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Spirituality

Islamic Heritage

Islam in Egypt flourished during the early dynastic periods such as the Fatimid and the Ayyubid dynasties and established Egypt as a major cultural, political and social power in the Islamic world. In 1250 AD, a military caste known as the Mamluks took control of Egypt and established it as a major Islamic power. In 1798, the arrival of a French expedition led by Napoleon changed the political landscape after Muhammad Ali became the hereditary ruler of Egypt. His reign set Islamic Egypt on the path to modernisation.

Coptic Heritage

Copts who form the majority of Egyptian Christians are followers of the Coptic Orthodox Church and considered to be part of the descendants of Ancient Egyptians and one of the first peoples to convert to Christianity. In fact, the word “Copt” derives from the Arabic word “Qibt” – or “Gibt” – which derives from the Greek word “Egyptos” meaning “Egypt.” The Ancient Egyptian root of the word was “Hikaptah” (Ha-Ka-Ptah), the name Memphis was known by in 3100 BC at the time when it was the first capital of Ancient Egypt.

Jewish Heritage

The number of Egyptian Jews reached a maximum of 80.000 in the first half of the 20th century, an era that is considered as the golden age of Judaism in Egypt. The massive Jewish exodus to Israel in the mid 20th century made this number decrease drastically to some mere hundreds today. Nevertheless, some greatly preserved Jewish landmarks attest to the Judaic heritage of Egypt in major metropolis such as Cairo and Alexandria.