Citizens, the proud and mighty country of Egypt (Egyptian Arabic: مَصر Maṣr) has a special place in TFD’s heart, as I spent my college years studying the entirety of Egyptian history! It was while excavating an archaeological dig in Beni Hasan that I first tasted the delectable treat known as hawawshi – and I was instantly hooked!
Egypt (officially the Arab Republic of Egypt), is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia, via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. It is the world’s only contiguous Eurafrasian nation. Most of Egypt’s territory of 1,010,408 square kilometres (390,000 sq mi) lies within the Nile Valley. Egypt is a Mediterranean country. It is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern country, arising in the tenth millennium BC as one of the world’s first nation states. Considered a cradle of civilization, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanization, organized religion and central government.
Iconic monuments such as the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of archaeological study and popular interest worldwide. Egypt’s rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, having endured, and at times assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and European. Although Christianized in the first century of the Common Era, it was subsequently Islamized due to the Islamic conquests of the seventh century.
With over 90 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab World, the third-most populous in Africa (after Nigeria and Ethiopia), and the fifteenth-most populous in the world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found.
The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt’s territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt’s residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centers of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional and middle power, with significant cultural, political, and military influence in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Its economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and services at almost equal production levels.
Now as to hawawshi (حواوشى), it is a famous traditional Egyptian dish very similar to the Middle Eastern pizza-like Lahmacun. It is a meat minced and spiced with onions, pepper, parsley and sometimes hot peppers or chilis. The ingredients are placed between two circular layers of dough, then baked in an oven.
Hawawshi is commonly made in Egyptian homes and is also served in some restaurants, usually as a take-away and is an extremely popular street food. I enjoyed it many times when I was studying in Egypt as an archaeology student, many years ago. 🙂 Of course, you must try my personal version of the Egyptian spice blend Dukkah, if you’re so inclined!
My version is both traditional and delicious, Citizens!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
The Hirshon Egyptian Hawawshi - حواوشي
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