Geography <ul><li>Egypt is predominately a desert region.
Four major regions of Egypt: Nile Valley and Delta, Sinai Peninsula, Eastern Desert, and Western Desert.
Major bodies of water and waterways include the Nile River, Lake Nasser, the Alexandria-Cairo Waterway, and the Suez Canal.
Indigenous fauna and flora include the papyrus plant, which had long been used to make paper in Egypt, and many animals are found throughout Egypt, including camels in the desert and sheep, goats, and donkeys are found throughout the rest of the country. </li></ul>
Geography <ul><li>Special points of interest include many of the ancient pyramids and the Sinai region of Egypt, often traveled to for its good view of marine life. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>The ancient Egyptians were one of the worlds greatest civilizations. Due to the wonders of the Nile River and semi-isolation because of the deserts, Egypt was able to become a great nation.
In 3200 BC, a unified kingdom arose, and series of dynasties ruled for the next three millennia.
The last native dynasty in Egypt fell to the Persians in 341 BC, and they were subsequently replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines.
Arab rule of Egypt introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7 th century. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>The Mamluks took control around 1250 and continued their rule after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Empire in 1517.
After the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation center, but quickly fell into debt, and was taken over by the British.
Egypt was controlled by the British until 1952.
In 2011, Egypt experienced widespread revolts, resulting in the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled since 1981. </li></ul>
Political <ul><li>Following revolts, Egypt is currently under military control until official elections take place.
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, headed by Defense Minister Muhammad Hussein Tantawi, is currently in control of government.
The current Prime Minister is Essam Sharaf. </li></ul>
Economy <ul><li>Industries include textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons, construction, cement, metals, and light manufactures.
Exports: crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals, and processed food.
Imports: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, and fuels.
Major trade partners: US, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Syria, France, South Korea, and Turkey. </li></ul>
Daily Life <ul><li>Living standards are low by international standards.
History <ul><li>What is today Ecuador formed part of the Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of the Spanish colonial government in 1563 and apart of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717.
The territories of the Viceroyalty gained independence between 1819-1822, and formed the federation of Gran Colombia. Quito withdrew in 1830.
Between 1904-1942, Ecuador lost many territories in conflicts with neighboring countries.
In 1995, a border war with Peru flared, and was resolved in 1999. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>Ecuador has always had political instability.
In 2008, voters approved a new constitution; the twentieth one since gaining independance. </li></ul>
Political <ul><li>Ecuador is a unitary presidential republic
Chief of Staff: President Rafael Correa Delgado(both chief of staff and head of government)
Ethnic groups: mestizos-65%, Amerindian-25%, Spanish and others-7%, black-3%.
The traditional cuisine of Ecuador includes a lot of beef along with carbohydrate-rich foods.
Ecuador's traditional music was influenced by African rhythms, traditional Andean music, and indigenous music from the jungle. </li></ul>
Festivities <ul><li>Virtually all Ecuadorians celebrate Carnaval, the precursor to Easter Week. Carnaval consists of parties and celebrations.
Bullfights are held throughout the year in the Andes. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>Ecuador is a nation that has struggled with political stability for most of its existence. However, it is an interesting place with beautiful natural regions within it. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>Waves of colonizers to the area long before the European exploration of it.
The British and French, who settled the area in the 19 th century, agreed to an Anglo-French Condominium in 1906, which ruled the islands until they gained their independence in 1980, when the name Vanuatu was adopted. </li></ul>
Political <ul><li>Vanuatu is a parliamentary republic
Geography <ul><li>Consists of predominantly rugged mountains
Andorra is a landlocked nation, but does contain a few lakes and streams, such as “Llac d'Engolasters”
Plant and animal life in Andorra is similar to that of neighboring France and Spain. There are vasts numbers of trees that grow in most regions of Andorra.
Animals such as bears, foxes, wolves, eagles, vultures, and geese may be found in some isolated areas. </li></ul>
Geography <ul><li>Mountain streams contain trout, crayfish, and brochet. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>From 1278-1993, Andorrans lived under a unique co-principality under French and Spanish leaders. In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary democracy. </li></ul>
Political <ul><li>Andorra is a parliamentary democracy
Chief of Staff: French Coprince Nicolas Sarkozy, represented by Christian Fremont, and Spanish Coprince Archbishop Joan-Enric Vives I Sicilia, represented by Nemesi Marques i Oste
Head of Government: Jaume Bartumeu Cassany </li></ul>
Geography <ul><li>central Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Moldavian Plateau on the east by the Eastern Carpathian Mountains and separated from the Walachian Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps
Bodies of water in Romania include the Black Sea, Surdac Lake, Lake Saint Ann, and the Danube River. </li></ul>
Geography <ul><li>Romania has 3,700 species of plants and 33,792 species of animals. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia secured their autonomy in 1856, united in 1859, and soon adopted the name Romania. The country gained recognition of its independence in 1878.
During World War 1, Romania joined the Allies and later acquired Transylvania.
In 1940, Romania joined the Axis powers and participated in the 1941 German invasion of the USSR. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>Three years later, after being overrun by the Soviets, Romania signed an armistice.
Soviet occupation led to Romania becoming a communist state. Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu ruled from 1965-1989, and still former communists dominated the government until 1996. </li></ul>
Political <ul><li>Today, Romania is a semi-presidential republic
Head of Government: Prime Minister Emil Boc; Deputy Prime Minister Marko Bela </li></ul>
Economy <ul><li>Industries: electric machinery and equipment, textiles and footwear, light machinery and auto assembly, mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining
Romania has a relatively good standard of living
28.8% of population use the internet </li></ul>
Culture <ul><li>Religion: Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 86.8%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformate and Pentecostal) 7.5%, Roman Catholic 4.7%, other (mostly Muslim) and unspecified 0.9%, none 0.1%
Languages: Romanian 91% (official), Hungarian 6.7%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.1%, other 1.2%
Ethnic groups: Romanian 89.5%, Hungarian 6.6%, Roma 2.5%, Ukrainian 0.3%, German 0.3%, Russian 0.2%, Turkish 0.2%, other 0.4%
Romanian cuisine has been greatly influenced by Ottoman cuisine, and also draws influences from neighboring countries like Germany, Serbia, and Hungary. </li></ul>
Festivities <ul><li>Some festivities include Bucharest of Old, which celebrates the country's history, and Sambra Oilo, a festival which marks the return of the sheep herds from the mountains. </li></ul>
Geography <ul><li>mountains in north; hot, dry central plain; semiarid south merges into the Sahara
Situated on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa
Other bodies of water include Lake of Tunis, Lake of Bizerte, and the Medjerda
Tunisia has a wide variety of trees, and 1/4 th of the country is covered by esparto grass.
Jackal, wild boar, and several species of gazelle exist in Tunisia. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>Rivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and the creation of a protectorate. In the decades following World War 1, Tunisia was striving for independence and was finally granted independence in 1956.
The country's first president, Habib Bourguiba, established a strict one-party state. He dominated the nation for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and established rights for women unmatched by any other Arab country.
In 1987, Bourguiba was removed from power and replaced by Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in a bloodless coup. </li></ul>
History <ul><li>In 2010-2011, protests across Tunisia led to Ben Ali fleeing the country. Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced the formation of a “national unity government.”
Fouad M'Bazaa is currently the interim president. </li></ul>
Political <ul><li>Tunisia is currently a presidential republic
Chief of Staff: Interim President Fouad M'Bazaa
Head of Government: Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi </li></ul>
Much like the Egyptian government monitoring and blocking access to some websites, the Tunisian government blocked several social networking sites during the protests </li></ul>
Culture <ul><li>Religions: Muslim 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Languages: Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)
Tunisian cuisine is a blend of traditional Mediterranean cuisine and that of the desert area.
Main foods used include: lamb, seafood, spices, and tomatoes. </li></ul>
Festivities <ul><li>Eid al Adha is held to mark the time when Muslims make pilgrimages to Mecca
Tunisians celebrate their Labour Day with a public holiday for everyone </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>Tunisia is a North African country and are predominantly Muslims. Ever since gaining their independence in 1956, they have had a tough time creating a peaceful nation and government. </li></ul>
Geography <ul><li>mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest
Bodies of water include Sassandria River, Komoe River, Bia River, and Lake Kossou
Cote d'Ivoire is home to numerous animals, such as primates, leopards, and elephants.
In southern Cote d'Ivoire, there is a rainforest with many different kinds of animals and plants
Cote d'Ivoire has the highest level of biodiversity in West Africa </li></ul>
History <ul><li>Like most of Africa, Cote d'Ivoire was taken over by the French
Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states, but did not protect it from political turmoil.
In December 1999, a military coup overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert Guei rigged elections and declared himself the winner. Protests caused him to step down, and Laurent Gbagbo came to power. </li></ul>
Political <ul><li>A semi-presidential republic
Chief of Staff: the officially recognized chief of staff is President Alassane Outtara, but former President Laurent Gbagbo has refused to cede power
Head of Government: Prime Minister Guillaume Soro On December 4th, Gilbert Marie N'Gbo Ake was also appointed this position by Gbagbo </li></ul>