Egypt is one of the cradles of civilization in the Middle East. Traces of early man were found in Egypt dating back as early as 700,000 years ago. Egypt and ancient Canaan to the north probably served as the bridges by which successive waves of humans: homo erectus, homo habilis, homo neanderthalensis and homo sapiens, evidently migrated out of Africa and into Mesopotamia and Europe. Ancient Egyptians used a phonetic-pictograph writing called hieroglyphics by the Ancient Greeks. This system evolved from portrayal of pictures of objects to using stylized representation of objects to represent sound combinations and compose words, to a phonetic alphabet much like our own. Ancient Egypt boasted considerable achievements in art, medicine, astronomy and literature, and was the hub of civilization in much of the Near East and North Africa. The unique history of ancient Egypt and visible monuments to that history helped Egyptians to preserve a distinct national consciousness, and to remain a separate entity during the years of Arab, Mameluke and Ottoman conquest. Until the conversion to Christianity, Egyptian polytheistic religion centered on the afterlife. Pharaohs and rich Egyptians built elaborate tombs in caves or in Pyramids, decorated with elaborate art on the interior and containing jewelry and objects that would be needed in the after-life, and in some cases servants and slaves who were interred with their master. The walls of pyramids were decorated with elaborate stylized frescos such as the one at right, in which noble persons were shown as larger than slaves, and subjects were drawn in profile. In other periods, all subjects were shown in frontal view only. The king or noble person had his or her body embalmed, wrapped in linen, and enclosed in an elaborate carved coffin as a mummy. Form of Government
The politics of Egypt is based on republicanism, with a semi-presidential system of government. Following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, and the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, executive power was assumed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which dissolved the parliament, and suspended the constitution. In 2012, presidential elections resulted in the election of Mohammed Morsi as Egypt's fifth President.
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party is a left liberal and a social democratic party in Egypt which was founded after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution by the merger of two minor liberal parties, the Liberal Egyptian Party, and the Egyptian Democratic Party on 29 March 2011. In August 2012, the party was admitted into the Socialist International as a consultative member. The party is considering merging with the Constitution Party. The Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Tagammu Party ran in the 2012 Shura council election as part of the Egyptian Bloc. The division of seats between the two parties in the Shura Council is unclear. The party was accepted into the Party of European Socialists on 18 February 2013.
Parliamentary life in Egypt has been a mark of Egyptian civilizations along its history. In modern history, parliamentary life started as early as 1824 while representative parliamentary life did not start until 1866. Today's Parliament of Egypt is bicameral, made up of the People's Assembly and the Shura Council. Political Parties and Elections
According to the Egyptian Constitution, political parties are allowed to exist. Religious political parties are not allowed as it would not respect the principle of non-interference of religion in politics and that religion has to remain in the private sphere to respect all beliefs. Also forbidden are political parties supporting militia formations or having an agenda that is contradictory to the constitution and its principles, or threatening the country's stability such as national unity between Muslim Egyptians and Christian Egyptians. As of 2012, there are more than 40 registered political parties in Egypt. The largest are Freedom and Justice...
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