an individual that he is. As considered to be the son of God Osiris, as Horus, the Pharaoh was himself the divine being. He was considered to be an institution rather than an individual and was the protector of maat, the universal ethical principle. The consideration of the King to be an institution, changed with time.
At the time when pharaohs rules the Ancient Egypt, the people build Pyramids as tombs for theit Kings and their Queens, in which the pharaohs were buried. These pyramids came in various shapes and sizes and were built during the time from the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Middle Kingdom. Today we know 80 such existing pyramids, out of which, the three largest and best preserved pyramids have been found in Giza, with the well-known pyramid being that of the Pharaoh Khufu, known as the ‘Great Pyramid’.
This pyramid was built by pharaoh Khufu, an Egyptian King of the fourth dynasty, who existed around the year 2560 B.C. This he built to serve as his resting place after his death. It is said that this pyramid took 20 years to be built and there are modern theories as to how the construction proceeded.
The wonders of these pyramids have always stimulated the human interest, which they refer to as ‘The Mountains of Pharaoh’. When Napoleon invaded and conquered Egypt, he was supposed to have said that he can see 40 centuries from the top of the pyramid. Today the ‘Great Pyramid’ is enclosed, together with other pyramids along with the Sphinx. The famous ‘Sun Boat’ was discovered in 1954 and historians say that this was the boat which carried King Khufu in his last journey on earth before being buried inside the pyramid. According to the ancient Egyptian beliefs, the boat could have been placed there to serve him as a means of transportation to life after death.
The ancient Egyptians believed that the temples were the places where God and Goddesses lived, and as such, every temple that was built at that time was dedicated to a God or Goddess, who were worshipped by the High Priest and the Pharaoh himself. Temples were built with stone, especially the large ones, which had the walls curved with paintings of scenes from that period. It also contained curved inscriptions of the ancient Egypt and has been a subject of interest to the Egyptologists and tourists. In those days, entry to these Temples was restricted and today, when you visit one of them, you could visualise the wonders of the civilisation that existed in that period.
When you visit one of these temples, you should be beginning your journey in front of the Temple, which, the ancient Egyptians built to look impressive, considering that a Temple is where the Gods reside. When you enter the doorway into the courtyard, you would look straight ahead to find the door ways to the different rooms, beyond the courtyard. These rooms are more sacred than the ones before. Beyond this courtyard, an ordinary Egyptian was not allowed to proceed and that, he was allowed in here only on special festivities. When you enter the next room, through a high vertical tower, you will notice the sun light streaming inside the room through the windows cut into the roof. The high columns in this room are shaped to look like the papyrus plants and the ones at the center, where the light shines appear to be blooming and the ones at the dark corners are yet to bloom.
When you visit Egypt, you would have your mobile phone with you. During the time you went abroad in the days when mobile telephony did not exist, you had to use the telephone in your hotel rooms to talk to your associates, friends and to your family back home. It came out to be expensive. With the advent of mobile phones, you availed the roaming facility to take your phone with you when-ever you went outside the United States. This roaming feature, provided by your service provider back home, enabled you to be in touch with the world and also allowed you to be available to the people who wanted to get in touch with you. You had made and received calls, for which you had paid dearly. Every call that you made was charged in consideration that you are on roaming and you had paid for your incoming calls too, at roaming charges. The bill that you had received at the end of the month was way out of your budget that you had set. The bill amount was possibly more than the bill you had paid for using the telephone in your hotel room. You would like to economise.
A pre-paid SIM card for Egypt will provide you up to 80% of savings on your airtime usage of you mobile phone. When you buy a pre-paid SIM card for Egypt, you would be getting a local number and your outgoing calls will be charged at local rate. Further, all your incoming calls will be free, no matter where it generates from, and you would not be paying any roaming charges. More-over, since you pre-pay for your calls, you know exactly how much you are spending on your mobile calls. The pre-paid SIM card for Egypt gives you a certain talk time credit, and you can start making calls right away. You can buy recharge coupons from practically any shop in the Egyptian cities to replenish your talk time credit. These coupons are available in many different denominations and you can choose the value of the talk time credit that you would want. In this way, by pre-paying for your calls, you are aware of what you are spending for your phone calls. This helps you to maintain the budget that you have set for the purpose. More-over, you do not receive any of those ‘end of the month’ bills and you do not have to enter into any contract what-so-ever. To find out more regarding the pre-paid SIM card for Egypt and the prices, visit http://www.planetomni.com/FAQ_sim.shtml
A Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card is a smart card, which is the intelligent module in your mobile phone, enabling you to make and receive calls, including sending and receiving SMS. The SIM card is of a size little smaller than a postage stamp and it goes in a slot at the back of your mobile phone, as you open the back cover. The SIM card holds unique information regarding your calling plan, your SIM card number, the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) of your mobile phone and other security details. As you switch on your phone, the information is transmitted to the nearest network tower available in the city in Egypt that you are visiting. This information is checked and after security verification, the network logs you in. You are now ready to use your phone and start sending SMS and make and receive calls. The SIM card also holds your address book, where you store the name and the respective phone numbers of the people who you call frequently. The phone calls that you receive and make are also logged by the SIM card, including the incoming calls that you fail to answer. These are logged by their numbers, along with the respective date and time.
When you buy a pre-paid SIM card for Egypt, you will need a GSM mobile phone to use it. If you possess a GSM phone, it is unlikely that it will work in Egypt. The mobile networks in North America, Canada and few other neighbouring countries, operate on a different GSM frequency band as compared to the rest of the world. The networks in Egypt operate on 900MHz while North America, Canada and few other countries in that region operate on 850MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands. The difference in this operating frequency bands makes your GSM phone incompatible for use in Egypt. Under the circumstances, if you are a frequent traveller visiting different countries abroad, it is desirable that you consider buying a mobile phone, compatible with the frequency bands of the countries that you visit. If you are not much of a frequent traveller, it is economical for you to consider renting such a GSM phone, which may be used with your pre-paid SIM card for Egypt. For more information on buying or renting a phone, you may visit http://www.planetomni.com/FAQ_gsm.shtml for more information.
Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) is the second generation (2G) of mobile telephony and replaces the first generation (1G) old analog system. It is the first open structured digital mobile communication technology, developed in Europe and is being used in over 214 countries. GSM has over 80% of subscribers out of the total mobile users in the world. It operates on 4 sets of frequency bands, distributed to the different regions of the world, with a few regions having some common set of frequencies. GSM operates on 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz bands, with the networks in North America, Canada and few other neighbouring counties including the countries in the Americas operating on 850MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands. As far as the rest of the countries in the world, majority of the countries use different bandwidths, and this makes your GSM mobile phone incompatible with the networks of those countries.
It is very important for you to know that the GSM phone that you are taking along with you on your visit to Egypt, needs to be SIM unlocked. This would necessarily mean that the GSM phone must be able to work with any SIM card, including the pre-paid SIM card for Egypt. If your phone is SIM locked, it would not work with any other SIM card other than the one which it is meant for. To site an example, when you sign a contract with a service provider, you might have noticed a clause stipulated in the terms of the contract, which said that you must use the services of the provider for a definite period of time, which is typically one year. After you have signed the contract, you would receive a mobile phone, free of cost to you, and the SIM card. This phone is SIM locked and would work only with the SIM provided. This has been done to ensure that you use only the SIM provided by your service provider till the end of the contract. Upon completion of the contract period the service provider assists you in unlocking your phone, when you can use any SIM card of your choice. Therefore, whether you take your GSM phone, buy or rent one, it is essential that you ensure that the phone is not SIM locked. For more information, visit http://www.planetomni.com/FAQ_gsm.shtml
A pre-paid SIM card for Egypt is affordable and a great saving as well. You pay for your calls as the locals do and all your incoming calls are free. You do not pay for any roaming charges. Being pre-paid you can keep a tab on the money that you are spending to make calls from your GSM phone. You do not enter into any service contracts what-so-ever and you do not receive any bill at the end of the month.