Egyptian History

This page from the BBC provides a chronology of key events in Egyptian history, 7,000BC until present. Some of the more major events are listed below.

circa 3,000 BC – Kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt unite. Successive dynasties witness flourishing trade, prosperity and the development of great cultural traditions. Writing, including hieroglyphics, is used as an instrument of state. Construction of the pyramids – around 2,500 BC – is a formidable engineering achievement.

1798 – Napoleon Bonaparte’s forces invade but are repelled by the British and the Turks in 1801. Egypt once more becomes part of the Ottoman empire.

1859-69 – Suez Canal built.

1882 – British troops take control of Egypt.

1948 – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria attack the new state of Israel.

1953 June – Egypt is declared a Republic by Nasser’s colleague and later rival, Muhammad Najib, who becomes president and prime minister.

1967 June – Six-Day War in which Israel defeats forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel takes control of Sinai, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

1973 October – Egypt and Syria go to war with Israel on Israel’s Yom Kippur day of commemoration to reclaim the land they lost in 1967. Egypt begins negotiations for the return of Sinai after the war.

1981 6 October – President Sadat is assassinated by Islamic Jihad extremists. Vice-President Hosni Mubarak takes over.

2000 December – Egypt, Lebanon and Syria agree on a billion-dollar project for a pipeline to carry Egyptian gas under the Mediterranean to the Lebanese port of Tripoli.

2005 December – Parliamentary polls end with clashes between police and supporters of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood supporters, elected as independents, win a record 20% of seats.

2006 November – Egypt is one of at least six Arab countries developing domestic nuclear programmes to diversify energy sources, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports.

President Mubarak promises democratic and constitutional reform in an address to parliament. Opponents are sceptical.

2009 June – US President Barack Obama makes key speech in Cairo calling for a new beginning between the United States and Muslim countries.

2011 January – Several days of anti-government demonstrations, apparently encouraged by Tunisian street protests which prompted sudden departure of President Ben Ali.

President Mubarak reshuffles his cabinet but fails to placate demonstrators, whose calls for his resignation grow louder. Days later he promises to step down in September.

Mubarak ousted

2011 February – President Mubarak steps down and hands power to the army council.

2011 March – Essam Sharaf appointed PM after protesters said his predecessor, Ahmad Shafiq, was too close to the old regime.

Egyptians approve package of constitutional reforms aimed at paving the way for new elections.

2011 April – Former President Mubarak and his sons, Ala and Gamal, are arrested on suspicion of corruption.

2011 April-August – Protests continue in Cairo’s Tahrir Square over slow pace of political change. Islamist groups come to the fore. Army finally disperses protestors in August.

2011 August – Former President Mubarak goes on trial in Cairo, charged with ordering the killing of demonstrators earlier in the year.


For a slightly more detailed understanding of certain aspects of Egyptian modern history check the following: (EGYPTNEWS.COM)

Economic Conditions Under Nasser

Foreign Policy Under Nasser




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