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Open map of EgyptFlag of EgyptEgypt /
History (639 AD- )

For the history prior to the Arab conquest, please refer to Ancient Egypt / History.

636 CE: Arab conquest starts. Egypt is under their total control by 642. Arabic language and Islam are introduced.
969: The Fatimids, a Shi'i dynasty with Tunisia as base, conquers Egypt. Cairo is founded as their new capital.
1171: The Fatimids are sacked, when Saladin unites the country with Syria. The Ayyubid dynasty is established, and Egypt returns to Sunni Islam.
1250: A revolt among the war captives, known as Mamlukes, starts and has as a final outcome, the overthrow of the Ayyubids.
1517: Sultan Selim 1 of the Ottoman Empire takes control over Cairo. From now on, Egypt is reduced to a province inside the Ottoman Empire.
1798: The arrival of Napoleon, and his French army. Napoleon takes control over strategic places in Egypt. The most important result of the French arriva, is that contact with the Western world is restored for Egypt, as well as that the modern science of Egyptology starts.
1801: The French are expelled, but their memory impregnates the thinking of Egypt's ruling elite.
1805: Albanian Muhammad Ali Pasha becomes viceroy of Egypt, with the recognition of the Ottoman sultan.
1811: The Mamlukes are driven out of power.
1820: Campaigns against Northern Sudan begin.
1831: After disagreement with the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Ibrahim, son of Muhammad Ali, conquers Syria.
1838: Syria loses.
1841: War with the Ottomans. Muhammad Ali defeats the Ottomans, and he becomes the hereditary ruler of Egypt. Muhammad initiates programs to reform and modernize Egypt.
1869: The Suez Canal is opened, with construction help from French companies.
1875: With the declining economy of Egypt, the new ruler, Khedive Ismail Pasha, sold most of Egypt's shares in the Suez Canal to Britain.
1876: Egypt is placed under the supervision of a joint Anglo-French debt commission.
1881: A nationalist revolt starts.
1882: The nationalist revolt is suppressed by the British, who take control over the country, but not as a colony or protectorate.
1883: Lord Cromer becomes, as the British administrator, the effective ruler of the country.
1914: With the start of World War 1, Egypt is turned into a British protectorate, and Egypt is used as a British base in military actions against the Ottoman Empire.
1922: The Protectorate is ended. Egypt becomes a monarchy, with Fu'ad as king.
1937: Faruk becomes king. The British troops leave the country, except from the area around the Suez Canal.
1940-45: Egypt becomes allied to Britain during World War 2.
1952: The army forces Faruk to abdicate.
1953: Egypt becomes a republic, and general Muhammad Naguib becomes the first president.
1954: Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser forces Naguib out of office, and he himself becomes new president.
1956: After Western countries withdraw an offer to finance the building of a new Aswan dam, Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal. Britain, France, and Israel invade Egypt as a response. The invading forces are soon forced to leave after pressure from USA, Soviet Union and the UN.
1958: The United Arab Republic, a union with Syria, is formed.
1961: The United Arab Republic is dissolved after disagreement with the Syrians. Egypt continues to use to name for its own country.
1967 June 5-10: The Six-Day War against Israel destroys the Egyptian air force, but even more the pride and confidence of the Egyptians. The war is a result of the closing of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli ships. Sinai is occupied, and the Suez Canal, now full of mines, is closed.
1968-1970: War of Attrition, in which Egypt is helped by the Soviet Union to fight Israel.
1970 September 28: Nasser dies.
October 15: Vice-president Anwar as-Sadat becomes the new president, after a referendum in which he gains 90% of the ballots. There are no opposing candidates.
1972: Sadat orders 20,000 Soviet military personnel to leave.
— Violent clashes between police and Egyptian students. These disturbances continue into 1973.
1973 October 6: Attack on Israeli-occupied territory by Egypt and Syria. With the aid of the USA, Israel manages to resist, but loses a strip of Sinai along the Suez Canal, and half way down the Western coast of Sinai.
1974: Reestablishment of diplomatic relations between USA and Egypt
1975 June 5: Reopening of the Suez Canal, after 8 years of being closed.
September: Agreements with Israel on disengagement of military forces.
1976: Sadat breaks a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union from 1971.
1977 November 19: After invitation from the Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin, 8 days earlier, Sadat visits Jerusalem. He speaks in the Knesset, the national assembly, where he signals what needs to be done to reach peace: Israeli withdrawal and the establishment of Palestinian state.
1978 September 17: A peace treaty is signed in Camp David, a vacation retreat of the American president, by Israel's prime minister Menachem Begin and the president of Egypt, Anwar as-Sadat. Within 2 1/2 years, Israel withdraws from all territories occupied by them in 1967, except for the Gaza Strip, which was not originally Egyptian. Another agreement is signed parallel to the first. This concerns the occupied territories, the West Bank and Gaza, in which an autonomous administration is to be established for 5 years. In the same period, no new Jewish settlements can be erected.
1979: Egypt is expelled from the Arab League of Nations, as a reaction to the peace agreement with Israel.
1980 January: Diplomatic relations with Israel are established.
1981 October 6: Sadat is assasinated by 3 soldiers of the Egyptian Army. The hitherto unknown organization, Liberation of Egypt, claims responsibility.
October 13: Vice-president Hosni Mubarak is elected to the new president by the national assembly. Mubarak states that he will continue Sadat's politics.
1982: Israel withdraws from all of Sinai, except Taba.
1984: Egypt re-enters the Islamic Conference organization.
1989: Israel withdraws from Taba on Sinai. Egypt reenters the Arab League.
1991: Egypt participates as the third largest party in the allied actions against Iraq, after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait the previous year.
1999 February: International grants and loans to Egypt are cut from US$2.5 billion in 1998 to US$1.5 billion for 1999. This is a reflection of a perceived diminshed need for foreign aid, due to the increase in foreign investments.

By Tore Kjeilen