Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
Finland national basketball team
The Finnish national basketball team represents Finland in men's international basketball tournaments. They have played in 13 EuroBasket tournaments, with its best finish being 6th at the 1967 EuroBasket on home soil. Finland made its FIBA World Cup debut at the 2014 edition. Since 2011, Finland has had the highest FIBA World Ranking among Nordic countries; the Finnish Basketball Association was founded in February 1939. A few months earlier the Finnish Football Federation had decided to add basketball to its own repertoire. Finland first competed at the European championship at its third installment, the EuroBasket 1939. In the round-robin, they struggled and lost to each of the other seven teams and finished with a 70–541 overall point differential. Finland's next European competition was 12 years at the EuroBasket 1951 in Paris. Overall, they fared much better and split their four preliminary round games and finished at third place in the group at 2–2 but were eliminated from championship contention.
They had success after that, winning all three of their classification round 1 games and both round 2 games to finish in 9th place of the 18 teams. In 1952, by virtue of hosting the games in Helsinki, Finland played at the Summer Olympics for the first time; the national team finished at the bottom of Group B in the preliminary round losing all of its game to the Soviet Union and Mexico, failing to advance. Finland used this international experience when they competed again at the EuroBasket 1953 in Moscow. In the preliminary round, they finished with 1 win and 3 losses for 4th place of the 5 teams in the group, they fared better in the first classification round, winning 3 and losing only 1 to finish in the middle of a three-way tie in the group. They lost both the 9–12 and 11/12 classification games, taking 12th place of 17 overall. At the next event, Finland had some difficulty in the preliminary round of EuroBasket 1955, they were relegated to the classification round. Once again, not faced with the world elite opponents anymore, the Fins shone in the classification round and won all four of the pool play games.
They won their classification 9–12 match as well, but lost to France in the 9/10 final to finish 10th of 18 in the tournament. In Sofia, at the EuroBasket 1957, the Finns finished third in their preliminary group after going 1–2, they won five games there with only one loss. They took 11th place overall in the tournament. At the EuroBasket 1995 in Greece, Finland finished 13th. Finland qualified for the EuroBasket 2011; the tournament berth was the first for Finland in 16 years. There they finished third out of six teams in EuroBasket 2011 Group C and defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 92–64 and Montenegro 71–65; this allowed them to they qualify for the EuroBasket 2011 Group F. In their first match they were defeated by Russia but afterwards they defeated Georgia, before losing to Slovenia in their final match of the tournament. Despite not making it to the best of 8 tournament, Finland ended up making it to their first FIBA World Cup as a Wild Card team alongside Greece and Brazil. Roster for the EuroBasket 2017.
The following is the squad in the EuroBasket 2017 PF/C - Drew Gooden: has a possibility to represent Finland due to his mother being Finnish. Henrik Dettmann – 95-96, 2004-now 1939 EuroBasket: finished 8th among 8 teams Kalevi Ihalainen, Pauli Sarkkula, Erkki Lindén, Ilkka Törrönen, Erkki Saurala, Pentti Vuollekoski, Vladi Marmo, Martti Salminen, Reino Valtonen, Alo Suurna, Heinonen 1951 EuroBasket: finished 9th among 17 teams Kalevi Heinänen, Pentti Laaksonen, Raimo Lindholm, Pertti Mutru, Tapio Pöyhönen, Timo Suviranta, Kalevi Sylander, Oiva Virtanen, Olli Arppe, Kaj Gustafsson, Arto Koivisto, Juhani Kyöstilä, Raine Nuutinen, Allan Pietarinen 1952 Olympic Games: finished 15th among 23 teams Kalevi Heinänen, Pentti Laaksonen, Juhani Kyöstilä, Raimo Lindholm, Pertti Mutru, Tapio Pöyhönen, Eero Salonen, Timo Suviranta, Kalevi Sylander, Oiva Virtanen, Raine Nuutinen, Olavi Lahtinen, Tuomo Ristola, Esko Karhunen 1953 EuroBasket: finished 12th among 17 teams Kalevi Heinänen, Pentti Laaksonen, Pertti Mutru, Allan Pietarinen, Raimo Lindholm, Timo Suviranta, Timo Lampen, Raine Nuutinen, Keijo Hynninen, Oiva Virtanen, Eero Salonen, Kaj Gustafsson 1955 EuroBasket: finished 10th among 18 teams Kalevi Heinänen, Kalevi Sylander, Pertti Mutru, Oiva Virtanen, Timo Lampén, Taisto Ravantti, Seppo Kuusela, Timo Suviranta, Raine Nuutinen, Eero Salonen, Kalevi Tuominen, Asko Jokinen, Raimo Lindholm 1957 EuroBasket: finished 11th among 16 teams Timo Lampén, Arto Koivisto, Pertti Mutru, Raine Nuutinen, Eero Salonen, Seppo Kuusela, Arvo Jantunen, Juhani Kala, Paavo Suhonen, Raimo Lindholm, Timo Suviranta, Kalevi Sylander 1959 EuroBasket: finished 13th among 17 teams Timo Lampén, Raimo Lindholm, Seppo Kuusela, Arvo Jantunen, Juhani Kala, Matti Nenonen, Raine Nuutinen, Eero Salonen, Raimo Vartia, Matti Köli, Kyösti Rousti, Pentti Palkoaho 1961 EuroBasket: finished 14th among 19 teams Martti Liimo, Kari Liimo, Raimo Lindholm, Timo Lampén, Raimo Vartia, Pertti Laanti, Tony Bärlund, Arvo Jantunen, Uolevi Manninen, Lauri Nurma, Seppo Kuusela, Rauno Ailus 1963 EuroBasket: finished 14th among 16 teams Martti Liimo, Kari Liimo, Jorma Pilkevaara, Timo Lampén, Pertti Laanti, Raimo Vartia, Uolevi Manninen, Antero Siljola, Juha Harjula, Seppo Kuusela, Rauno Ailus, Kauko Kauppinen 1964 Olympic Games: finished 11th among 16 teams Martti Liimo, Jorma Pilkevaa
Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, has a population of 650,058; the city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, finance and research. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km east of Stockholm, 390 km west of Saint Petersburg, Russia, it has close historical ties with these three cities. Together with the cities of Espoo and Kauniainen, surrounding commuter towns, Helsinki forms the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which has a population of nearly 1.5 million. Considered to be Finland's only metropolis, it is the world's northernmost metro area with over one million people as well as the northernmost capital of an EU member state. After Stockholm and Oslo, Helsinki is the third largest municipality in the Nordic countries.
The city is served by the international Helsinki Airport, located in the neighboring city of Vantaa, with frequent service to many destinations in Europe and Asia. Helsinki was the World Design Capital for 2012, the venue for the 1952 Summer Olympics, the host of the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest. Helsinki has one of the highest urban standards of living in the world. In 2011, the British magazine Monocle ranked Helsinki the world's most liveable city in its liveable cities index. In the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2016 liveability survey, Helsinki was ranked ninth among 140 cities. According to a theory presented in the 1630s, settlers from Hälsingland in central Sweden had arrived to what is now known as the Vantaa River and called it Helsingå, which gave rise to the names of Helsinge village and church in the 1300s; this theory is questionable, because dialect research suggests that the settlers arrived from Uppland and nearby areas. Others have proposed the name as having been derived from the Swedish word helsing, an archaic form of the word hals, referring to the narrowest part of a river, the rapids.
Other Scandinavian cities at similar geographic locations were given similar names at the time, e.g. Helsingør in Denmark and Helsingborg in Sweden; when a town was founded in Forsby village in 1548, it was named Helsinge fors, "Helsinge rapids". The name refers to the Vanhankaupunginkoski rapids at the mouth of the river; the town was known as Helsinge or Helsing, from which the contemporary Finnish name arose. Official Finnish Government documents and Finnish language newspapers have used the name Helsinki since 1819, when the Senate of Finland moved itself into the city from Turku; the decrees issued in Helsinki were dated with Helsinki as the place of issue. This is; as part of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire, Helsinki was known as Gelsingfors in Russian. In Helsinki slang, the city is called Stadi. Hesa, is not used by natives of the city. Helsset is the Northern Sami name of Helsinki. In the Iron Age the area occupied by present day Helsinki was inhabited by Tavastians, they used the area for fishing and hunting, but due to a lack of archeological finds it is difficult to say how extensive their settlements were.
Pollen analysis has shown that there were cultivating settlements in the area in the 10th century and surviving historical records from the 14th century describe Tavastian settlements in the area. Swedes colonized the coastline of the Helsinki region in the late 13th century after the successful Second Crusade to Finland, which led to the defeat of the Tavastians. Helsinki was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors, which he intended to be a rival to the Hanseatic city of Reval. In order to populate his newly founded town, the King issued an order to resettle the bourgeoisie of Porvoo, Ekenäs, Rauma and Ulvila into the town. Little came of the plans as Helsinki remained a tiny town plagued by poverty and diseases; the plague of 1710 killed the greater part of the inhabitants of Helsinki. The construction of the naval fortress Sveaborg in the 18th century helped improve Helsinki's status, but it was not until Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War and annexed Finland as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 that the town began to develop into a substantial city.
Russians besieged the Sveaborg fortress during the war, about one quarter of the town was destroyed in an 1808 fire. Russian Emperor Alexander I of Russia moved the Finnish capital from Turku to Helsinki in 1812 to reduce Swedish influence in Finland, to bring the capital closer to Saint Petersburg. Following the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, the Royal Academy of Turku, which at the time was the country's only university, was relocated to Helsinki and became the modern University of Helsinki; the move helped set it on a path of continuous growth. This transformation is apparent in the downtown core, rebuilt in the neoclassical style to resemble Saint Petersburg to a plan by the German-born architect C. L. Engel; as elsewhere, technological advancements such as railroads and industrialization were key factors behind the city's growth. Despite the tumultuous nature of Finnish history during the first half of the 20th century, Helsinki continued its steady development. A landmark e
Netherlands national basketball team
The Dutch national basketball team is the basketball team that represents the Netherlands in international competitions. It is administered by the NMT, an organisation for the national team; when it qualified for the FIBA EuroBasket, team Netherlands played quite competitive at some of the tournaments. The team proceeded to the playoffs several times. However, its last appearance was in 1989. Since 1991, the team has had some tough years, overshadowed by lack of both money and support from fans and media. In the 2015 tournament they made their first appearance in 25 years, only two years after it had been proposed that the team should be dissolved; the team represents itself as the Orange Lions. The Netherlands were one of the teams that played in the 1946, 1947, 1949 and 1951 EuroBasket tournaments; the 5th place in 1949 was the best performance of the team. Oranje qualified for three EuroBaskets in a row from 1961 till 1967. After two missed tournaments, the Netherlands had another 3-EuroBasket appearances streak.
In 1977, the Netherlands' star player Kees Akerboom, Sr. shone during the tournament. He got a place in the All-Tournament Team. In 1983, the Netherlands had its biggest success in history under head coach Vladimir Heger: the team achieved fourth place at the EuroBasket tournament. In the third-place game it lost to the Soviet Union. From 1991 until 2012, the Netherlands did not qualify for a EuroBasket tournament. Star player Francisco Elson, former NBA-champion, represented the team on several occasions but the team never came close to qualifying. In this period, notable Dutch players like Dan Gadzuric were not willing to play for the team. Home games were played at the Topsportcentrum in Almere and had little to no media attention or fan support in the Netherlands. In December 2012, it was announced that the Netherlands team would be dissolved for 2 years, because the national federation NBB was not willing to invest money in it. After a campaign by Dutch players who played in the Dutch Basketball League, the national team was saved.
Sports broadcaster Sport1 became the main sponsor and DBL-teams invested in the team, which started playing again. During August 2013, the Netherlands was on its way to qualification for FIBA EuroBasket 2015, but lost two games 20–0 because the team played with two players – Mohamed Kherrazi and Sean Cunningham – who were identified as foreign players by the FIBA; the NBB believed that both were eligible players, was upset that the attention came up after the Netherlands won 2 games. At the start of the second 2015-qualification round, things looked bad for Oranje; the DBL-teams didn't have any more money to invest in the team and the NBB wasn't ready to take the team back. Head coach Toon van Helfteren, who worked as volunteer, still did prepare for the qualifying games, he invited 42 players to play for the national team, but after most players rejected the offer, he started his first training with 7 players. The team shocked the world, by beating heavy favorite Montenegro in the group to get the second place in the group.
On 27 August 2014, the Dutch national team qualified for EuroBasket for the first time in 25 years. The national team left the NBB and FEB, from 2015 the team was run by the NMT. Van Helfteren extended his contract with the national team. In contrast to the summer of 2014, big name players from foreign leagues applied to play for the national team. In the first game at EuroBasket 2015, the Dutch beat Georgia 73–72 behind Charlon Kloof's 22 and Worthy de Jong's 16 points; the Netherlands remaining four games were lost, but only with single digits to power houses such as Croatia and Greece. Roster for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualification. Official website FIBA profile EuroBasket.com Archived records
The 1935 FIBA European Championship called EuroBasket 1935, was the first FIBA EuroBasket regional basketball championship, held by FIBA Europe, as well as a test event preceding the first Olympic basketball tournament at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Ten national teams affiliated with the International Basketball Federation took part in the competition; the event was hosted by Switzerland and held in Geneva in May, 1935. The 2012 Latvian film Dream Team 1935 is based on the events of the tournament, it tells the story of the winners of the tournament. Before the tournament began, a qualification game was played between Portugal; the game was held in Madrid and refereed by Spanish coach Mariano Manent. Spain won, 33–12; the preliminary round was single-elimination, with losers moving to the classification round. Three of the five winners moved to the semi-finals, while two played each other in a sixth preliminary game, with the winner moving on and the loser going to classification. Bold = game winner.
Latvia: Eduards Andersons, Aleksejs Anufrijevs, Mārtiņš Grundmanis, Herberts Gubiņš, Rūdolfs Jurciņš, Jānis Lidmanis, Džems Raudziņš, Visvaldis Melderis Spain: Rafael Martín, Emilio Alonso, Pedro Alonso, Juan Carbonell, Armando Maunier, Fernando Muscat, Cayetano Ortega, Rafael Ruano Czechoslovakia: Jiří Čtyřoký, Jan Fertek, Josef Franc, Josef Klima, Josef Moc, František Picek, Vaclav Voves Switzerland: R. Karlen, J. Pollet, R. Lambercy, M. Wuilleumier, J. Pare, Radle, Sidler Bulgaria: Nikola Rogatchev, Krum Konstantinov, Pinkas, FIBA Europe EuroBasket 1935 FIBA Europe article on 1930's EuroBaskets Eurobasket.com 1935 EChampionship
The Czech Republic known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with a temperate continental climate and oceanic climate, it is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen; the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe. It is a developed country with an advanced, high income export-oriented social market economy based in services and innovation; the UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic is a welfare state with a "continental" European social model, a universal health care system, tuition-free university education and is ranked 14th in the Human Capital Index, it ranks as the 6th safest or most peaceful country and is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance.
The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire along with the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Beside Bohemia itself, the King of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, holding a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor. In the Hussite Wars of the 15th century driven by the Protestant Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom faced economic embargoes and defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary.
The Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism and reimposed Catholicism, adopted a policy of gradual Germanization; this contributed to the anti-Habsburg sentiment. A long history of resentment of the Catholic Church followed and still continues. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the German Confederation 1815-1866 as part of Austrian Empire and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period. However, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became the Slovak Republic.
Most of the three millions of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and market economy was reintroduced. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia; the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. The traditional English name "Bohemia" derives from Latin "Boiohaemum", which means "home of the Boii"; the current English name comes from the Polish ethnonym associated with the area, which comes from the Czech word Čech. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia, to settle on Říp Mountain.
The etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning "member of the people. The country has been traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east, Czech Silesia in the northeast. Known as the lands of the Bohemian Crown since the 14th century, a number of other names for the country have been used, including Czech/Bohemian lands, Bohemian Crown and the lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas; when the country regained its independence after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the new name of Czechoslovakia was coined to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak nations within the one country. After Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992, the Czech part lac
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