Boaz Kiplagat Lalang
Boaz Kiplagat Lalang is a Kenyan middle distance runner, who specialises in the 800 metres. His younger brother, Lawi Lalang, ran for the University of Arizona. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Lalang missed running in the finals of the 800 m. At the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, he won a silver medal in the 800 m, he ran a mile personal best of 3:56.14 at the Drake Relays, defeating training partner and race favourite Bernard Lagat in the process and went on to lower his time to 3:52.18 in Oslo, Norway. On 29 August 2010 he ran a personal best of 1:42.95 at the Rieti meeting in second place behind the new world record set by David Rudisha. He studies Business Administration at Rend Lake College in Illinois, he has been mentored by Kenyan-born American runner Bernard Lagat 800 metres - 1:42.95 - Rieti, ITA, 29/08/2010 1000 Metres - 2:14.83 - Eugene, OR, 03/07/2010 1500 Metres - 3:35.80 - Rome, ITA, 10/06/2010 Mile - 3:52.18 - Oslo, NOR, 04/06/2010 Boaz Kiplagat Lalang at IAAF
Sir Peter George Snell is a New Zealand former middle-distance runner. He won three Olympic gold medals, is the only male since 1920 to win the 800 and 1500 metres at the same Olympics, in 1964. Snell had a short career as a world-famous international sportsman, 1960-1965, yet achieved so much that he was voted New Zealand’s "Sports Champion of the Century" and was one of 24 inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall Of Fame named in 2012. A protégé of the New Zealand athletics coach Arthur Lydiard, Snell is known for the three Olympic and two Commonwealth Games gold medals he won, the several world records he set. Born in Opunake, Snell moved with his family to Waikato in 1949 where he attended Te Aroha College and became an all-around sportsman, he won several middle-distance running events in his hometown of Te Aroha, although some members of his new school lived in Ngaruawahia. He attended Mount Albert Grammar School in Auckland, where he took up a wide range of team and individual sports, including rugby union, tennis and golf.
As a teenager, Snell excelled in tennis, pursued the sport through appearances at the Auckland and New Zealand Junior Tennis Championships. At age 19, Snell was motivated to concentrate on running by the comments of his future coach, Arthur Lydiard, who told him, "Peter, with the sort of speed you've got, if you do the endurance training, you could be one of our best middle-distance runners." During his early career under the tutelage of Lydiard, he started with New Zealand titles and records for 880 yards and the mile, despite being an unusually large and powerful man by typical middle-distance runner standards. Snell came to international attention with his gold medal in the 800 metres at the Rome Olympics in 1960, setting a new national record, he was dominant four years at the Tokyo Olympics where he won the gold and set a new Olympic record in the 800 metres, won gold in the 1500 metres. By winning the 800–1500 m double, Snell became the only male to achieve this at the Olympics since 1920, it has not since been achieved by any male athlete at the Olympics.
It was not achieved by a male at an open global championship until Moroccan-born Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain won both golds at the World Championships in 2005 at Helsinki.. In early 1962, Snell lowered the world mile record by a tenth of a second at Cooks Gardens in Whanganui on January 27, one week set new world records for both the 800 m and 880 yards at Christchurch, he won gold and set a new record for 880 yd at the Commonwealth Games in Perth in 1962, won gold for the mile at those same games. In all, Snell set five individual world records and joined with fellow New Zealand athletes to set a new four by one mile relay record as well. Snell's former world records of 1:44.3 for 800 m and 2:16.6 for 1000 m, remain the New Zealand national records for these distances. His 800 m record remains the fastest run over that distance on a grass track, is the oldest national record recognized by the IAAF for a standard track and field event, his 800 m record was the Oceania continental area record for 56 years, until 20 July 2018.
Fatigued after his Olympic buildup and second world mile record in 1964, his final track season in 1965 was characterized by a string of losses to such athletes as Olympic 1500 m silver medalist Josef Odlozil, Olympic 800 m silver medalist Bill Crothers, U. S. high schooler and future world record holder Jim Ryun, American Jim Grelle. Snell announced his retirement. Snell worked for a tobacco company before moving to the United States of America in 1971 to further his education, he gained a B. S. in human performance from the University of California, a Ph. D. in exercise physiology from Washington State University. He joined University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas as a research fellow in 1981, he is associate professor, Department of Internal Medicine and director of their Human Performance Center. A member of the American College of Sports Medicine, Snell was honoured in 1999 as an Inaugural Inductee, International Scholar, into the Athlete Hall of Fame, University of Rhode Island.
Adopting a new sport, Snell became an active orienteer and won his category, men aged 65 and older, in the 2003 United States Orienteering Championship. He is a past president of the North Texas Orienteering Association and a member of the United States Orienteering Federation. Snell has become a competitive table tennis player including competing in Texas state and US championship events and the 2017 World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand. Following his success at the Perth Commonwealth Games in 1962, Snell was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services in the field of athletics in the 1962 Queen's Birthday Honours. Three years he was elevated to Officer of the same order in the 1965 New Year Honours. In the 2002 New Year Honours he was appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sport, in 2009, following the restoration of titular honours by the New Zealand government, he was redesignated as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and invested by the Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Anand Satyanand.
Snell was one of five Olympic athletes from New Zealand featured on a series of commemorative postage stamps issued in August 2004 to commemorate the 2004 Olympic Games. The two dollar stamp issued by New Zealand
Essex is a county in the south-east of England, north-east of London. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, London to the south-west; the county town is the only city in the county. For government statistical purposes Essex is placed in the East of England region. Essex occupies the eastern part of the ancient Kingdom of Essex, which united with the other Anglian and Saxon kingdoms to make England a single nation state; as well as rural areas, the county includes London Stansted Airport, the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, Lakeside Shopping Centre, the port of Tilbury and the borough of Southend-on-Sea. The name Essex originates in the Anglo-Saxon period of the Early Middle Ages and has its root in the Anglo-Saxon name Ēastseaxe, the eastern kingdom of the Saxons who had come from the continent and settled in Britain during the Heptarchy. Recorded in AD 527, Essex occupied territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating all of what became Middlesex and most of what became Hertfordshire.
Its territory was restricted to lands east of the River Lea. Colchester in the north-east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating from before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint. In AD 824, following the Battle of Ellandun, the kingdoms of the East Saxons, the South Saxons and the Jutes of Kent were absorbed into the kingdom of the West Saxons, uniting Saxland under King Alfred's grandfather Ecgberht. Before the Norman conquest the East Saxons were subsumed into the Kingdom of England. After the Norman conquest, Essex became a county. During the medieval period, much of the area was designated a Royal forest, including the entire county in a period to 1204, when the area "north of the Stanestreet" was disafforested; the areas subject to forest law diminished, but at various times they included the forests of Becontree, Epping, Hatfield and Waltham. Essex County Council was formed in 1889. However, County Boroughs of West Ham, Southend-on-Sea and East Ham formed part of the county but were unitary authorities.
12 boroughs and districts provide more localised services such as rubbish and recycling collections and planning, as shown in the map on the right. A few Essex parishes have been transferred to other counties. Before 1889, small areas were transferred to Hertfordshire near Bishops Stortford and Sawbridgeworth. At the time of the main changes around 1900, parts of Helions Bumpstead, Sturmer and Ballingdon-with-Brundon were transferred to Suffolk. Part of Hadstock, part of Ashton and part of Chrishall were transferred to Cambridgeshire and part of Great Horkesley went to Suffolk; the boundary with Greater London was established in 1965, when East Ham and West Ham county boroughs and the Barking, Dagenham, Ilford, Romford and Wanstead and Woodford districts were transferred to form the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Waltham Forest. Essex became part of the East of England Government Office Region in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having been part of the South East England region.
In 1998, the boroughs of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock were granted autonomy from the administrative county of Essex after successful requests to become unitary authorities. Essex Police covers the two unitary authorities; the county council chamber and main headquarters is at the County Hall in Chelmsford. Before 1938, the council met in London near Moorgate, which with significant parts of the county close to that point and the dominance of railway travel had been more convenient than any place in the county, it has 75 elected councillors. Before 1965, the number of councillors reached over 100; the County Hall, made a listed building in 2007, dates from the mid-1930s and is decorated with fine artworks of that period the gift of the family who owned the textile firm Courtaulds. The highest point of the county of Essex is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, which reaches 482 feet; the ceremonial county of Essex is bounded to the south by its estuary.
The pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. The Metropolitan Green Belt has prevented the further sprawl of London into the county, although it contains the new towns of Basildon and Harlow developed to resettle Londoners after the destruction of London housing in the Second World War, since which they have been developed and expanded. Epping Forest prevents the further spread of the Greater London Urban Area; as it is not far from London with its economic magnetism, many of Essex's settlements those near or within short driving distance of railway stations, function as dormitory towns or villages where London workers raise their families. Part of the s
Phil Edwards (runner)
Philip Aaron "Phil" Edwards, MD was a Canadian and Guyanese track and field athlete who competed in middle-distance events. Nicknamed the "Man of Bronze", he was Canada's most-decorated Olympian for many years, he was the first-ever winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's top athlete. He went on to serve as a captain in the Canadian army and as a regarded physician and expert of tropical diseases. Edwards was born in British Guiana, to a family of thirteen children, his father was a magistrate, the family was part of the Black elite in the colony. Edwards' father was one of eighteen children and was from Barbados. Less is known of his mother, but it is thought that she may have been from Trinidad. In a 1928 New York Daily News article, it is stated that Edwards' paternal grandmother was East Indian and his maternal grandfather was Scottish and that fellow Olympian Jack London was a classmate of his at Queen's College in Georgetown. Growing up in what Edwards called'a country district', he practiced sprinting by racing an angry cow.
By the age of 16, Edwards dominated track events at his school. After graduating, he left British Guiana and moved to the United States, enrolling at New York University in 1925, where his elder brother “King” was a student athlete. Edwards’ parents and several of his siblings emigrated to New York, where they founded a law and real estate firm in Harlem. Under the guidance of NYU coach Emil Von Elling, Edwards improved as a runner in 880-yard races. In 1927 he narrowly missed winning the US national title in the 880 yards event, a race he won in 1929. While Edwards' performances at New York University established him as an Olympic-calibre athlete, he was not eligible to compete for the United States as he was not an American citizen. However, as a British subject, Edwards was eligible to compete for another country within the empire. In 1927 he was invited by Melville Marks Robinson, manager of the Canadian Olympic track and field team, to compete for Canada in the 1928 Summer Olympics, where Edwards won a bronze medal as part of Canada's 4 × 400 metre relay team.
Following Amsterdam, Edwards left New York University to attend Montreal's McGill University as a medical student, where he competed with the university's track team. Edwards continued his association with Bobby Robinson there, competing for British Guiana in the first-ever British Empire Games which were created due to Robinson's efforts, held in Hamilton, Ontario in 1930, he finished fifth in the 880 yards event as well as in the 1 mile competition. In the 440 yards contest he was eliminated in the heats, he would go on to compete once more for British Guiana in the 1934 British Empire Games in London where he became the first black man to be awarded a gold medal in what are now the Commonwealth Games by winning the 880 yards race. At McGill Edwards captained the university track team from 1931 to 1936, leading the team to six consecutive championships. At the international level, Edwards went on to compete in the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and in the infamous 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, where he was one of a number of black athletes, including American runner Jesse Owens, to compete before the Hitler regime.
Edwards earned bronze medals in 1932 in the 800 metres, 1500 metres, 4 × 400 metre relay event, in 1936 in the 800 metres event. On the way back from the 1936 games, Edwards was refused lodgings in the London hotel at which the team was booked on account of his race; the five bronze medals gave Edwards the nickname'Man of Bronze', made him Canada's most prolific Olympic medal-winner. Edwards was among the first black athletes to earn an Olympic medal and, along with Hamilton runner Ray Lewis, Toronto's Sam Richardson and Vancouver's Barbara Howard, one of only a handful of black athletes to represent Canada in the 1920s and 1930s. Edwards was named the inaugural Lou Marsh Trophy winner in 1936 as Canada's top athlete. Edwards was inducted into the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. An annual award in his name, the Phil A. Edwards Memorial Trophy, has been presented to Canada's outstanding track athlete annually since 1972.
He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at New York University. Edwards became the first black person to graduate from McGill University's medical school in 1936 before competing in the 1936 Olympic Games and being named Canada's top athlete. Interrupting his medical career to serve with the Canadian army, Edwards rose to the rank of captain during World War II before returning to Montreal, he earned a graduate medical diploma in 1945 and became a specialist in tropical diseases, joining the staff of Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital and participating in a number of international medical missions. In 1960, Dr. Edwards was a member of a Canadian Red Cross team of four doctors and six nurses working in Coquilhatville in Congo. Edwards' tenure at the Royal Victoria coincided with that of infamous psychiatrist Ewen Cameron. Dr. Edwards was just a few days shy of his 64th birthday when he died of heart problems in 1971, he is interre
Stephen "Steve" Cram is a British retired track and field athlete. Along with fellow Britons Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, he was one of the world's dominant middle distance runners during the 1980s. Nicknamed "The Jarrow Arrow", after his hometown, Cram set world records in the 1500 m, 2000 m and the mile during a 19-day period in the summer of 1985, he was the first man to run 1500 m under 30 seconds. He won the 1500 m gold medal at the 1983 World Championships and the 1500 m silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games. In 2008 Cram was appointed Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, replacing Lord Puttnam, in 2009 elected as President of Jarrow & Hebburn Athletics Club. Cram now works as a television presenter and athletics commentator, motivational speaker and athletics coach. In 1980, Cram won his place in the British Olympic team after finishing in 2nd place to Steve Ovett in the mile at Crystal Palace; the race had been marked as a run-off between Cram and Scottish miler Graham Williamson for the final place.
Cram, aged 19, reached the final of the 1500 m at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, in which Ovett and Sebastian Coe famously vied for the gold medal. Cram finished in eighth place. Capitalising on his Olympic experience, Cram made his major breakthrough in 1982, a year in which Coe and Ovett were absent with injuries. Cram took 1500 m gold at the Commonwealth Games and the 1982 European Championships in Athens, where he raced to gold after breaking from the field with 600 metres to go following Williamson's fall. Injury had disrupted Cram in the early part of the 1983 season, but he recovered in time for the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki and just prior to the games beat Coe in an 800 m at Gateshead. In a slow final, he strategically beat a large field following Saïd Aouita's break with 500 metres to go. Ovett became trapped in the pack finishing fourth, while Cram outkicked Steve Scott and Aouita in the last 200 metres. In a remark made in Cram's presence shortly afterwards which spoke to the depth of British milers, Ovett noted that Britain was the home of the Olympic champion, World champion and World Record holder in the 1500 m - titles held by Coe and Ovett respectively.
At Crystal Palace that summer, Cram won an epic mile race, in which he led Ovett by little more than a metre with 300 metres to go and maintained that lead right to the finishing line. In a 2006 interview, Cram described the race: "It was a cat-and-mouse affair - we both started off running at the back of the field. I beat him by little more than the thickness of a vest."In 1984, Cram's season was hampered by injury, although he recovered sufficiently to win silver in the 1500 m at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, behind defending champion Coe. He came back stronger in 1985, a year. In the 800 m, not his best event, he beat the reigning 800 m Olympic Champion, Joaquim Cruz, in 1:42.88, the fastest time he was to run, off splits of 51.2 & 51.7. He broke three world records within a 19-day span, recorded a British All Comers Record over the 1000 m, running 2:12.88 in windy conditions at Gateshead. He was the first man to run under 3:30.00 for the 1500 m. His mile time of 3:46.32, recorded at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo, stood for eight years and, as of 2018, is still the European record.
This run was notable for the fact that this was an actual competitive race against Sebastian Coe with the first three laps being below schedule, although pretty in pace distribution, followed by an exceptional last lap of 53.2. While the likes of Coe and Ovett had a devastating sprint finish over the last 100 metres, Cram tended to wind up the speed over the last 300 metres of races, making him difficult to catch. However, during the 1985 season he said that he could win from any position and ran near the back of world class fields before unleashing his kick with a lap or so to go; this tactic, his elegant, high stepping action and his effortless acceleration made him one of the most exciting middle distance runners to watch. Cram's good form continued into the 1986 season. At the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, he won the 800 m, finishing 15 metres clear of Tom McKean and Peter Elliott in 1:43:22 - still the Commonwealth Games record, he followed this up with gold in the 1500 m and was persuaded to run both events at the 1986 European Championships in Stuttgart.
He arrived at the European Championships "just over the edge" as he suggested in David Miller's biography of Coe, "Born to Run". He won the bronze in the 800 m having been blocked down the back straight by Tom McKean who made his run at the same time as Cram and, though leading into the straight, lacked the zest he showed in the Commonwealth games and was unable to hold off the challenges of McKean and a superlative Coe. Although disappointed by his 800 m defeat Cram bounced back to beat Coe to the gold medal in the 1500 m, it turned out to be not only Cram's last major medal, but the end of the golden era for British middle distance running. In 1987, he was no longer the outstanding 1500 m athlete. Having been able to win races from any position and at any pace, he was now lacking confidence in his finishing speed, an area in which he had fallen behind some of his main rivals, he was beaten by Jos
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Egypt the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, across the Mediterranean lie Greece and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman Turkish, Nubian.
Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967.
In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian. Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, 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 kilometres, 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 centres of greater Cairo and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
The sovereign state of Egypt is a transcontinental country considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt became Africa's second largest economy. Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. "Miṣr" is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while "Maṣr" is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew "מִצְרַיִם"; the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian "mi-iṣ-ru" related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier". There is evidence of rock carvings in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BCE, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture.
Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BCE began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralised society. By about 6000 BCE, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt; the Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade; the earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BCE. A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BCE