A name almost as old as the nations of China and Greece themselves, the country of Egypt has been shrouded in mystery and intrigue since the dawn of its time. However, while we know for certain that the countries of China and Greece today are situated on the continents of Asia and Europe, respectively, Egypt seems to be placed in a rather disputable position.
Where can Egypt belong to?
Situated between the north-westernmost tip of Africa while bordering into the Middle East, a region itself that is divided between the two continents of Asia and Europe, Egypt can have a possible official continental location on either three. Physically, the country of Egypt is placed within the geographical boundaries that make up the continent of Africa.
However, Egypt also has a stretch of land extending over the Red Sea that connects to the Middle Eastern countries of Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
Technically, any country that holds territory on the Eastern side of the Red Sea is officially considered a part of the Middle Eastern region.
Egypt and the Middle East
Diplomatically, Egypt is considered a territory belonging to the transcontinental region of the Middle East. Sharing both a strong historical tie with and having close proximity to the Middle East has culturally integrated the country as part of the Arabic nations of the world.
The official language of the Middle Eastern countries is typically their own national dialect of the Arabic tongue (for example, Mesopotamian Arabic of Iraq compared to the Najdi and Hejazi dialects that are spoken in Saudi Arabia).
Egypt itself has its own dialect of Arabic, with Egyptian Arabic also being the official language spoken in Egypt.
Thus, having an Arabic dialect as its official language, Egypt is considered a part of the Arabian regions in the Middle East.
So What Continent is Egypt in, Really?
Although technically and culturally considered a part of the Arabic nations that reside in the Middle East, the region itself is not officially considered its own continent, but rather a geographically unique transcontinental territory linking three continents together.
Therefore, when it comes down to the question of what continent is Egypt in, the answer is its physical geographical location situated as part of the continent of Africa.
This makes Egypt unique in that it is one of the few current cases of today wherein a country that’s located in one territory diplomatically belongs to another.
Other Similar Cases
- Greenland: Although physically a part of the North American continent located at the northernmost point of the world, Greenland is actually an autonomous nation as a territory of the European country of Denmark. This makes Greenland officially a part of the European continent despite its close proximity to North America.
- Gibraltar: Located at the southernmost tip of Spain, Gibraltar is a small peninsula country that is an overseas British territory.
- North Ireland: Despite being actually attached to the independent country of Ireland and even sharing a name with it, North Ireland has remained a part of British rule since 1801.