Egypt is predominantly desert. Only 35,000 square kilometers- -3.5 percent of the total land area--are cultivated and permanently settled. Most of the country lies within the wide band of desert that stretches from Africa's Atlantic Coast across the continent and into southwest Asia. Egypt's geological history has produced four major physical regions: the Nile Valley and Delta, the Western Desert (also known as the Libyan Desert), the Eastern Desert (also known as the Arabian Desert), and the Sinai Peninsula. The Nile Valley and Delta is the most important region because it supports 99 percent of the population on the country's only cultivable land.
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