Preface

Preface

This edition of Egypt: A Country Study replaces the previous edition published in 1983. Like its predecessor, the present book attempts to treat in a compact and objective manner the dominant historical, social, economic, political, and national security aspects of contemporary Egypt. Sources of information included scholarly books, journals, and monographs; official reports and documents of governments and international organizations; and foreign and domestic newspapers and periodicals. Relatively up-to-date economic data were available from several sources, but the sources were not always in agreement.

Measurements are given in the metric system. Landholdings, however, are presented in feddans, a unit of measure that remains in general use although Egypt officially uses the metric system. One feddan equals 1.038 acres.

The information available on ancient and modern Egypt is detailed and voluminous. Limitations of space and time, however, precluded the presentation of anything more than a short survey.

The transliteration of Arabic words and phrases posed a particular problem. For many of the words--such as Muhammad, Muslim, Quran, and shaykh--the authors followed a modified version of the system adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names and the Permanent Committee on Geographic Names for British Official Use, known as the BGN/PCGN system; the modification entails the omission of all diacritical markings and hyphens. In numerous instances, however, the names of persons or places are so well known by another spelling that to have used the BGN/PCGN system may have created confusion. For example, the reader will find Cairo rather than Al Qahirah, Giza rather than Al Jizah, Suez rather than As Suways, and Gamal Abdul Nasser rather than Jamal Abd an Nasr. For some place-names, two transliterations have been provided.

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